Diagnostic testing before tutoring students is important. Testing allows the tutor to view the test results and tutor the student in the shortest amount of time possible. The tutor knows first-hand any weak or strong areas of the student and does not have to waste time trying to determine what a student knows and does not know. Initial diagnostic testing saves the student both time and money and gets the best results possible for the student.
It is difficult to help a student achieve positive results in one or two tutoring sessions. When students start tutoring and notice improvement and then stops attending the tutoring the sessions, it results in the students not completing the sessions to fill the academic gap. The academic gap, although shortened within the short tutoring time, still exists and grows larger again during the school year. In addition, last minute tutoring cram sessions for final exams and test prep do not work. Last minute tutoring puts stress on both the student and the tutor. When students come the night before a test, or just weeks before SAT or ACT, there is usually not enough time to cover the material and practice to make sure that the student has mastered the material and is comfortable with the curriculum. Waiting until the last minute leads students to procrastination. Research shows that students who procrastinate do not do well in college. See article.
Tutoring works best when students and parents are committed to improving academic levels and agree to a planned scheduled of academic lessons at the beginning of the school year, preferably, starting during the summer before the upcoming school year. Improving gaps in learning and working ahead of the class curriculum reduces stress and anxiety for the student and gives the student confidence in his or her academic abilities. When students are on a consistent tutor/study schedule, they learn how to plan, practice and study ahead. This breaks the cycle of procrastination. In addition, the student gains an academic foundation for success on college admissions exams and will do well in college. A current research study states that only a third of high school seniors are equipped for college-level math and reading. See article. When students do not have a proper academic foundation, they will struggle in future courses and on tests.
SAT/ACT/PSAT test prep also works best when students begin as early the 9th grade year to prepare for these exams. Students are competing on a national playing field and must begin preparing as soon as possible. Although a student is making A’s and B’s in his or her school, this is no guarantee that the student will do well on the SAT or ACT without test prep. School work is simply not enough for a student to do well on the test. Many students have not had English Grammar since elementary school and lack the knowledge of the grammar rules needed for the English/Writing and Reading portions of the SAT/ACT and PSAT. Many students are also weak in math. A consistent math review helps students to learn the math needed to do well on the exams. Test prep also helps students to know the format of the test first-hand and know what to expect when they take the test. It is never a good idea to allow a student to take the SAT or ACT to merely see how he or she will do. Students should know what is on the test and know what to expect on test day to significantly increase their chances of obtaining a high score.
Study and preparation along with time and effort is the key to academic success!