If you’re thinking of enrolling in graduate school to earn your MBA, it’s time to start thinking about preparing for the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Working with a GMAT tutor is for many people a wise investment to help you strengthen the academic areas you may be weak in and improving your overall test score. A GMAT prep tutor should teach you not only the kind of information you need to know for the test, but the best test-taking strategies. The GMAT tests you on four categories: quantitative, verbal, integrated reasoning, and an analytical writing assessment. Cramming is probably not going to give you good results for this standardized test; give yourself between two and six months to prepare, focusing on your most challenging areas first. Successful GMAT prep means planning ahead and studying thoroughly. Those students who reported studying under 75 hours were more likely to score 400 or lower on the test, while students who studied 121 hours or more were more likely to score 700 or higher on the test. Hiring a GMAT prep tutor can range in price from under $50 to over $200 per hour.
The ACT is a college entrance exam taken by students (typically in their junior year of high school) to determine admission eligibility and merit-based scholarship eligibility. The test may be taken as many times as desired and is not limited to high school juniors. Originally the acronym stood for American College Testing, but now ACT is the stand-alone name. ACT prep is a way for students to strategically prepare for test-taking. ACT prep helps students improve scores, practice taking the test, learn test-taking strategies, and improve material comprehension. Students can get help with ACT prep tutors in one-on-one sessions, via group tutoring lessons, in online self-study programs, or online with a tutor in video calls. The ACT test covers:
- Science understanding and reasoning
- Writing essay (optional)
Math home tutors are available for any age student, from elementary school to postgraduate studies. Rates will vary based on the tutor’s background, education and experience. To find a good math tutor, first determine your learning goals. Do you need help understanding and completing homework assignments? Are you preparing for the math portion of a standardized test? Next, read reviews from current and former students. Find someone with proven success helping students achieve their goals. If you want help on an ongoing basis, decide what your budget is and identify the tutors who fall within your range. Ask if there are additional fees for travel, as some home math tutors include travel costs in their rates and others charge extra. Ask about session length and the tutor’s teaching style, and whether they also offer online sessions or group sessions. Finally, schedule a single session with each of the math tutors you think are best to see who is the best fit.
Your SAT prep strategy can mean the difference between a great score and a mediocre score, as well as the difference between being accepted to or rejected by your school of choice. The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a college entrance exam that measures a student’s knowledge and understanding of what they have learned up to this point in school and what they need to succeed in college. In addition to arming students with the knowledge they need to excel in the math, reading and writing components of the test, SAT prep can help improve scores by teaching students crucial strategies for taking the test itself. Professional SAT prep tutors can work with students one-on-one or in group sessions. Typically, tutors recommend that students who are comfortable and caught up with their regular schooling begin SAT prep at least three months before the test. If you’re targeting an elite school, six months before the test is a good time to begin. Students who are behind in school are advised to start early to ensure they’re caught up and feeling confident in all the relevant subjects. Suggestions for long-term SAT prep include taking challenging high school courses, completing all homework assignments, preparing for class tests and quizzes, and participating in class by asking and answering questions. There are free SAT prep training tools online; for those who’d like a one-on-one tutor to take them to the next level, the national average rate is $70 per hour.
Math is a subject that’s challenging for many students. Fortunately, home math tutors can help students excel in math by working with them in focused one-on-one tutoring sessions. The cost for math tutors varies based on the type of math, the expertise and experience of the tutor, and geographic location. Pricing may range between $40 and $100 per hour, depending on the math subject. As a rule, the more complex the subject matter, the more the math tutor will charge for the lessons. The cost reflects the math tutor’s advanced studies and the work required for them to be able to teach on the subject. Frequency can also affect costs. Students can buy packages of lessons for a lower cost per session than buying individually. Nationally, the average hourly rate for a geometry home tutor is $50-$60. The national average rate for an algebra home tutor is $40-$50 per hour. For generalized math tutors, the national average ranges between $40 and $50 per hour. More intensive standardized test prep studies and math tutoring average $70-$100 per hour.
The ACT is a universally accepted college readiness exam. There are multiple ways to prepare for the exam. One-on-one ACT prep tutoring is one of the most effective ways for students to ready themselves for the test. A tutor who specializes in ACT prep will coach the student on the type of material they can expect while also working specifically with topics that are more challenging for that particular student. Group tutoring sessions are a more cost-effective way to reap the benefits of an ACT prep instructor; a suggestion is to gather a group of four friends or classmates to share the cost. Professional tutors often recommend that test prep begin approximately three months prior to the exam. Cramming — unfortunately — doesn’t provide the same score results as consistent study, test-related homework, and practice exams do. Weekly two-hour learning sessions are what many pro tutors suggest for their college exam prep students. For top test-taking performance, tutors usually provide work throughout the week and the weekly session is used to cement knowledge and address weak areas. Math is a hard topic for most students, so plan accordingly.
Investing in home tutoring is an investment in your child’s future. Home tutors work one on one with your child to address their challenge areas and provide room for intellectual growth that may not happen in a busy classroom. The cost of home tutors depends on multiple factors including where you live, the tutor’s background and education, the subject matter, and how often the tutor comes. Test prep home tutoring is typically more expensive than single-subject tutoring. Here are some examples of average tutoring costs:
- National average cost for an algebra home tutor: $40-$50 per hour.
- National average cost for a French home tutor: $30-$50 per hour.
- National average cost for a geometry home tutor: $50-$60 per hour.
- National average cost for a math home tutor: $40-$50 per hour.
- National average cost for reading and writing home tutor: $40-$60 per hour.
- National average cost for an SAT home tutor: $70 per hour.
- National average cost for an ACT home tutor: $70-$100 per hour.
Pros recommend planning to spend two to six months for GMAT prep. The test itself is only 3.5 hours long, but your score will have a major effect on what schools grant you admission. If you’d like to be considered for one of the top-tier schools, it’s recommended to score at least a 700. Your goals for your MBA can help drive your GMAT prep. GMAT tutors will guide your study plan and help analyze your strengths and weaknesses. GMAT tutors also offer professional guidance and insights on strategic GMAT test-taking. Avail yourself of free GMAT prep software that provides sample test questions for you to practice. The creators of the GMAT recommend creating a structured study plan detailing when you will study each day and what topics you will study during each session. Take into account what style of learning works best for you (solo study, one-on-one tutoring, group tutoring, study groups, prep courses) and proceed accordingly. The test is made up of these four categories, each with an allotted time:
- Analytical writing assessment: 1 topic, 30 minutes.
- Integrated reasoning: 12 questions, 30 minutes.
- Quantitative: 37 questions, 75 minutes.
- Verbal: 41 questions: 75 minutes.
Total time for the ACT is 2 hours and 55 minutes. If students elect to do the optional writing section, the ACT will be 3 hours and 35 minutes. The ACT college entrance exam has multiple sections. The students receive a set amount of time for each section, within which they complete as much of that category as possible before they must stop. For each timed section, there is a five-minute warning before time is up. There is a 10-minute break between the math and reading sections. When tutors coach students in ACT prep, they can provide timed runs to simulate the experience of taking the different subject matter tests. As part of ACT prep, it’s important to take the entire exam at least once as a practice run. Here is a breakdown of timing and number of questions for each section.
- ACT English test: 45 minutes for 75 questions that test students’ understanding of standard English rules, production of writing, and vocabulary.
- ACT mathematics test: 60 minutes for 60 questions that test students’ understanding of math skills up to the start of senior year of high school.
- Ten-minute break.
- ACT reading test: 35 minutes for 40 questions that measure students’ reading comprehension.
- ACT science test: 35 minutes for 40 questions that measure students’ understanding and problem-solving skills in the realm of natural sciences.
- ACT writing test: 40-minute written essay that will measure students' writing skills.
There are 215 total questions on the ACT test. The ACT covers four academic areas and students have 175 minutes total to complete the test. For students who opt to take the ACT writing test, there will be a written essay (in addition to the standard ACT topics), which students will have 40 minutes to complete. For ACT prep, it’s wise to study the material that will be covered within each academic category and take practice tests to become comfortable with the format.
The English test has 75 questions that must be completed within 45 minutes. The math test has 60 questions with a 60-minute time limit. The reading test has 40 questions and 35 minutes total. The science test has 40 questions that must be completed in 35 minutes. Tutors may recommend taking the test more than once as part of the ACT prep training, with the goal of improving your overall score each time. Official ACT recommendations urge students to answer each question on test day, even if it is a guess, as there is no penalty for guessing.