Category Archives: Test Prep Tutoring

Private Tutoring Helps Prepare Students for College

Private tutoring helps students get the additional help they need to do well on college entrance exams. In addition, students learn valuable skills and build study habits that benefit them in college and beyond.

Private tutoring helps students get the additional help they need to do well on college entrance exams. In addition, students learn valuable skills and build study habits that benefit them in college and beyond.

College preparation is an important but difficult undertaking. Most students feel like they need additional help with their studies to get ready to pass college entrance exams. Private tutoring is a great resource that provides additional learning opportunities for students who want high scores on their exams. Let’s take a look at some ways private tutoring helps students get ready for college.

Study Plan Development

One of the key things to do when getting ready for college is to put together a great study plan. If you are not sure how to create a study plan, your private tutor can help you. A study plan is a priority if you want to have enough time to prepare for your college entrance exam while still participating in other studies and activities.

Master New Study Skills

You need to realize that tutoring cannot substitute your preparation studies. You need to be able to prepare and study at home and on your own. However, a great tutor can teach you new ways of studying. Private tutoring can help you gain new study skills, which will help you greatly in your studies and your future college courses.

Improve Communication

Even though you may find a great range of studying resources, both online and offline, nothing can replace one-on-one communication with your tutor. You can ask questions, share comments or get help with specific assignments from your tutor. Since you are charged for the time you spend with your tutor, your communication skills improve and become more efficient.

Time Management

Your college preparation time can be stressful. Your schedule quickly becomes hectic with so many things to manage. However, private tutoring can reduce this strain on your time. With the help of an expert tutor, you will ultimately end up spending less time studying than you otherwise would if you tried to do everything on your own.

Money Management

Hiring a private tutor may seem costly; however, you will save money when you only need to take the college entrance exam only one time because you received a high score. Being accepted into a good college and earning a degree increases your chances for obtaining a well-paying job. That alone is well worth the initial cost of private tutoring.

Educational Tutorial Services offers affordable private tutoring to students who need help with test prep for college admission. Contact us today to learn more about our test prep tutoring services!

ACT or SAT: Which Should You Choose?

After you decide which test to take, consider getting expert test prep tutoring so you can get a higher than average score.

After you decide which test to take, consider getting expert test prep tutoring so you can get a higher than average score.

The SAT and the ACT are both standardized tests for evaluating college preparedness of a school graduate. College admission committees look at the scores of these tests to determine the suitability of a candidate for the academic program she has applied for. There is no particular preference for either the SAT or the ACT. Obviously, the more reputed an institute is, the higher the bars for either SAT or ACT scores. Most colleges will use either the SAT or the Act scores for determining suitability of a candidate. While the SAT used to be overwhelmingly popular earlier, in 2010 the number of students taking the ACT exceeded the number of SAT candidates (1,568,835 vs. 1,547,990). Although some students take both tests, it is generally better to focus on just one of them. The deciding factor should be which of the tests will show off your capabilities best. Some online preparation services offer review tests to determine which of the two tests will be better for you.

Differences in the Tests

You’ll need to understand the differences to determine what is best for you. The two tests look at the college preparedness in somewhat different ways. Let’s look at some significant differences first.

Scoring for the two tests is different. The SAT has three sections (with several sub-sections in each) with up to 800 marks for each section and a maximum of 2400. The average score for the SAT is in the 1500’s. The ACT, on the other hand, is one large set of questions on English, Math, Reading, and Science. It has a writing section that is optional. The composite score a candidate gets is between 1 and 36, which is a composite score of the four skills indicated. The average is 21. Many schools may want to look at your writing ability so they will look at the writing sub-score.

Because the tests are designed as discussed, admission officials tend to look at the individual section scores in SAT whereas ACT scores are treated as an overall figure of merit. For example, an institute like the Harvard will consider an ACT score of 33 or better to be an eligible score while 2200 or better will be required on the SAT. For the SAT score, admission officials will look at the individual section scores too and they will have to be better than 700 each!

Implications for Test Preparation

When you have some strong areas and some not so strong areas, you are likely to be better off with the average scoring system of the ACT. Another issue in favor of the ACT is that the questions tend to be straightforward. SAT questions depend on the comprehension of the words used to form the question to understand what exactly is required of you. The meaning of the question may not be immediately apparent on first read. So, if you think your vocabulary is a handicap, the ACT may be the better choice. People strong in math tend to choose ACT as it showcases understanding of math concepts best. If you are seeking admissions to science and engineering courses, the ACT may be a best option again. It really depends on the college you want to attend and your testing ability.

Whichever test you select, our test prep tutoring service can help you get the score that best represents your abilities. Contact us today!

How Online Tutoring Helps All Students

Online tutoring can accelerate learning for all students, including those who are behind in school.

Online tutoring can accelerate learning for all students, including those who are behind in school.

In-person tutoring by a competent teacher can benefit all students. Students get personal help from an experienced teacher in a non-threatening environment. Stress due to peer pressure is very low. Online tutoring is a practical alternative that provides nearly the same environment as in-person tutoring. In fact, many students find interacting with the tutor over the Internet even less threatening than if a tutor was physically present. Studies have shown students are able to improve grades through the right type of online tutoring. Many students also reported improvements in self-confidence in the process.

Growth of Online Tutoring

There is another aspect of the online tutoring growth phenomenon for you to consider. According to a well-known white paper by Cherie Mazur, online tutoring is a student retention and remediation solution. Student enrollment in college increased by 34% over 2000 to 2009, yet some 60% students joining community colleges needed remedial courses. This is where online tutoring can easily help students in need. Students can opt for college admission preparation programs available through online tutoring services. They can get remedial help in reading and math even before admission to a college. With the growth of online tutoring, parents are realizing the advantages tutoring offers their children.

Benefits Across the Board

The offerings available through these online tutoring sites are numerous. You can simply seek help for homework, improvement in reading, writing and math skills, subjects like physics, chemistry, social science, languages and so on. The academic levels may be K-12, college level, or preparing for tests such as GRE, GMAT, SAT or TOEFL. The best tutoring companies have veteran teachers available to work with any student, regardless of their need or knowledge level. You can get short-term assistance or coaching in a regular course on a specific subject. Compared to in-person tutoring, online companies offer virtual presence of a teacher. With technology solutions available today, tutors are able to interact with the student in realtime. Tutors can guide the student every step of the way as he or she learns the concepts and starts using them.

Benefits for Gifted students as well as Students with Special Learning Needs

It is not often that you can access a learning framework that is beneficial to students across the board. Gifted students are able to satisfy their special knowledge needs with the guidance of a tutor who has knowledge beyond the regular curriculum. Any questions that arise in pursuing these additional concepts are easily resolved through the intervention of the tutor. Combined with the access to knowledge provided by the Internet, there are no limits to what students can learn. Students with learning disabilities and other disadvantages can have custom-designed coursework to achieve learning goals. A tutor is there to guide and provide support as necessary. For the large majority, in the middle, a tutor can help clarify any questions, ensure the concepts get deeply ingrained in their minds and satisfy their curiosity on any issue related to the curriculum.

Tips for Preparing for the GED Exam

Preparing for your GED exam does not have to be stressful. With with help of a GED test prep tutor, you can get organized and begin studying today!

Preparing for your GED exam does not have to be stressful. With with help of a GED test prep tutor, you can get organized and begin studying today!

Studying is never a fun for the average student. Studying for a major exam like the GED is much more stressful. The GED covers a lot of subjects and topics, and it takes about 7 hours to complete the entire test. How much studying do you need to do for a 7 hour test? If you are looking for a shortcut to prepare for your GED, here are some strategies you can consider.

Start Early

If you do last-minute cramming, you will have too much on your plate and sometimes that discourages you from studying. Last-minute studying also contributes to the higher levels of stress that comes with a major exam like the GED. Starting your revision early has its perks. If you start early, you will have more time to get through all of the material. You can take your time to study. Start as early as a few months ahead of the GED exam, and you can spend just an hour or two to review one or two topics a day. Take time to make a study plan so you can keep track of the subjects and topics that you have already finished and what you need to do.

Begin at Ground Zero

Take a mock GED now. It may sound counter-intuitive to take an exam you have not studied for, but if you take the practice GED without studying, you will be able to see what you actually know, and what you need to study up on. The practice GED test will give you a rough estimate of where your abilities are and where you stand in terms of your knowledge. After you have taken the practice GED, go through the test to see what you are good at, this will allow you to see what your strengths are. Make sure to flag out all the questions you failed to answer correctly because these incorrect answers will give you an idea of what topics you are weak in. With these topics in mind, you can focus more on what you are weak at in order to polish your skills for a better score when you take the real GED exam.

Practice Again… And Again

Keep your practice GED score in mind. As you are studying for the GED exam, you should take a break every now and then to see if you have actually learned anything. Make it a point to take a practice GED exam every time you finish a couple of topics. The overall practice GED scores will allow you to see if you are improving or if your studying methods are not working out as well as you have expected. Depending on what you score on these mock exams, you can adjust your study plans accordingly.

Contact Educational Tutorial Services to hire a tutor to help you prepare for your GED exam. Your tutor can assist with study tips and help you organize your study time in addition to actually helping you learn the material.

Tips on Balancing a Job and Preparing for the GED Exam

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Taking the GED test is an important step for many who did not complete high school.  Passing this test certifies that your “General Education Development” is equivalent to a high-school senior who graduates through a traditional school system. For people whose education got interrupted for any number of reasons, they can obtain this equivalency and pursue further studies or career goals. Most employers and colleges consider the certificates based on passing of GED to be an equivalent of high-school graduation. The GED test is designed to test the capability of a candidate in Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science. Taking practice tests and then following up with study of the material equivalent to the school curriculum is the best way to get ready for it.

GED 2014 Version

GED tests have been revised several times since they were first made available. The last revision was in 2002 to bring it up to the latest standards in schools. Prior to this, it was found that a large majority of the test takers look at it as a means to access higher education. Only about 30% of the test takers considered GED certification as a means to better employment. This is contrary to expectations on which this test was introduced. It was thought a candidate with an education equivalent to a high school graduate will help open up employment opportunities. This test is expected to be revised in January 2014. It is being redesigned to better test for college preparedness. More importantly, the test will not be on paper any more but will be taken interactively on computers. This is a significant change for test takers.

Preparing for the GED

People planning to take the GED are those whose high school studies have been interrupted. They will have some catching up to do depending on how long they have been out of the school system or when their home schooling stopped. It is possible they may not be familiar with computers the way school students are. So, in addition to preparing for the Math, Science, Social Studies and the reading and writing, they must catch up with computer usage very quickly. If you are already using a computer on your job, this process will be much easier for you. The computer training does not need to be extensive. You simply need to be able to use the computer sufficiently to answer questions timely. The best strategy is to take online practice tests.

If you have a job, it is recommended you develop a study plan. You will need to balance the demands of your test prep with the time you must spend on the job. Whether you are brushing up and adding to your subject knowledge or preparing for the practice tests, private tutoring can help you score higher on your test. We offer private test prep tutoring here to students who want to pass the GED test the first time they take it. Contact us today!

Private Tutoring Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Tutoring can help students who feel overwhelmed. By reducing stress and anxiety, students feel more confident and will perform better in school.

Tutoring can help students who feel overwhelmed. By reducing stress and anxiety, students feel more confident and will perform better in school.

Before taking a test, it is common for students to feel stressed. To help students deal with stress, parents often seek the help of private tutors. Private tutoring has been shown to help many students overcome feelings of panic and extreme anxiety often associated with test prep and test taking. Students who are tutored privately are able to walk into the classroom feeling more confident and relaxed and they will also generally perform better on exams.

Getting Optimal Results

Private tutoring is typically spread across several sessions. A private tutor needs to start off by finding out how much the student knows and what areas are causing the student the most trouble. This information will allow the private tutor to structure the lessons and sessions in a manner that will help ensure optimal results.

Before starting a session, the tutor also needs to ask the student about different aspects of the subject material. The tutor encourages the student to do more than simply try and memorize the topic that is being taught. The student is encouraged to understand and apply the knowledge that they have gained. Understanding and applying the knowledge gained will help the student do well in their essay exams.

Use of Practical Tests

To help the student reduce or even eliminate stress and anxiety, the private tutor must make use of practical tests. These tests help the tutor get a feel of how the student is going to perform when the examination day arrives. The tutor must also be ready to use strong measures such as simulating real tests. They may also time the student. Timing the student helps to ensure that student learns to not take up more time than is allowed to complete the test. These simulated situations help to make the students feel more relaxed. The more the student practices, the more likely it is that he will do well o his tests. Private tutors must work on the premise that it is possible to make the student learn as well as remember information.

Understanding Poor Performance

Stress can make students perform poorly on tests or homework assignments. Stress does not have anything to do with understanding or knowing the subject. The anxiety that a student faces before a test is often more about meeting teacher and parent expectations. Students worry too much about disappointing their parents and teachers. This makes them worry more about test grades rather than on the test itself.

Stress can cause blackouts and it also makes the student forget all that they have learned. Simulated tests can help the student break free of the stress they are feeling. Private tutoring provides an environment that is safe and conducive to studying and learning. Private tutoring will help the student deal with their stress while preparing for an important test.

Private tutoring also ensures that the student is not put under extra pressure. In fact, private tutoring offers practical and suitable recommendations to aid the student. These recommendations will make it easier for the student to review the subject material. The best part is that private tutoring makes the student feel more relaxed and confident about passing their exam.

Tutoring and College Admissions Planning for Students with Learning or Other Disabilities

One-on-one tutoring can help students with disabilities get into college.

One-on-one tutoring can help students with learning or other disabilities get into college.

Planning for admissions by students with disabilities needs to be completed in two phases:

a)    Choose colleges to apply to by reviewing how they provide support to students with disabilities.

b)   Ensure the paperwork necessary for disability accommodation for students with disabilities is completed and the necessary permissions are obtained.

Typically, colleges accommodate student disabilities as much as possible. Tests such as the SAT and ACT (GED is due for a revision in 2014 when it too will be considered a college preparedness test) accommodate disabilities by extending additional time and allowing special services. Common disabilities include:

a)    a learning disability

b)   attention deficit/ hyperactivity  disorder

c)    visual or hearing impairment or other physical disorders

d)   certain psychological disorders such as mood anxiety disorder or some other persistent illness

College-Related Issues

When considering going to college, students with disabilities and their parents may consider the disabilities a handicap. However, that is not necessarily the case. In their drive for enriching campus life, many colleges look to include people with various challenges, including those with disabilities. Allowances in qualifying grades and scores on college preparedness tests may be made. Thus, it is to your advantage to acknowledge disabilities during the application process rather than hide them. Students can offer this kind of information in the “additional information” section and even discuss the effect of these disabilities on their grades and competitive exam scores.

The support system available at your target institution should be evaluated. It is important that they have a coordinator to look after the needs of students with disabilities. More importantly, you need to consider their retention and graduation rates.

Documentation Needed and Accommodations by the Testing Services

The SAT, ACT and GRE and all such testing services provide accommodations to students whose disabilities are properly documented. The disability must be proven to exist and be documented by authorized personnel. The accommodations take various forms. For example, you can get extra time up to 50% and 100% more than the time given to average test takers. Providing an isolated or less crowded room for an AD/HD challenged student is possible. A reader or a scribe may be permitted depending on the disability. Question papers in regular font size and larger ones are available. In case of a computer-based testing, the display can be adjusted to allow for larger fonts for those who need them. The ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act provides access to testing centers for wheelchair-bound students.

The testing authorities of SAT or ACT will issue a letter authorizing the accommodation. They ensure for every individual case that the accommodation did not provide any undue advantage to the students with disability compared to regular students. They also make sure accommodations do not alter the tests in any way. Testing under altered conditions must measure the same capabilities the test is supposed to measure for typical candidates.

Preparing for the test is important. Students must follow the actual conditions. For example, students who need a scribe or a reader should work with one during the preparation phase. Tutors at Educational Tutorial Services can help students with disabilities prepare for tests. Learn more about our private test prep tutoring here, and call his to schedule an appointment with a qualified tutor.

Preparing for the GED the Right Way

Passing the GED exam requires strong study skills and preparation.

Everyone deserves a second chance. That is why the General Educational Development (GED) test exists, the only high school equivalency exam recognized in all 50 states and Canada. The GED is actually five tests, measuring knowledge in social studies, science, mathematics, reading and writing. All of the tests are multiple choice, except the writing test, which requires an essay.

Because the total exam takes over seven hours, test takers may approach the GED with some anxiety. However, just a few simple study tips can have you ready for the GED in no time at all.

Become Familiar With the Exam

Because there are seven sections, make sure your studying covers all of the areas. Look over not only what the test covers, but how the exam is structured. Becoming familiar with the exam will help reduce test anxiety and boost your confidence before you sit down to take the real thing.

Review Different Prep Books

Your local library or bookstore should have several different GED prep books. Try looking through a few of them to see which ones may prove helpful to you. Not every book will be useful for every individual, but one or two should provide a fair amount of information that can help you prepare.

Find a GED Prep Class

The web is a great resource for finding a GED prep class in your area. Some GED prep classes can even be taken online, allowing you to work from the convenience of your home and at your own pace. Instructors who are familiar with the GED exam can help you strengthen the areas where you require more study, which will increase the chance of you passing on the first try.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Exam More than Once

You know the old saying: “If at first you don’t succeed…” Hopefully, you’ve prepared enough to pass the first time. If, however, you need to take the GED exam more than once, don’t let it get you down. Consider the first try to be practice, and concentrate on the areas where you did not do as well as expected. Nothing in life ever comes easy, why should the GED be any different?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

There are lots of practice versions of the GED exam available. Work through the practice questions without timing yourself, just to get comfortable with the format and material. Then try a few timed runs to see if you are ready. Practice does make perfect, and the better prepared you are, the more confident you will be at exam time.

Relax

Make sure you build some free time into your study schedule. Take a break, allow your mind to relax and come back to your studying when you are refreshed. Get a good night’s sleep before the exam and have confidence in your ability to pass. If you’ve studied and feel that you are ready, chances are that you will do well.

Ways Students with Learning Disabilities Can Improve SAT Test Scores

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Studying can be quite a challenging task for all students because of reasons like lack of interest and short attention span. Studying is even more difficult when you combine the two reasons above with learning disabilities. Here are some tips on how students with learning disabilities can study better and hence, score good grades on big exams like the SAT.

Identify the Problem

The first thing to do is to pinpoint what the problem is. For example, the problem could be an extremely short attention span. If you know what the problem is, you can find the right approach to deal with it. If you spend most of your days studying but you are not getting the results you want, it could mean that you do not have the right study skills. Pay attention to yourself and find out what your problem is.

Organize Content You Need to Study

For exams such as the SAT, it is usually very taxing content-wise. There are a lot of materials and topics to study for. This can get very confusing and discouraging for a student with learning disabilities. The solution to this problem is to be very organized. List all the subjects and topics that are required for the SAT, and check them off one by one as you move along on your revision route. This way, you will feel like there is less clutter and things are more systematic.

Listen up!

Teachers are the experienced exam-takers. They are a great source for clues and tips for your big exam. More often than not, teachers may drop hints about important information on what to focus on and what to spend less time studying for. Try to pick out verbal cues from your teachers. Clues can be words such as “write this down” or “listen up”. When you hear your teachers say these verbal cues, be sure to write it down, mark it or flag the pages so that you know what you should be studying.

Don’t Forget the “Cheat Sheets”

Yes, there are cheat sheets available. They are located at the end of every chapter in your textbooks. These cheat sheets are called “chapter review”. Textbooks these days offer these review pages with questions you can answer. If you have trouble with chunks of texts in your textbooks, the important parts of the chapter will be highlighted in this review portion. Be sure to take note of what is mentioned in the review pages, and then go back to the chapter and read up on it again, this time, paying more attention to the new information you have just learned. The questions in the review sections are also helpful – they can help you see how much you have understood from reading the chapter as well as summarizes the entire chapter.

Understanding the GRE

Preparing for the GRE begins with understanding the structure of the test itself.

Preparing for the GRE begins with understanding the structure of the test itself.

Congratulations on making it so far along on your education journey! This is one of the last tests you will need to take. The GRE is much more intensive than the other tests you have taken so far. At this level, the GRE is more challenging compared to previous tests you have taken such as the ACT or the SAT. It tests your ability to think critically, as well as your ability to explain yourself, therefore it is crucial that you understand which areas you will be required to know.

3 Areas You Will Be Tested On

Verbal Reasoning

This section requires you to identify complex relationships between words and concepts. It tests your ability to read and understand the passages given as well as your understanding of the different components of a sentence. This portion of the test is asking you to tear the passage apart, and then put it back together in your own words based on your understanding, in order to provide a correct answer.

Quantitative Reasoning

This section of the GRE requires you to understand the concepts behind algebra, geometry and data analysis. Since these components are knowledge that you should have beforehand, you can polish up your skills by practicing some questions. Once you understand how it works and how to derive at a certain answer, you will never forget it. More often than not, you just have to apply the same set of formulas to different questions and you will get the answer.

Analytical Writing

As the heading suggests, this portion of the GRE test requires you to explain yourself and more importantly, to support your ideas with facts, evidence, reasons and examples to illustrate your point. Grammar is an important part of this section. Your writing should be well thought out and well organized. There will be two essays to be written – an issue essay and an argument essay.

Grading Scheme

There is also a grading scheme available, this grading scheme shows the score that a student can achieve, which is from 0 to 6. The average score is about 4. It would be beneficial for you to read through the descriptions for the scores. This way, you will be able to know what the trained graders are looking at. You will have 1 hour to complete 2 essays, which works out to 30 minutes per essay.

A private tutor can help you prepare for all testing aspects of the GRE. Contact us today to learn more about our test prep tutoring services.