Feb 07, 2017
SAT season is officially upon us, and now is the time for tutors to start preparing.
Queue the nervous students, hysterical parents, and a flood of requests for SAT tutors — test season has rolled in. While tension is high for this important exam every year, this one could be different. The SAT test historically comes twice a year for American students, once at the end of the winter semester and once at the end of the spring semester. This year, however, The Atlantic reports that for the first time since the mid ’70s, students will have the option to take the test in the summer. This means test prep could take a whole new turn in 2017.
As tutors know, preparation for the SATs happen well in advance. Students often start studying at least 6–12 weeks prior to test day. This early prep often happens due to the typical student’s jam-packed schedules — while juggling their school and extracurricular schedules, there is often only enough time for a single SAT prep session per week. Read on for the things that tutors should know about the 2017 test to make sure sessions are optimized and students are prepared.
As a result of the new summer date, this year’s SAT test prep will look different for two major reasons:
Instead of forcing prep sessions into the busy school months, students taking the summer test can study during the quieter season and test prep can, therefore, take place over a shorter timeframe. According to a Clark tutor, students willing to dedicate 3 days a week to tutoring can be ready for the test in as little as 4 weeks now. Take advantage of the slower summer days by scheduling more tutoring sessions with your clients.
Students taking the spring test can use it as practice and focus on August as their final test date. By taking the test in the spring, students can get an idea of their baseline performance and subsequently use summer tutoring sessions to focus on weaknesses identified through initial results.
All in all, the new summer date brings plenty of work for the established testing tutor who already knows their way around the test. If you’re new to tutoring and are thinking bout getting in on the SAT prep market, there are some important things you should know about the test before getting started.
What are the important dates to know for the 2017 SAT season?
There will be three testing sessions for the spring of 2017. According to collegereadiness.org, exam dates will fall on March 11, May 6, and June 3. There will be a single summer test date on August 26th.
Registration deadlines for these tests are February 10, April 7, and May 9, respectively. Late registration is possible, although a fee does apply. For those considering late registration, the respective deadlines are February 21 (February 28 online or by phone), April 18 (April 25 online or by phone), and May 16 (May 24 online or by phone).
Students who miss the late registration deadline still have the possibility of taking the test, but they’ll be placed on a waiting list and test admissions are not guaranteed.
Scores for the respective tests will be published by April 13, June 8, and July 12.
How can you excel as an SAT tutor?
There is a substantial market for SAT tutors, and competition is high. There are a few things you can do to make yourself stand out from the rest.
While parents and students certainly consider the price and efficiency of a tutoring program in their decision, the primary factor they’re looking for is convenience. Parents are busy with work and students’ days are largely occupied with classes, so convenience rules the day. Be flexible with your schedule and offerings. If you’re willing to travel to the student’s location, you’re likely to find a lot more work. Also, consider the option of tutoring through an online platform, which will make scheduling more convenient both for you and your student. Convenience also means taking into consideration the location of summer camp or vacations. Being available to tutor remotely via virtual methods while clients aren’t in town will make you very competitive.
The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is a great resource for students preparing for the SAT. If a student is able to take the PSAT, your tutoring sessions may be much more fruitful. You’ll be able to see where your student’s strengths and weaknesses lie right off the bat. Consider that, for students are planning on taking the summer test, the spring exam can now serve the same purposes as the PSAT. In general, pre-tests are important tools to familiarize students with the format and timing of the SAT.
The best use of your student’s tutoring time won’t be monitoring studying, but going over practice problems. Sample exercises and tests, like the PSAT, help your student to become comfortable with the test format and give them confidence in their abilities as well. Showing students where they make mistakes within those practice tests is the best way for them to identify patterns and correct behaviors.
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