Test Prep Options: What's Best For Your Teen (page 2)

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Updated on Nov 26, 2012

Private Tutors

  • Hiring a tutor is the most expensive way to get ready for a college entrance exam. Tutors offer individual attention and are usually good at what they do, Straka says, adding that successful, experienced tutors often work on their own for individual clients.
  • Your child will be the only one at each session, so a tutor can tailor each lesson for the areas where he needs the most help. Private tutors also offer extra accountability, since students can't hide if they didn't do their test-prep homework. 
  • This one-on-one attention might be just the edge your student needs to be in the running for an acceptance letter from that big-name university or a top scholarship. And Seeley notes that if your child earns a high score and a bigger financial aid offer after you hire a tutor for him, the tutor has paid off many times over.

Students generally understand how important it is to do as well as they can on the SAT and ACT, McClintick says, and they often know themselves well enough to know how they'll best be able to prepare for the tests. If you decide to sign up for a course or hire a tutor, can help you find one that's right for you.

But it's also important for teens to remember that a test score is just one piece of a college application. Getting a less-than-ideal score doesn't spell doom. "Scores aren't everything," Straka says. "There's so many good schools that you're going to get in somewhere."

To search for test prep courses in your area, check out our interactive resource center here.

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