Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

There are many options when it comes to preparing for standardized tests. You can study on your own or in a group, or take a class. Another option is to meet with a personal tutor. Personal tutors can help guide your studies and go over concepts that you don’t understand to help maximize your score. You can find a tutor through your high school guidance counselor to find one in your area that other students have worked with. These are some of the benefits and the drawbacks of getting a personal test prep tutor:


1. One-on-one, highly targeted help.

One of the biggest benefits of getting your own standardized test prep tutor is the individual attention and help that you will be able to get. This is especially useful if there’s only one of two sections of a test that you need help on and would like to focus only on those while studying. As opposed to a class, where there is likely a set of curriculum covering all the different sections on the test, you and your tutor can focus solely on the sections you have the most trouble with.

2. More flexible scheduling.

By junior and senior year of high school you’re probably balancing school, extracurriculars, volunteer time/work, time with friends and family and just time to relax and unwind between college tours and apps. The last thing you need is to add another obligation to that list. With a personal tutor, it is much easier to schedule time to study for standardized tests in a way that makes sense for your schedule. You will most likely be able to schedule each appointment with a tutor individually and can plan around all the other fun things going on to make sure that you’re prepared but not missing valuable experiences to prep for a test.

3. Doesn’t feel too much like another class.

This is similar to the last benefit but chances are, if you are meeting with a personal tutor, it will feel less like just another class you have to attend. You will probably have to do work on your own outside of tutoring in order to fully prepare for the exam but the test prep sessions with your tutor will feel more like a conversation than just a lecture to help keep you engaged.


1. More expensive than other types of test prep.

In most cases, the cost is the biggest drawback of personal tutoring. However, it is still worth it to look getting a tutor while you are looking into other test prep options to fully compare the costs. For example, I found that to take the standardized test prep course in my high school, it would’ve taken longer and cost even more than fewer sessions with a private that were tailored to what I needed to go over. In this case, going with the private tutor made more sense and I ended up saving money in the end.

2. Could cause more stress and pressure on top of a full workload.

Another drawback of a personal tutor is that it is another obligation during an already hectic time in most student’s high school careers. This, on top of classes, driver’s ed, work and time with loved ones can cause more stress on the student. However, tutors know this and can help you create a plan for studying that works for you so that preparing isn’t so overwhelming.

3. May not be the most effective way for you to learn.

Another possible drawback is that one-on-one tutoring just isn’t the best way for you to learn. This is totally fine! The most important thing is to find a way to study for standardized tests that works for you and there are plenty of other options out there to help you get your best score.

One-on-one tutoring is just one of the many options available to you to prepare for standardized exams. Weigh the pros and cons of every option and go for the one that feels like the best fit for you. Happy studying!

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