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Most tutors & instructors don't know what they are doing and there are many WRONG WAYS to teach


The unfortunate reality is that most of the tutoring and test prep out there is so awful, you are actually better off buying a book and doing self-study and saving your money, or doing the free Khan Academy online. Really? Yes.


A) Inexperienced tutors / instructors who can not teach

confusing explanations, WRONG & INCORRECT solutions and explanations



It is IMPOSSIBLE for any person, no matter how smart or brilliant ( even someone scoring 2400 or 36 in one try without studying), to have the time to prepare and review what is required to properly teach the SAT or ACT just by working part-time 5 – 10  hours a week.



It is IMPOSSIBLE for any person, no matter how smart or brilliant, to teach a test THEY THEMSELVES NEVER TOOK




E)  Random tutors or tutors who quit

You thought you were getting one tutor, but you ended up with another tutor. Classic bait and switch. Secondly, when there are multiple tutors working with the same student, it becomes a disorganized mess where the next tutor has no idea what has already been done and what still needs to be done.

Part-time seasonal tutors are just that: They work during Summer Break or Winter Break. They quit when they want, or go on vacation, or go off to college or graduate school. Your kid still has several weeks to go, but suddenly your tutor is gone.


F) No Teaching? Yes – That happens


- “Tutors” just read off answers ( A B C D E ) from the answer key and read from the instructor’s manual. \


-  Self-study: you read explanations and solutions in their handouts which are ACTUALLY OFTEN INCORRECT explanations. It still amazes me that parents are willing to pay for tutoring to have their kids are studying on their own. That’s the easiest tutoring job in the world – they don’t have to teach anything!


- Class time is only spent on self-study or taking test after test, again more wasted time that you could have done on your own.


- Instructor is little more than a room monitor


G) Wasted lesson time that you paid for


Other tutors and test prep companies waste valuable lesson time by going over material you already know, reading over questions and thinking of explanations before teaching the students ( because they haven’t seen those questions before ), talking very slowly, taking breaks, starting lessons late and ending early, and having you sit there taking a test while the tutor looks at his or her phone.


Because it’s impossible to predict how quickly or slowly a class will move, every tutoring company pads leftover time with filler busy-work where no teaching happens.


Worse yet, if there are rotating tutors, the new tutor doesn’t know what you have already gone over, so time is wasted figuring that out, and more time wasted repeating what was already done.


Suddenly that cheap tutoring wasn’t so cheap anymore. And that expensive tutoring just got a lot more expensive.





“Test-taking strategies” "Proven methods" that are WRONG don't work and actually TAKE DOWN scores


- Wrong information about SAT & ACT question types and concepts tested  
- Wrong way to read passages  
- Wrong way to answer English Grammar questions


Many SAT & ACT courses just don’t know what they are talking about.


“Don’t waste time reading the passages. Skim and only read the parts they ask about.”


“For English Grammar questions, choose the answer that sounds right”


“For the essay, always write five paragraphs, and start with a “hook” or “catch”


“The Earth is flat.”


This is the best strategy I have ever heard “Listen for what SOUNDS WRONG... don’t worry about why it’s wrong”

That’s some great advice.



Fake / simulated SAT or ACT exams


Fake tests may look the similar but test different concepts and have a different thinking and logic.

The real SAT and ACT questions test students with a very specific thinking, logic, and problem-solving ability.



The fake tests cover different material, are a different level of difficulty, OFTEN HAVE ERRORS ( even real tests which are proofread & reviewed on several levels have errors ), and DO NOT HAVE ACCURATE SCORING because they have NOT BEEN TAKEN BY THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS for a scoring curve


The following are actual fake tests









Reviewing Irrelevant & Unnecessary Material


A waste of time reviewing stuff NOT TESTED ON THE SAT OR ACT.


You might as well review some Calculus AB and US History while you are at it



Reviewing only part of what tested on the SAT or ACT


Unless you have taken, analyzed and reviewed more than 10 actual SATs or ACTs, there is no way to know the scope and range of tested material


60% - 70% coverage of what is tested.



Reviewing material based on a computerized diagnostic


If those computerized diagnostics were right, then just reviewing those topics would make the score go up, right?


Getting the wrong answer isn’t just because a student doesn’t know that concept. It goes to a deeper level: critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Ever wonder why your kid has good grades and yet bad test scores?



Useless computerized diagnostic


Useless computerized diagnostic


Useless computerized diagnostic


100 Hour courses: Quantity is more important than Quality it seems


So you think just having your kid take 10 practice tests will increase their score? How about 20 practice tests? If it was that simple and that worked, you could just buy a book of practice tests.  The fact is taking test after test without going through the questions is useless. First, you actually need to go through ALL the questions on the test, not just the ones missed. Secondly, research has shown a person can only meaningfully learn about 2 to 4 new complex concepts a day, which means that any additional material being forced into a person’s head simply won’t stay there.


50 to 80 hour courses just taking test after test ( each test is 4 hours long ) without learning anything. (You can do that for FREE, instead of paying those places $1000). Merely taking tests without going through them is useless.


10 hours of bad / wrong tutoring can’t equal 1 hour of good tutoring.


Splitting classes up by topic, with separate tutors & instructors


Many places will have separate Read, Writing, Math, and Essay classes, and a different instructor for each.

Don’t believe it’s because they have a Reading expert, Math Expert, or whatever expert.

This is actually so no one instructor knows the entire course and steals clients.

Also, as a part-time instructor, it’s easier just to “teach” a small portion of the material and go back to your regular life.


What really happens is you end up with a chaotic, disorganized, incoherent  course, where students have to sit through material they already know.

This created a problem my students never deal with: Do I need 3 math lessons, 2 English lessons, 1 Essay or 2 Math, 3 English, 2 Reading?


The one-size fits all LARGE CLASS where students have to sit for hours each day and listen to stuff they already know.


 Group Tutoring ( 2 to 5 students )  a logistical disorganized mess designed to rake in profits


It's impossible to properly teach anything when you have 2 - 5 kids all working on different tests, at different parts of the course. This is even WORSE than a class because at least in a class everyone is doing with same stuff and going through the same questions


Outrageous, unconscionable prices


$250 per hour? Yes, that’s how much Kaplan and Princeton Review you to charge parents when I tutored for them.


No one likes to see their money wasted. When you go to those other tutoring centers, your money pays for the nice looking office, new tables and chairs, the copy machine and microwave and mini refrigerator, the front office staff who look at social media and shopping sites all day, and other expenses. Not here. Everything goes straight into the tutoring.

Can you believe what other places charge?


$1000 per hour?  $1500 per hour?



(C) Solutions SAT ACT Tutoring   www.solutionsbayarea.com  info@solutionsbayarea.com