How to Get the Right Help for Your Child’s SAT: 5 Crucial Considerations

childs sat

Formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT has a great impact on your child’s future. A few hundred points on this test may just be what he needs to gain admission to the college of his dreams. It can even boost his chances of landing a full scholarship.

Because of this, your child might be under a lot of pressure to do well in the exams and needs all the help he can get. This is where SAT tutors in Dubai come in.

There are a lot of tutors out there who can help your child build strategies around taking the test, get familiar with the format, and understand concepts. The thing is, not all of them may understand your child’s temperament.

When this happens, you may need help sifting through the available options. To give you a head start, this article lists down five crucial considerations you need to think about to pick the right tutor for your child:

SAT Course vs. SAT Tutor: Key Differences

The SAT covers many subjects that not all students might be good at. It is likely that there are areas your child will be weaker. Be it critical thinking, math, or any other subject; you must ensure that he gets help where he needs it most.

This is the reason you need to know how SAT prep courses and tutors differ.

For SAT prep courses, you can expect:

  • Regular classes: Your child would need to attend periodic sessions, which often occur weekly with several other students. Every class can last between one hour to several hours.
  • Practice tests: Questions are assigned to students weekly and reviewed the next time the class meets.
  • Classes are completed within several months: This is usually scheduled to end close to the date of the SAT, although that may vary depending on the class your child is in.

Meanwhile, SAT tutors have one-on-one sessions with each student. This is also often done on a weekly basis and comes with a practice test.

The key difference here is that your child can get feedback from practice questions during the same session. Monitoring is also for each individual and can be done daily. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to extend or shorten the tutoring, depending on your child’s needs and schedule.

The Right Approach: A Pedagogy to Follow

The pedagogy – or the teaching method or approach – will also affect the effectiveness of SAT tutoring. During your search, make sure that you ask what pedagogy a tutor or course will employ for your child.

Some stick to their role as teachers and focus more on the facts, while others make it a point to connect with their students on a deeper level to nurture them.

Many SAT classes in Dubai use the learning-by-practice approach. Much like studying music by playing songs rather than by chords and scales, this type of test preparation curriculum revolves around letting students answer practice problems.

But this may not always work. Every student is unique. Some may do well with certain pedagogies than others. To ensure your child gets all the help he can get, pick an SAT class or tutor that uses practice tests mainly to determine students’ raw aptitude.

Teaching Process Over Hard Numbers

When talking to potential tutors, make sure that you ask how they plan to improve your child’s score on a particular subject he may be weak in. This can be done after a mock test to assess your child’s raw aptitude level (without the tutoring).

Remember that score increases will depend on several factors, including the student’s effort, test performance, and personality, as well as your attitude as parents.

So, if a tutor promises you hard numbers, consider it a red flag. They will likely use the same methods to teach all their students, regardless of their aptitude levels. When that is the case, there is a bigger chance that your child won’t get the kind of help he truly needs to improve his SAT scores.

Instead, look for tutors who diversify their teaching methods and explain the process of increasing scores based on their previous students rather than focusing on numbers. 

SAT Teaching Tools: Stick to the Official Materials

Since the boom of the test prep industry, there has been an endless supply of materials that can be used to prepare for the SAT. Sometimes, the number of options can confuse students, so you have to choose someone who will stick to the education-governing bodies’ official study materials.

Expertise in the Material

Sometimes, tutors who are effective in certain areas cannot offer the same SAT tutoring level. Similarly, those who know the tricks don’t automatically make them experts that can explain the techniques well.

To understand this factor better, you’ll have to look for several traits in a tutor, namely:

Efficient use of tutoring time

Excellent tutors constantly assess student weaknesses and adjust classes to ensure the biggest point gains. This will help your child learn more in just a short amount of time.

Customized tutoring to address every student’s weaknesses

Although time is essential, rushing the tutorial process may not be effective.

Bad tutors will explain a process or concept straightforwardly and ask questions like, “Does that make sense?” or “Understood?”

Pressured to give an affirmative answer, the student will say “yes” even though he didn’t really get the lesson.

Instead, a good tutor should examine how a student thinks about a particular problem every step of the way. They shouldn’t make any assumptions either, particularly in the student’s way of thinking.

Comprehensive test guidance

Besides giving clarifications during sessions, effective tutors also provide comprehensive test guidance. This means they can help your child stay motivated in his studies and show him the most effective way to use study time.

The Best Tutor is the Right One

The adjective “best” describes the positive superlative for just about anything. But when it comes to SAT help, the best one doesn’t necessarily come from the “best tutors.” Instead, you can expect it from someone who fits your child’s needs well.

Choose the right tutor using the considerations listed here to boost your child’s chances of getting good SAT scores.


Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building a solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.

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