Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Test Prep Course or Private Coach: Which is Right for You?

Test Prep Course or Private Coach:  Which is Right for You?

Let’s say you have decided to spend some money preparing for a college entrance exam.  Depending on where you live, you may have a variety of options including an online course, a classroom course or a private test prep coach. Here are a few questions to help sort out which is best for you:

  1. What is you anxiety level? If it is high a private coach is by far your best option. If you get upset to the point of tears every time you try to practice for the test, or if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, having a hand to hold (even figuratively) can make all the difference. A good coach can give you perspective, teach you some calming exercises and give you the confidence that comes from knowing the material.
  2. Have you taken the test before? (or at least a practice test?)  Was your score kind of close to the one you’d like to have? If so, a generic course may be just fine for you. If you have enough self-discipline to follow through on the assignments you could even take the course online. Taking a course with your friends can be beneficial for everyone.
  3. When you took the test (or a practice test) before, were the scores on all of the sections roughly even? If one score was much higher or lower than the other two, a private coach may be a better idea. In a course, you may find yourself sitting through sections that you already know in order to get to the part you need. A private coach can by-pass all of that and get right down to the section you need help with the most.
  4. Was your score on one or more sections dragged down by just one topic? As you took the test, did you find yourself thinking – “Dang if I only remembered this one thing, I could answer 3 more questions!” If so, a tutor may be just what you need. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars and spending hours of time waiting for the answer to one or two questions, spend an hour (or two, or three) with a coach. Sometimes a quick review of one or two topics can make all the difference!

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