SAT & ACT Tutoring is Not Sliced Chicken
We Want it Now. Instant gratification is so typical a part of our lives that we become easily jaded: we select a movie to watch online, and it's playing in ten seconds; we take a picture of a check with our phones, and the money posts to our accounts within the hour; we go to the butcher and order a quarter pound of chicken breast, sliced thinly and wrapped up, and before we think of what we're going to prepare for dinner, it's in our hands. We expect that what we want will be available to us within minimal time and with minimal effort.
But before you pursue tutoring, know this: tutoring is not sliced chicken.
Learning Means Time. For all students––even the most gifted and motivated––learning is fueled by three ingredients: strategy, effort, and most importantly, time. Time is what bears the fruits of strategy and effort. It's the key element that allows us to acquire information, allows for strategy to make sense, and allows for practice to solidify concepts. Time is the thing that allows all other facets of tutoring to work as they should.
To Thine Own Self Be True: Create an Honest, Logical Timeline for SAT or ACT Prep. Too often, we receive calls from prospective parents and students who are under the impression that there exists an instant gratification mode of tutoring. Mostly, they want one or two or three sessions during the week leading up to the SAT or ACT, or request sessions every other week for six weeks leading up to the test. While we appreciate the business these phone calls bring, it would be disingenuous for us to claim that short-term or infrequent tutoring would have positive effects on students' scores. The bold truth for those who casually seek a few "brush-up" sessions before a test: you're not using your time and money effectively. Knowledge and ability cannot be acquired quickly, as can movies or check payments or food; they take time to build. A solution: don't take tutoring for what it's not––sliced chicken––and instead respect it for what it is: a process that takes time. Make a concerted effort to prepare for the SAT or ACT strategically over an extended period (three hours per week for three months ahead of the test is a good estimate), and give yourself a true shot at improving your abilities and scores. If you are registered for a test and haven't prepared sufficiently, do your best this time around, learn from your experience, and prep for success before the next exam!