Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a GMAT Tutor

Posted on May 14, 2014 | Filed in GMAT

Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a GMAT Tutor

What to ask a potential GMAT tutor?

If you are preparing for the GMAT, you’re probably considering some form of test preparation to help you study. Once you begin looking for all the options available, it can be daunting. There are official guides that present problems you can work through on your own. What’s more, there are free GMAT practice exercises online.

If you want, you can combine a type of self-study with one-on-one tutoring. In the event you decide to use a tutor, we at Manhattan Review would like to give you a run-down of questions you may want to ask the tutor you are considering to find out if he/she is the right one for you.

So you’ve narrowed it down to two potential tutors. Here are a few essential questions you’ll want to ask before you make a final decision.

  1. Do you assign reading homework and practice problems?

    We all know that every student learns differently. But when it comes down to it, doesn’t practice make perfect? You bet it does. A good tutor will know the importance of regular homework assignments not just to keep track of the student’s progress but also to keep the student on track. Thus, we have found that a structured regimen involving reading assignments and practice problems on a regular basis will guarantee that you are understanding and completing those GMAT questions effectively.

  2. What is your teaching style?

    How can you tell a seasoned veteran from a brand new tutor? Ask! Even if the test prep company they work for is reputable, it doesn’t hurt to inquire as to how long your tutor has been teaching. The more experience they have, the more scenarios they will have encountered, and the better they will be able to adapt to your needs.If you have exceptional needs (such as English as a second language or a significant deficiency in high school algebra), ensure that your tutor has previously worked with those specific needs.

  3. How familiar are you with the GMAT test traps?

    A surprising percentage of students score poorly on the GMAT’s verbal section. Their rationale is that they are native English speakers so they’d like to just ‘use my ear’. However, tricks and traps are set up particularly for those who think this way. So when you hire a tutor, be sure to find one who can answer your questions and alert you to the traps inherent in the verbal section of the exam.

  4. Can you easily adapt to whatever my needs are?

    When it comes to GMAT test prep, at Manhattan Review, we know that one size does not fit all. The very fact that you are considering individual tutoring sessions as opposed to a group classroom setting should give you a clue. A good tutor should be able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and then prepare the right kind of individual curriculum.In addition, it’s crucial that your tutor be able to adapt because there will be times your strengths and weaknesses may change during the tutoring course and your guide should be quickly able to respond effectively to any and all changes that occur during the tutoring process.

  5. What is their personality like?

    Not really a question, but a feeling you’ll get by talking to a potential tutor. You want to be sure he/she is not intimidating and off-putting, but rather understanding of your needs and concerned with your progress.You should feel comfortable speaking with the tutor and not embarrassed to ask what you might consider ‘silly’ questions. You shouldn’t be afraid or intimidated by the person you’re going to learn from. This is so important in the learning process –- if you are not completely at ease with the tutor’s personality or character traits (as many as you can encounter in one conversation), then you can bet you won’t get the assistance and learning experience you deserve.

Lastly, it’s important to note that in order to maximize time and money (as tutoring can be pricey, but certainly worth it) you must spend ample time in between tutoring sessions to practice sets and drills. The tutor of your choice should be able to quickly recognize your weaknesses and create a strategy that addresses those weaknesses with practice tests, effective study skills, and last, but not least, ultimately boost your confidence level so you can raise your score without worry or distraction. Good luck!

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