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Considering Private tutoring

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Considering Private tutoring [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 15:29
Hello, I have been studying for the gmat for more then one year (on and off) and havent seen an improvement in my score.
I have taken the mgmat online course which I found very usefull but it hasnt paid off (socre wise). I am in central stantdard time and I am considering private tutoring.
Can any one let me know if they would reccomend ir? I feel I need specific help on certain topics and thats why private tutoring came into mind. I have seen the prices of MGMAT, although they would be a prefered choice they seem a bit expensive, has anyone tried them out? I would have to have the PT online. Please PM me if you have any reccomendations on tutors..
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oloman
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Re: Considering Private tutoring [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2014, 11:50
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Oloman,

There are private tutors spread out in any city - you'll typically have to search around for awhile before finding them -- but even when you do, you don't have too much to go by. Are they reputable? Have their prior students done well? I'm sure they scored well - but can they teach well in an effective manner?

We at GMAT Pill offer a "private tutoring experience" -- that is, everybody learns from me. I'm just one-person and I talk a lot in my videos so as to drill some thinking into your head when you listen.

It seems you tried the mgmat online course - what are your thoughts on their in-person course?

I might be biased since I'm representing my tutoring service GMAT Pill - but have you thought about what teaching style works for you? The 1-on-1 private tutoring experience is unique to GMAT Pill - we're unlike any other prep course out there that has a set of rotating teachers for various topics. Zeke Lee is the only teacher and the videos simulate the experience of a private tutoring sitting right next to you going through the question with you. I think that's an important point worth investigating and I say this because of your background - you've taken an online course and spent a lot of money already. Private tutoring is expensive and not necessarily effective. Some private tutors may offer skype - but this process is largely unproven and experience varies.

So for these reasons, I'm inviting you to learn more about GMAT Pill and see if this is the unique solution you're looking for. You can try out the sample videos on the home page of GMATPill.com to see if they work for you. If you dive into the RC sample video section, you'll see a list of RC passage sample videos to view through as well.
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Re: Considering Private tutoring [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2014, 21:06
Expert's post
oloman wrote:
Hello, I have been studying for the gmat for more then one year (on and off) and havent seen an improvement in my score.
I have taken the mgmat online course which I found very usefull but it hasnt paid off (socre wise). I am in central stantdard time and I am considering private tutoring.
Can any one let me know if they would reccomend ir? I feel I need specific help on certain topics and thats why private tutoring came into mind. I have seen the prices of MGMAT, although they would be a prefered choice they seem a bit expensive, has anyone tried them out? I would have to have the PT online. Please PM me if you have any reccomendations on tutors..
regards
oloman


A few hours of private tutoring can make a world of difference if you are prepared to work for it. A private tutor would have taken GMAT himself/herself and would have scored a 99%ile. He/she would certainly be very comfortable with the subject matter and would have taught hundreds if not thousands of students. Also, we hire people who have a flair for teaching and are capable of explaining tricky concepts easily. So you have the whole package on offer - you need to make the best of it. Would you ask your tutor to explain you how to solve quadratics or would you pick up your high school book and review it on your own? If you do pick up the book, would you do it before you go to meet him or afterwards?

Say you plan on taking a 2 hour Algebra session - You can ask your tutor to explain quadratics, identities, exponents, inequalities, functions and mods. Or you can work on quadratics, identities, exponents on your own beforehand because they are pretty straightforward and available in every book and instead use the two hours to review tricky inequalities, mods and any other algebra questions you might have found hard. A private tutor will work according to your need and can only suggest you the best way forward. If you do not work on the basics of algebra before meeting him for an algebra class, he will not be able to move forward because you will not understand anything. So he will be forced to take the basics first with you which will leave little time for more advanced concepts.

Also your presence of mind will be essential. Has it happened with you that someone keeps repeating something in front of you and you keep nodding but don't really understand. Then one fine day someone else says the same thing and all the pieces fall into place? It's up to you to be mentally alert and not nod your head till the pieces do fall into place. On very few fortunate occasions do we come across students who drain us out of every ounce of mental energy in 2 hrs and who get 10 times the worth of every dollar they spend. At the end of such sessions we feel elated, pat our own backs and go back home feeling that we learnt something too today. If you show your tutor the zeal to learn, he will go out of his way to teach you.

So when someone asks me if private tutors are expensive, my answer to them is that it depends on what you intend to learn from them. They are certainly expensive if they end up teaching you how to deal with exponents but they are more than worth it if you are clear on your inequalities and mods after learning from them.
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Re: Considering Private tutoring [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2014, 10:40
Good question - Karishma asked me to chime in and, as usual, I totally agree with what she has to say. I can most effectively speak to my own experience with 10+ years of tutoring, but here's my recommendation:

GMAT tutoring works best when:

-Students are motivated and proactive. If you come to sessions with homework completed and notes on what worked / what didn't / what you didn't understand / where you need to improve, sessions go well. If you send your tutor a day or two in advance those results/notes and any concepts/questions/strategies/concerns you want to cover, your tutor can build a strong gameplan for how to get the most out of your session and can come prepared with activities for you to complete afterward to reinforce and diagnose.

-Students are familiar with the basics of the GMAT and its related skills. With a GMAT-specific tutor you're paying a premium for their mastery and knowledge of this particular test - of common traps on Data Sufficiency and helpful methods for abstract questions and ways to focus on the most value-added words in a Sentence Correction question. We're all pretty good at basic algebra and geometry, but you shouldn't pay that premium to have someone like me list "common right triangle ratios" on a whiteboard for you in a one-on-one setting. The real value-add comes from a tutor's insider knowledge of what works on the test; her knowledge of common mistakes that students make that you'll need to address; and her ability to help you diagnose weaknesses and prescribe recommendations and activities to turn them into strengths.

-Each session has a predetermined focus. If you're meeting because "we always meet on Tuesdays" that's probably not going to be your best session. But if you're meeting to "review these 5 questions from Sunday's practice test and figure out how we're going to address my pacing problems with Geometry problems" you're on to something. Which isn't to say that impromptu discoveries and tangents in meetings don't work - sometimes that's where I find things click the most - but I've found that tutoring sessions go best when we're there with some specific emphases in mind, and they don't go as well when neither the student nor I have come in with much of an agenda.

Given your situation - you've already taken a class and you have some specifics in mind of what you want to cover, plus you've been proactive in seeking out advice related to it - you seem like you'd be a good candidate for tutoring. And my bosses will cringe if they read this, but I'd also advise being stingy with the hours - even if you end up meeting 10-12 times with an instructor, go into the engagement thinking you may only meet 4-5. Having a sense of urgency with each meeting is really helpful - we *need* to figure out Data Sufficiency problems today and make some real progress - and it's also helpful to add more sessions for a specific reason. Shoot, keep your instructor hungry, too - make sure they know that you're only adding sessions (and paychecks) when you see specific, tangible value in them...make them add value each session to keep you coming back for more!
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Re: Considering Private tutoring   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2014, 10:40
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