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Where to hire a GRE tutor?


sacklunch
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Wanting to take the GRE next summer (or even next fall), but would like to get a tutor to drastically improve my score. Any advice, specifically for Boston? I have been slowly memorizing Kaplan's GRE word flash card set, as well as the Princeton GRE book.

thoughts??

-Nick

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Wanting to take the GRE next summer (or even next fall), but would like to get a tutor to drastically improve my score. Any advice, specifically for Boston? I have been slowly memorizing Kaplan's GRE word flash card set, as well as the Princeton GRE book.

thoughts??

-Nick

Maybe buy some study books first, complete them and then decide if a tutor is necessary. Otherwise Boston has tons of schools, I bet you could find some good options on craigslist.

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Maybe buy some study books first, complete them and then decide if a tutor is necessary. Otherwise Boston has tons of schools, I bet you could find some good options on craigslist.

I second this advice, having investigated the subject at considerable length.

Don't hire a tutor unless you're SURE you need one! In my area (Washington, DC suburbs) there are dozens of tutors on craigslist, and probably dozens more available simply by calling the nearest university's Math or English department's graduate office.

I say don't hire a tutor until you're sure you need one because the quality varies widely from execrable to quintessential; and the prices vary widely also, though none are inexpensive. And, most importantly, the most expensive, most experienced tutor is not necessarily the best for YOU.

Edited by DrFaustus666
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Don't hire a tutor unless you're SURE you need one! In my area (Washington, DC suburbs) there are dozens of tutors on craigslist, and probably dozens more available simply by calling the nearest university's Math or English department's graduate office.

I say don't hire a tutor until you're sure you need one because the quality varies widely from execrable to quintessential; and the prices vary widely also, though none are inexpensive. And, most importantly, the most expensive, most experienced tutor is not necessarily the best for YOU.

I'd second this advice. I've tutored and taught GRE classes (both on freelance and for a major testprep company) for several years, though on the other side of the country. Although an experienced tutor who is well attuned to your strength/weakness can be helpful, there's a lot that you can do on your own first. Go through *all* the testprep books. Some of those books will be terrible (the GRE is not a major cash cow, so R&D for this particular test is often shoved under the rug, particularly by large companies). Some will be pretty decent, but if you got through enough of them, you should be able to pick up on patterns that are useful to you. If I were you, I'd hold off until I know where my specific weaknesses lie (timing? particular problem types? vocabulary? etc?) before hiring a tutor. This way, you can get the most bang for you buck--tutoring does tend to be expensive...usually $30-$60 per hour (often with a 2 hour min per session) freelance, and over $100 an hour if you go with a major company.

Two more bits of unsolicited advice:

1. I'd avoid the big companies. Most of the smaller companies tend to have far more rigorous hiring standards. The biggest companies also have the lowest pay for tutors (sometimes only a 1/3 as much as the other companies)...hence, typically the least experienced tutors. At one point, while teaching for a major company, I was the "senior teacher" for one particular test. I had been teaching that particular test for a grand total of 3 weeks. I think I handled it pretty well (the test is fairly intuitive for me and I've taught other tests for quite a while by that point)..but it's still laughable that I was viewed as the expect for an exam that I've just started teaching.

2. If you do get a tutor, make sure that you can commit plenty of time and energy to practice in between sessions. Far too many of my students insist on meeting too often, without being able to absorb and practice the material/methods in between sessions...which ends up being a huge waste of my time and their money.

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Stroke of Midnight wrote 1. I'd avoid the big companies. Most of the smaller companies tend to have far more rigorous hiring standards. The biggest companies also have the lowest pay for tutors (sometimes only a 1/3 as much as the other companies)...hence, typically the least experienced tutors.

Not only that, but the two biggest companies' "first cut" in hiring is an audition, designed to determine if the prospective teacher has "charisma" and can "engage a class" etc. ... THEN they look at the prospective teacher's test scores, teaching experience, GPA, etc. etc.

I know this because I was rejected for "lack of charisma" by BOTH of the top two companies (in the USA).

Point is: They want people who can SELL THEIR OWN COMPANY first, and be experts on the test materials second.

And Stroke of Midnight is also right about the second point. The biggest companies pay their instructors much LESS than the smaller guys. So, a BIG second to his/her recommendation, "Avoid the Biggest Companies" if at all possible.

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