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solinaceae2922 karma

I chose that figure based on undercutting with other tutoring companies charge. Most charge upwards of $180, I know some that charge $240.

I could probably raise it significantly if I targeted new students in the wealthiest neighborhoods, but I wouldn't want to double the rates for my clients I've had for the past years. I love working with my current kids, they basically feel like siblings at this point.

Another factor is that I aim for year-round clients. I work with my kids for test prep, education enrichment, and for a fun summer school. But for clients who are only doing a few weeks of test prep before their SAT/ISEE/SHSAT, etc. I can charge a higher rate since it's more temporary. But it would be quite a significant amount for somebody to pay $240/hr all year!

solinaceae1614 karma

It wouldn't be "fair" really to the clients on the high end. I try to look at it as what I charge for my time, not what they can afford for my time.

solinaceae1436 karma

I can sympathize, I hated taking the SAT too.

The first thing you want to look at is if the ACT is a better fit. The ACT is more "common sense" based, and if she has scientific aptitude, it does also have a science section.

Regardless of which test she takes, it's important to break things up into manageable chunks. I like to split the sections up by question type. So for math, split the problems into Geometry, Quadratics, Simple Algebra, Number Theory, Trig, etc. Khan Academy has 8 college board approved practice tests and keys online, they're really great for this.

This part's important: Take a FULL LENGTH, TIMED practice test, and analyze which question types she gets wrong. There is almost always a pattern. For example, on reading, she might miss the "why do you think the author said _____" questions, but not the content questions. For math, she might miss the quadratics, but be excellent with trig.

Focus on the areas of need without neglecting the other sections. Once she's mastered a specific area of need, don't drop it completely. Just work in a few review problems into her future practice. So once she's confident doing geometry, move onto a Trig focus (but work in a few geometry practice questions with each practice session, along with the other questions she's already proficient in).

For the other sections, do the same thing. If she's always missing comma usage in Grammar, focus on those questions while still "maintaining" proficiency in the other questions.

For each practice session, try to do at least one set of each test section to keep it all fresh. Don't have overwhelming amounts of practice, I'd say 3x/week works well for an average kid.

Good luck!

solinaceae1028 karma

Absolutely, it's terrible. I hated having my abilities reduced to a set of numbers as a student, and I hate it now as a tutor. It's dehumanizing.

One of the things I aim to do is make that test prep more accessible and affordable for people. Most test prep companies keep their materials under lock and key, and charge something like $100 for a crappy book with a day's worth of exercises. So I released a free test, and a bunch of inexpensive downloadable practice tests, along with a free book on at-home prep methods. Free videos are coming this fall, too!

Hopefully with more companies like Khan Academy offering free prep, and more ethical tutoring companies, standardized tests can be less of an issue for everybody.

solinaceae640 karma

I started out by getting experience in the market as a contractor for other tutoring companies. People told their friends about me, and I started getting organic leads that way. Nowadays it's almost all word-of-mouth referrals, and I only need around 5 clients at a time to keep my schedule full.

Sometimes, when I release a new product like my GT practice books, I will put up flyers around the city to generate interest. For that particular product, most other companies charge 2-3x what I do, so I wanted to have a more obvious form of advertising.