College Planning Specialists

June 15, 2007

SAT Test Preparation Options Part 2: Traditional vs Non Traditional

Filed under: SAT Testing — deansguide @ 5:17 am

In the first article on the subject of SAT Test Preparation options, we reviewed the positives and negatives of Self Help books and SAT Prep Classroom Courses. In this installment, we will take a look at Private SAT Tutors (Traditional) and Online SAT Prep Products and Courses (Non Traditional). Our source for this information is the fine website and SAT expert Karl Schellscheidt holder of a law degree from University of Pennsylvania and a BSE from Princeton.

1. Private SAT Tutors: $100 to $300 per hour with overall cost from roughly $5,000 to $15,000. Not for the faint of heart!

Pro-Highest quality teaching talent, personalized curriculum to meet each student’s needs, and the tutor often becomes a coach who inspires motivation and excitement in the student. Families received constant feedback on the student’s progress; this provides a control mechanism that none of the other methods of SAT preparation addresses.

Con-Extremely expensive costs involved are a major obstacle for most family budgets. Often a search for a qualified tutor can be more time consuming than imagined. Many areas do not have access to this resource.

Conclusion: This is the best most effective method of preparation, for students of all ability levels, assuming the tutor is qualified. That is true if the financial resources exist.

2. Online SAT Prep Products and Courses: Students can purchase these options for between $30 and $1,000.

Pro-Affordability makes this option accessible to everyone. A wide range of products and services are available. Diagnostics and programs that help students who have constantly changing levels of expertise. The number one factor is convenience. Students can schedule their prep studies anytime without worry-their schedule is catered to rather than someone else’s schedule.

Con-Students are on their own with little consultation. Many courses are simple online delivered self help books. Many variations of product make it difficult to choose the correct products or services. No personal contact make this truly a individual experience which is often not well suited to many student’s needs.

Conclusion: This method of preparation works well for busy students who have average computer skills or better. It is the fastest growing method of preparation today.



  1. Tutoring can be expensive, but there are several companies offering unlimited tutoring for under $100 per month and I was wondering if you have any experience with them. I’ve come across a number of online tutoring websites (e.g.,,,, etc.). Has anyone prepared a comparison of the various companies (pricing, quality, etc.)?

    Comment by Ron Shasta — July 14, 2007 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  2. Private tutors may be expensive but well worth the money for your children’s future.

    Comment by college — July 14, 2007 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  3. Dear College,

    I agree that private tutors are very effective. If a family or student has the means then this is the best method for comprehension and success on any test. If you have recommendations for competent and inspiring tutors please forward them to us!


    Comment by deansguide — July 19, 2007 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  4. Ron,

    That is a good question. I have not seen a comparison of these services. I must say that $100 per month seems suspicious. Most tutors worth their salt charge between $60-$85 per hour. I wonder what kind of hands on training and consultation you would receive from a service that charges just $100 per month.

    If anyone can answer our questions, please comment here or contact Dean at

    Comment by deansguide — July 20, 2007 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  5. There are several firms based in India that are offering unlimited tutoring to US students for $100 per month, such as Tutor Vista, Vie-Nova, Tutoring SchoolTrainer, Tutor Easy and Tutor Next.

    Comment by Ganesh — August 19, 2007 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

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