The hyper-competitive admission requirements of colleges in America are making it more important than ever that students are given the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to be successful.

Being smart or talented is not enough. Chuck Cohn, founder of Varsity Tutors offers some insights into when a tutor can come to the rescue. 

Families often rely on the schools, the teachers, and the academic counselors – both within their high school and hired privately – to help them select courses, clubs, sports, and summer activities that maximize their chances at admission into a competitive college. But even with the best help from the school professionals, students often encounter difficulties in classes, resulting in lower grades that can impact how they fare in the college admissions process. 

One of the best options available to parents and students, even gifted students, is to enlist the support of a tutor, to fill in the gaps and assure that the student is prepared and educated to reach their maximum potential, instead of being trapped in mediocrity. Fortunately, tutors are more available and more affordable than ever before. 

The students who can benefit the most from private tutoring to gain an academic edge typically fall into four categories: 

Students who lack some essential academic foundation: Maybe they were sick or didn’t feel well, or had a poor teacher in a prior prep course, or changed schools, or simply didn’t pay attention. For whatever reason, they are missing some of the essential knowledge, skills, or understanding to achieve success with the subject matter in the class they are presently facing.  A tutor can identify the gaps and help the student address their specific needs on an ongoing basis. 

Gifted or talented students who want and need more: Teachers in large classrooms are forced to teach to the average student. Gifted students who learn faster than the average student often stagnate academically because they aren’t challenged. They lose interest and their minds can wander.  A tutor can see where the students are on the spectrum and develop a personalized program to challenge them, encourage their academic development, and stimulating their interest and enthusiasm for learning. 

Students doing test prep or applying to colleges: Test preparation and test-taking skills are quickly becoming critical to students achieving academic success. Even the best schools can fail to prepare students properly for the subject matter and with the thinking processes that must be addressed in college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.  Tutors can provide students with an arsenal of weapons to be used on standardized assessments. They are able to make sure the student is prepared to deal with both the range of content, and can analyze and identify the types of problems and the right analysis technique to fly through the test and get the right answers with plenty of time to spare.  Great tutors are able to equip students with both a strong foundation in content knowledge and the ability to quickly break down a complicated question.