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Private In-Home and Online Test Prep Tutoring in Griffith, IN

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Session Summaries by Test Prep Tutors

Griffith, IN Test Prep tutoring
Because this was the student's first session, we began by discussing his particular concerns and priorities in preparing to take the SAT. He indicated that the Math section doesn't worry him at all, but that he felt very concerned about his ability to work through the Critical Reading sections within the time limits of the test. He also expressed a desire to work on vocabulary enrichment and to review the skills involved in the multiple choice Writing section, but since the passage-based portion of the Critical Reading section was by far his greatest challenge, we agreed to start there. With the student's concerns about timing in mind, we explored a few strategies for working through the passages and their attendant questions more efficiently, and we experimented with a couple of the approaches best suited to non-fiction passages in order to get a sense of which ones would be most effective for him. Initially, the student struggled to find an effective technique: he read and re-read each passage, analyzing it in detail and noting his own insights and conclusions about it before beginning to consider the questions. Although his literary analyses were excellent, they did him more harm than good in the tightly-timed and limited-choice context of the SAT. We dedicated most of the rest of the session to reinforcing the importance of reading the questions before the passages, limiting his focus to those elements of the passages that reflect the questions, and moving between the questions and the passages themselves in order to preserve that focus. While he found it difficult to resist devoting his time to original thinking, he did begin to find it easier to work in a more targeted manner over the course of our practice. I asked him to apply each of the two most promising approaches that we had practiced to one additional sample passage before our next session, and to keep track of how many minutes each passage took but not to hold himself to the test's time limit. The student is extremely bright and personable and took my frequent re-focusing with good humor. I look forward to continuing to work with him.
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Griffith, IN Test Prep tutoring
Today was an extremely successful session! I am happy to report that the student and I have finally gotten to the bottom of what's taking him so long on the ACT Math section. His most recent practice test was completed at 93% accuracy -- a fantastic rate! -- but he was only able to make it through question 44 (out of 60) before time ran out on him. This means that he is doing much better than he was previously, especially on his geometry! But it also shows us that his main problem is speed. After going back through his completed test, I analyzed his approach to every problem and realized that he's just spending far too much time showing all of his work. While it pains me to teach any student to do more math in their head and less on paper, it's part of the format of timed standardized math tests. I took him through almost every problem and showed him where he could have showed less work; in every instance, he nodded in agreement. I also gave him a few more tips (use your calculator strategically, guess and move on after 1 min) that will help him move faster. Next time, I'm looking forward to seeing how these tips help him through another practice test. We're also planning to go over a practice English test during the next session as well. Hopefully, if his speed improves by next session (without losing accuracy), then it'll take less time to go over the math section anyway.
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Griffith, IN Test Prep tutoring
I reviewed the multiplication flash cards with the student for the first 30 minutes. I worked on specific times tables and also the group of cards as a whole to see what he was most confident with and what he was still struggling with. After reviewing with the flashcards, he spent time going over his homework sheet from earlier in the week. This sheet asked him to compare three fractions at a time, listing them in order from least to greatest and also from greatest to least. One set had three fractions with the same denominators but varying numerators, another group had the same numerators but varying denominators, while yet another group had three fractions with varying numerators and denominators. This is something we will continue to work on. He does understand the concept better when he sees a drawing that depicts the fraction. We also reviewed a homework sheet from three weeks ago which covered division. Now that he has gotten better with his multiplication tables his division skills have improved greatly. This time that we worked on the worksheet he did much better and made very few errors. We then spent the last 8 minutes reviewing flashcards again. We identified 8 multiplication problems that he was struggling with. He could answer the question with some prompting, but he needs more work on these 8 problems to memorize the answers. I assigned these 8 problems to him as homework for our next session.
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