GMAT & MBA Admissions Blog

How Do You Choose a GMAT Tutor? 5 Non-Negotiables

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Feb 24, 2022 @ 06:46 PM

Although preparing for the GMAT requires a sizeable investment of your time and money, doing so will increase your chances of being accepted into top MBA programs with high-earning job placements—not to mention receiving significant academic scholarships. With this in mind, one of the most effective ways to ensure a stellar performance on the GMAT is to hire a personal tutor. Because anyone can present themselves as a “qualified” tutor regardless of experience level, it’s your responsibility to make sure you choose wisely. To make your decision a little easier, we’ve listed 5 non-negotiable traits an effective tutor must have. Keep these in mind as you embark upon your search!

1. High GMAT Score

Perhaps it goes without saying that you should only place your trust in the hands of someone who knows what it takes to achieve a high score on the GMAT. Generally speaking, a qualified GMAT tutor will have scored at least in the 99th percentile. If a tutor’s resume doesn’t include this critical information, don’t be afraid to ask! More specifically, an ideal tutor will demonstrate equal mastery of all four sections of the GMAT: analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. You don’t want to end up with a tutor who excels at some, but not all of these key elements.

2. Tutoring Experience

Though there is certainly some overlap between the two, performing well on the GMAT does not guarantee that someone can teach it well. In other words, just because someone knows how to take the test doesn’t mean they have the skills necessary to clearly explain their methodology to others. For this reason, it isn’t enough for a potential tutor to have a stellar score. It is equally if not more critical that your tutor have significant experience teaching the GMAT. Some clear indicators of a tutor’s credibility include the number of students they’ve taught and the duration of time they’ve been doing so.

3. Student Centered

If you were looking for a one-size-fits-all approach, you would have opted for an alternative that’s cheaper than tutoring—like a textbook, a prep course, or an online app. If you encounter a tutor that uses the same methodology on all of their clients, you should therefore run the other way. A skilled tutor knows how to assess a student’s particular strengths and weaknesses and utilizes that information to build a unique study plan that caters to their needs. For this reason, make sure you find a tutor that demonstrates a commitment to understanding your unique goals, study habits, and challenges. A tutor who fails to ask questions about your thoughts, questions, and concerns is not worth paying for.

4. Location and Availability

The most practical consideration to make pertains to your schedule. Before you begin your search for a tutor, make note of your weekly availability as well as the maximum distance you’re willing to travel for in-person meetings. If you live in a relatively isolated area, or if you simply do not have the time to commute, consider the option of online tutoring. With the development of applications like Skype, Zoom, and Teams, there are a few things that can’t be accomplished remotely. So long as your tutor is available at the same times as you, distance shouldn’t be a serious impediment.

5. Passion for Subject Matter

Have you ever taken a class about a subject you thought you hated, only to have your teacher’s unbridled passion rub off on you? This is because enthusiasm is contagious. Although standardized tests don’t usually arouse excitement in most people, you might be surprised to know how much the best tutors care about the subject matter. A tutor who is passionate about teaching will resonate on a different level than a tutor whose only in it for the money. You would therefore be well advised to work with a tutor who is passionate not only about the GMAT, but also about sharing that passion as a means of empowering their students.

In conclusion, trust your gut. A tutor who genuinely sees your potential will make you see your own potential in a new light as well. It’s also worth noting that you have the right to take potential tutors for a trial run before making any commitments. If you still feel like you need more information, feel free to ask for references from previous clients. If a tutor is not willing to comply with these requests, walk away. When your hard earned money is at stake, don’t settle for anything less than a qualified, professional, attentive, and passionate tutor.

Topics: gmat tutoring, GMAT resources, GMAT tips, GMAT tutors, online gmat