Working with a Private GMAT Tutor: Instructor Perspective

We asked one of our most experienced private GMAT tutors to describe how a tutor can add value to their experience and what students can do to get the most out of the private GMAT tutoring experience.

Stefan M., B.A. in Communications (USC); M.A. in Journalism (Northwestern); over 12 years experience tutoring GMAT, LSAT, GRE, SAT, and ACT –

What are some common issues or concepts that students struggle with when they come to you for tutoring?

The number one issue is that many students don't remember what it takes to be a successful student. Many GMAT students have not been in school for years and often believe that their intellect and simply "showing up for work" will result in high test scores. These students are quickly grounded when they discover there will be a lot of homework and a ton of repetition required to obtain a high score on the GMAT exam. As far as content issues go, the number one issue is being able to do arithmetic exercises without the use of a calculator.

What structure do you provide to GMAT students? How do you recommend they approach preparing for the GMAT?

Planning is incredibly important for all test preparation and instruction! It is important that students understand that the absolute minimum amount of time student should give themselves to prepare with a tutor is six weeks. Many students think that they can prepare on their own, only to discover with under a month before the test date that additional support would be ideal.

As for course planning, I always have a customized syllabus that is tailored to the students particular needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Students should expect to complete a practice exam after the 3rd, 5th, and 7th tutoring sessions, so as to utilize new strategies and witness their own improvement.

Ultimately, students should expect that for every hour of tutoring they attend, they shoud spend 3-5x more on completing homework and drills.

What are some tips you would offer to students so they get the most value out of working with a tutor?

  1. Come to your first tutoring session with a draft study plan. Lay out in detail how much time you can realistically spend preparing for the GMAT everyday or every week.
  2. Do som preemptive research regarding your specific score goals beyond just what you think is an ideal score.
  3. Take a diagnostic exam!


Request a Tutor