Preparing for the SATs can be quite stressful for high school students, and having an SAT tutor can reduce that stress, for both the students and their parents. This is why online SAT tutoring jobs are currently in demand.
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Building a career usually starts with one’s college course, and one’s SAT scores are one of the important factors by which a student’s application to college is assessed.
This is why students feel pressured to perform well on their SATs to get into their first choice of college or university.
In today’s article, we look at why students need SAT tutors, how you can become an online SAT tutor, what skills you need, how much you can make, and where to find online SAT tutoring jobs.
Why Do Students Need SAT Tutors?
The SAT, originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a standardized test created by the College Board in 1926. It is intended to assess students’ readiness for college by measuring a student’s skills in 3 core areas: Critical Reading, Writing, and Math.
There used to be an optional essay section, but it’s been discontinued after June 2021.
Most colleges and universities in the US use it for college admissions, although some schools have already dropped this requirement.
However, prestigious universities, including Ivy League schools, still use standardized tests to decide on admission as well as on awarding scholarships and student aid.
This is why parents are willing to spend for their children to be completely prepared to take the SATs, including paying thousands of dollars for a private SAT tutor.
If you’re an educator or want to become an educator working from home, online SAT tutoring jobs are one of the most lucrative and challenging opportunities for teachers today.
How to Become an Online SAT Tutor
1. Familiarize yourself with the SAT.
You’ve probably taken the SAT before, but let’s face it, it may have been a while.
Before you can be an SAT tutor, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
Take as many recent SAT practice tests as you can at the College Board website.
It’s best to limit your time as well and have the same materials on hand as test takers have, which is usually two No. 2 pencils and an approved calculator.
2. Get your SAT teaching materials together.
There are plenty of free resources on the internet about SAT teaching strategies. Read as many articles and guides as you can to help you create your own teaching strategy.
Also, get your hands on as many SAT test prep materials and books as you can. These have practice tests that will help your students greatly. There are also study tips in there that you can share with your students to help them in between tutorial sessions.
At this point, you also need to set up your home office with your computer, high-speed internet, high-quality webcam, headset, and microphone.
3. Learn about specific strategies to raise scores.
Your students (and their parents) would expect to learn tricks to increase their SAT scores. Although there aren’t any simple tricks to do this, what you can offer is to teach them how to approach each part of the exam.
For instance, you can teach them how to read SAT passages such that they can answer the next questions without re-reading the passage (remember, time is gold in the SAT). Students that can read a passage once and recognize the main idea and supporting sentences immediately have an edge.
Another useful strategy is to have students learn the most important formulas that will be useful in the Math section. They’ll be given basic formulas, but knowing more than the basics will save them a lot of time.
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4. Know how to analyze mistakes.
When they’re answering practice tests, chances are they’ll make a few mistakes.
Don’t stop at giving them the correct answer. Help them understand how they came to the wrong answer so they’ll know not to repeat that mistake.
3 Unique Skills to Land any Online SAT Tutoring Job You Want
Many parents prefer one-on-one, face-to-face tutors to be able to meet in person and gauge the progress of their kids.
But there are instances where parents would go for online tutors.
For example, not all cities have tutors specializing in improving SAT scores and the next best thing is to find a tutor who could work with their kids remotely.
Even if you’ve been tutoring kids in math, English, or any other subject for years, this doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be a good SAT tutor.
Here are 3 things you should have to knock down the competition for online SAT tutoring jobs.
1. SAT Specialization
Most parents just hire tutors for their kids as a general preparation for college admissions.
However, this shouldn’t be the case. Some students are quite good at math but not so much at writing essays, or vice versa.
A good SAT tutor must able to:
- Assess a student’s strengths and weak areas. Tutors will focus on all sections of the SAT, but understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses before creating a study plan can save both of them time and effort.
- Help a student define their goals. For example: Get into a particular school, reach a specific SAT score, and so on. In the same vein, tutors should also guide students in setting “reasonable” expectations. Aiming for a perfect SAT score is well and good, but not everyone can do it.
- Explain answers to students. Sometimes, the approach or computation can be confusing. Learning how to arrive at the answers, especially in math problems, can be beneficial to a student. Most students already understand concepts of biology, chemistry, statistics, and so on, but once applied to a real-world question, all the stored knowledge disappears.
- Teach students how to answer an SAT exam. The SAT is a marathon – it takes over 3 hours to answer hundreds of questions. Sometimes, students simply fail at managing their time or prioritizing one section over another section.
- Adjust your study plan according to student progress. An efficient SAT tutor should determine when a student is improving in a particular area and move on to another.
- Motivate students to practice and study. You may be the best online SAT tutor in the country, but if your student doesn’t do the work, their scores won’t improve. A big part of being an SAT tutor is to be able to inspire and encourage your student.
2. Good Reputation
For tutors who are members of an online tutoring company, the website often maintains testimonials of past students under their profiles.
These reviews would give parents enough information to determine if a tutor is a good fit or not.
If you’re going to be offering online SAT tutoring by yourself, you’d have to prove your worth.
Know that many parents and students aren’t as impressed by “Ivy League tutors” as they did in the past, so the go-to step is to dig deeper into the tutor’s reputation and hopefully find testimonials from real, former students.
Unfortunately, since you’re a freelance tutor, you’d have to be the one requesting reviews and showcasing them on your Facebook page, LinkedIn account, or tutor-for-hire website.
3. A Record to Back it Up
Most online tutoring jobs require tutors to have a bachelor’s degree and teaching license.
A graduate degree is optional, but experience in SAT tutoring is a requirement. In some cases, you can be hired by a review center simply if you came from Ivy League schools.
SAT tutor certification does not exist, not even from Khan Academy (the official “school” College Board assigned to give free SAT test preparation).
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Aside from the testimonials of former students, you’d likely have more success if you’re up-to-date with how well they actually did during the real SATs.
If possible, ask your past clients if it’s okay to publish their SAT scores.
If your student or their parents do not like their names published, write them as case studies: list the problem (student weakness), list the steps taken to solve the problem (what techniques did you use as a tutor to help improve the student’s weak areas), and share the conclusion (how much improvement the student made, or what scores they actually got).
How Much Do Online SAT Tutoring Jobs Pay?
Online SAT tutors make an average of $40 to $100 per hour.
The amount tutors can make on an hourly basis depends on whether the tutor is working alone or as a contractor with a known tutor company, the reputation of the tutor, and subject specialization.
Some tutors who specialize in helping students get into Princeton, Harvard, or other specific schools are often sought out by rich parents, and they can charge higher fees (from $200 up to $1000 per hour).
Where Do You Find SAT Tutor Jobs?
You’d be surprised at how many websites are looking for competent SAT tutors.
Those looking for the best online tutoring jobs with a focus on SAT test prep, check out the available positions from these sites:
- Tutors.com – One of the oldest SAT tutoring job sites from this list, you’ll also find other tutor jobs aside from SAT preps.
- Princeton Review.com – Focused on college admission, including SAT tutoring.
- PrepScholar.com – Known for having some of the youngest online SAT tutors around, which means they’re likely relatable to students.
- Chegg.com – It’s been around since 2003. Pays tutors about $20/hour via PayPal, which is low for experienced tutors, but will probably be good enough for those just starting out.
- StudyPool.com – You have input about how much you’d like to charge, but StudyPool takes a 20-30% cut.
- iTutor.com – A learning platform that works with school districts and college access programs to make virtual learning accessible.
- Varsity Tutors – Offers test prep as well as academic tutoring.
Start Applying For Online SAT Tutoring Jobs Today!
Now that you know what it takes to be an online SAT tutor and where to apply to get your first gig, start applying!
Tutoring is the go-to online job for teachers, right after teaching English to people from all over the world.
But tutoring kids to improve their SAT scores isn’t for everybody.
If you’re a teacher and you’re looking for something to do during your spare time or once you’ve retired, you can always sell lesson plans online and make a killer six-figure income, or check my BIG list of work-from-home jobs.
Planning to start working as an SAT tutor soon? Have you applied to tutorial companies or directly to a client? Share your experience with us in the comments!