I had a student who submitted a request to get assistance with basic Algebra skills in preparation for an exam. She highlighted the skills she needed assistance with and had a set schedule that she wanted to adhere to for the tutoring. Being the person that I am, I still wanted her to take a skills assessment so that I would know where to begin and what concepts she had yet to learn.
For any new student or tutor, the pre-assessment is something that is needed! It is an integral part of learning. Since a tutor's time with any student is short, the best way to maximize the results is through a skills assessment. The assessment is not long and should only take, at most, 5-10 minutes. However, within that time the tutor is able to observe where mistakes are being made, comprise a lesson to help re-teach those skills, and possibly have time to teach higher order skills within that subject.
I will state that the pre-assessment helped me tremendously with my student. Not only were they struggling in the subject she had outlined, but she was also doing other processes incorrectly. By assessing we were able to correct all problems she was having in time for her exam.