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Tutoring for a Test instead of a Class

Most people, tutors and students alike, are typically involved in tutoring experiences focused around a particular class. The great thing about this is that the class already provides you with the structure you need. The lesson plans are already laid out, the exam dates are already set, the flow of the material is dictated months in advance. As such, it is much easier, typically, for tutors to lay out what they are going to go over because it is entirely dependent on what the class is doing at that time. For example, if your class is discussing how to do FOIL (First, Outside, Inside, Last) for factoring/multiplying binomial formulas, then that is what you will be discussing, not the equation for finding the area of a cylinder or how to do triple integrals.

However, tutoring for the ASVAB (a test I took 12 years ago) provides a whole set of challenges because it is the antithesis of everything I just stated. You have no set lesson plans, you're not sure of what the exam date will be, and all this impacts exactly what you will cover and how you will cover it. There is some structure with the ASVAB. We know that there are 9 sections, 4 of which are absolutely critical in terms of passing the exam, where as the other 5 are used to place you with certain aptitude regions. But that's pretty much where the structure ends. You don't know if you should go over Mathematical Knowledge (MK) or Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) first (though most study guides will tell you that knowing the MK section is vital to doing the AR section). Do you do the Paragraph Comprehension first of the Word Knowledge? And above all, does it even matter? I'm not sure if it does matter, but I can tell you that as a meticulously detailed individual, having to build the structure myself does give me a sense of anxiety. At the same time, it allows me to dictate how I go about studying, which is great for the student because I can tell if he/she is understanding what I am talking about. I can tell if I need to spend more time on a particular topic, or less time.

All in all, tutoring for an exam is not ALL that different from tutoring for a class, provided you can lay out the structure in advance.


Dominic J.

Experienced Statistics/Mathematics Tutor

300+ hours