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Writing Advice for College Students

Author Bio: David Serwitz is the Founder & CEO of Grade Potential Minneapolis High School Tutoring, the National Leader for In-Home Tutoring for grades K-12th and college. Established in 2002, Grade Potential has worked with thousands of families nationwide to help them achieve their academic goals.

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Parenting a high school student means taking on additional responsibility as his/her academic coach and cheerleader, especially when it comes to those critical college applications — but you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring a tutor for your high-schooler can provide crucial support that can result in higher grades, better performance on admissions tests, and greater overall success at getting into the college of his choice.

How Tutoring Leads to Top Transcripts

Having the focused support of a tutor, in either one-on-one or small-group sessions, has been shown to boost students’ ability to retain and apply new information. Being able to ask a tutor questions and receive individualized feedback on academic work will give your child a boost in his high school coursework, which will lead to deeper understanding of the material and better grades overall. If you and your child are worried that his/her grades were less than ideal during his first years of high school, worry not. College admissions committees often look for a pattern of continuous growth and improvement, and working with a tutor can help your child stay focused and work hard well into his/her junior and senior year. It can be tempting to sign up for easier classes, especially during those final semesters, but with a tutor’s support, students can continue to increase the rigor of their coursework to show colleges that they are truly ready to move to the next academic level.

Tutoring and Test Prep

In addition to helping students perform better in their high school courses, a tutor can also assist with targeted test prep for college admissions tests. From vocabulary drills to individualized feedback on writing assessments, tutors can help pinpoint the areas of your child’s test-taking strengths and weaknesses so that he/she can go into each and every assessment feeling prepared to do his best. Some tutors will even offer pretests to give your child an idea of what to expect in terms of test layout and style of questions so he/she can feel confident when taking tests. Many tutors will also offer testing tips, including how to more accurately interpret answer choices and test anxiety-relief strategies.

Admissions Assistance

The prospect of completing even a single college application can be daunting, let alone six to eight applications. Working with a tutor to manage time and break application tasks into smaller chunks can make for much more polished and effective applications. A tutor can help your child identify the strengths he/she wants to highlight in an admissions essay, as well as how to adapt and individualize his/her essay for a range of different schools. A tutor can also help make sure that your child is considering each and every part of the application to ensure that he/she puts his/her best foot forward for the admissions committee.

It’s clear that hiring a tutor can help your high-schooler succeed, not only in his/her current coursework, but in the college classes to come. Establishing strong habits of focused study, reflective thinking, and attention to detail will result in better habits once he’s/she’s on his/her own in a college setting. Working with a tutor is also great preparation for the relationship between a college student and a professor or advisor; by becoming comfortable with one-on-one academic conversations in high school, your student will enter college more prepared to make the most of office hours and small-group tutoring sessions.

Finally, it’s important to talk to your child about hiring a tutor to make sure he’s/she’s on board with the process as well. Your child’s tutoring sessions will be only as good as his/her willingness to invest time and attention, so make sure he’s/she’s ready to make the most of each session.