A good SAT score is crucial for successful college admissions in the US, especially if you want your child to be accepted by top schools such as Harvard, Stanford, or MIT.
Based on my experience, high school students can score well on the exam just by completing an excellent online SAT prep course. However, if your child has done so but his scores still lagged and the deadline is moving closer, you may want to opt for private SAT tutoring.
Searching for an SAT tutor on the internet is not difficult, but not all tutors are reliable. Fake tutors are real. You can read more about these cases in this informative post.
Hence, this article will separate the wheat from the chaff. It will only feature the best SAT tutoring services where you can safely and confidently hire SAT tutors to improve your (or your kids’) score.
Affiliate Disclosure: This article from Victory Tale contains affiliate links. We will receive a small commission from tutoring platforms if you hire their SAT tutors.
Nevertheless, we always value integrity and prioritize our audience’s interests. You can rest assured that we will present each service truthfully.
Things You Should Know
Is Private SAT Tutoring Worth an Investment?
Private SAT tutoring is undoubtedly expensive, but is it worth an investment?
The answer is “it depends.”
To be honest, I don’t think it is necessary for most students. A far more inexpensive self-paced or live online prep course can also do the job.
On the other hand, if the budget is not a concern and your child’s score has not improved despite many attempts, you may want to give private SAT tutoring a try.
Where to Hire an SAT Tutor Online
Generally, you can hire an online, private SAT tutor from two types of sites as follows:
- Test Prep Providers such as Kaplan and The Princeton Review
- Tutoring Marketplace Platforms such as Wyzant
There are significant differences between these two options. Each has pros and cons, which will be explained further below.
|Test Prep||Tutoring Marketplace|
|Price Per Hour||Expensive ($150+)||Varied ($60-$200+)|
|Instructor’s Caliber||Top 1%||Varied|
|Score Improvement Guarantee||Varied||Varied|
Based on the table, hiring SAT tutors from test prep providers is apparently a superior choice. It is optimal for students and parents who want to eliminate any hassles. Your child can start learning right away without worrying about being scammed.
However, this does not mean that you should not consider SAT tutors from tutoring marketplaces.
Many students and parents hired a high-caliber private SAT tutor with years of teaching experience from those platforms by paying far lower fees but still achieved great success in the exam. Hence, if you want to opt for this alternative, you just need to be prudent in selecting your private tutor.
Most private SAT tutoring providers offer a score improvement guarantee or, in some cases, an X-point (e.g., 50-point) improvement guarantee.
Both guarantees are essentially the same. The tutoring providers will refund your tuition if your child fails to score higher (or higher than X points, if it is the latter).
However, things can be far more complicated than they seem. You can only use the guarantee only if your child completes most, if not all, of the coursework and practice tests.
Even worse, this may include hundreds or even a thousand practice problems, which is not plausible for your child to finish in a super busy junior or senior year in high school.
I thus suggest taking the guarantee with a grain of salt. Instead of completing the entire coursework just to fulfill the condition of this “insurance,” your child should spend his valuable time on college essay writings, extracurricular activities, and college visits.
Below are the criteria for the best private sat tutoring:
1. The Princeton Review
If you are looking for online SAT tutoring to boost your child’s test score in the next exam, The Princeton Review is a name that you cannot simply ignore.
The company has been providing high-quality training for various tests for decades. I personally took its SAT prep course when I was a senior in high school and appreciated the teaching style and quality of course materials.
Hence, I am confident that your private SAT tutoring will be even better.
The Princeton Review rigorously vets all SAT instructors. Hence, they are veteran tutors with years of teaching experience. Some of them even have a degree in medicine. Thus, you can rest assured that your child is in good hands.
You can click on the link below to read each tutor’s profile.
Tutoring Sessions and Practice Tools
After you enroll, The Princeton Review will assign your child an SAT tutor and start the first lesson with him. However, if he is not satisfied with the assigned tutor, you can ask for a session with another tutor for free.
Subsequently, your selected tutor will create a customized prep plan that meets the goals and a prep schedule that matches your child’s school time. This will ensure that your child is not overwhelmed by the intense workload.
Tutoring sessions are available in-person or online. Your child will be able to ask questions to the tutor at will. His tutor will, in turn, evaluate your child’s skills and recommend the right strategies to help them score better in the exam.
If you choose an online option, your child will be able to access The Princeton Review’s new LiveOnline platform, which will provide a far more engaging learning experience than ever.
To be specific, he will be able to draw on the board, add notes, and upload his homework. Hence, he will seamlessly work with his SAT tutor as if he meets him in person.
Besides the lessons, this private tutoring program will grant your child one year of full access to The Princeton Review’s prep resources as follows:
- 135+ On-demand, interactive lessons for your child to review the concepts and grasp some that he may not understand well
- 2000 practice questions, 240 drills, and full-length practice tests
- Interactive score reports to track progress
- SAT Review books (with more explanations, examples, and practice problems)
- The College Board’s official study guide
In other words, you will get a self-paced SAT prep course (worth $299) for free. With these immense resources, your child will have everything he needs to score well on the SAT.
Currently, The Princeton Review offers three private SAT tutoring packages:
- SAT Intro Tutoring – $540, 3 hours of instruction ($180 per hour)
- SAT Targeted Tutoring – $1600, 10 hours of instruction ($160 per hour)
- SAT Comprehensive Tutoring – $2700, 18 hours of instruction ($150 per hour)
Every package provides your child with the same learning resources. However, only the final package offers a score improvement guarantee.
If your child’s score is still hundreds of points below the goal, I suggest you opt for a Comprehensive Tutoring package. This is because this program will cover the entire SAT curriculum of the Princeton Review. The SAT tutor can then strengthen your child’s skills to do well in every part of the SAT exam from the beginning.
On the other hand, suppose his score is already high, but he just wants to score 50-100 points higher to compete better for top colleges. In this case, I think either the Intro Tutoring or Targeted Tutoring packages are more than sufficient.
Still unsure which package to choose from? You can contact the tutoring specialist through the link below.
Pros & Cons
- Learn from rigorously vetted SAT instructors
- Online 1-on-1 tutoring sessions will be on an innovative LiveOnline platform, which allows students to have a similar learning experience to meeting an SAT tutor in person.
- Well-structured curriculum, covering concepts, test-taking strategies, and additional tips for SAT Math, Verbal, and Writing
- Abundant high-quality materials for students to review and practice
- Based on my experience, the practice tests’ difficulty closely reflects that of the actual exam. Thus, they are excellent predictors of your child’s actual test scores.
- Low entry price
- Unlike other premium prep training providers, The Princeton Review does not offer an X-point improvement guarantee
PrepScholar is another solid prep provider that helps students succeed in various tests, including the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and TOEFL. Therefore, it is another promising alternative to consider if you are looking for excellent private SAT tutoring.
SAT Tutor Qualifications
PrepScholar has a highly rigorous vetting process. As a result, all instructors have the following qualifications.
- 99th Percentile Scorers on the SAT
- Graduated from top universities in the US
- Years of experience in tutoring students
Hence, your child will learn with the elite of the elite. Learning from the best will likely make a difference since your child will grasp how to approach the SAT like a top scorer.
Lessons and Course Materials
The onboarding process is quite similar to that of The Princeton Review. Your child will be assigned an SAT tutor who will start a trial lesson with him. This is to test whether your child is satisfied with the teaching style. If the tutor fails to impress him, you can request a full refund.
All lessons will be online and tailor-made based on your child’s needs and goals. Thus, the tutor will quickly notify him of his weaknesses and detail the steps and strategies to eliminate them, effectively paving the way to score higher on the actual exam.
In addition to the lessons, this tutoring program grants access to the Complete SAT Online Prep (PrepScholar’s flagship course), which includes the following learning resources:
- 210+ hours of text-based, interactive learning content
- 7100 practice questions + 10 practice tests
- 700 problem-solving videos to strengthen your child’s test-taking skills
- Progress Tracker
The resources that PrepScholar provides are more than enough for SAT preparation. Nevertheless, the only drawback is that PrepScholar does not offer physical prep books that other premium providers do.
PrepScholar offers four packages as follows:
- Monitored Prep – $995 for 4 hours of instruction ($248.75 per hour)
- Tutor-Led Prep – $1995 for 12 hours of instruction ($166.25 per hour)
- Full Tutoring Prep – $2995 for 20 hours of instruction ($149.75 per hour)
- Maximum Tutoring Prep – $6995 for 54 hours of instruction ($129.50 per hour)
Apart from hours of online instruction, each package is no different. I thus suggest purchasing the Tutor-Led Prep, Full Tutoring Prep, or even the Maximum alternative if your child does not score well in the latest exam.
The first package will be optimal if your child already has excellent foundational knowledge. You can even ask the tutor to focus on some parts that your child is not comfortable with to enhance his confidence.
Click the link below to enroll or request a free consultation.
Pros & Cons
- Students will learn from the top 1% SAT scorers who graduated from renowned US universities.
- Provide students with the most plentiful practice questions and full-length tests
- Include interactive lessons to help you review the concepts
- Offer the most generous X-point improvement guarantee (160 points)
- Money-back guarantee (PrepScholar will refund all tuition fees if you are not satisfied with the first lesson.)
- High entry price
- No physical prep book is provided thus you need an internet connection to access the resources.
3. Soflo Tutors
Soflo Tutors is an online school devoted to providing online 1-on-1 SAT and ACT tutoring to students worldwide. With excellent quality of instruction and affordable pricing, Soflo Tutors proves to be an excellent alternative to the big players in the market for many.
SAT Tutor Credentials
All tutors graduated from top schools in the US, such as Yale, Georgetown, and Barnard, and were SAT top scorers. You can click this link to read their profiles.
Most tutors from Soflo Tutors are from a younger generation (25-30 years old). Based on my experience as a tutor, this can be a significant asset.
Young tutors will connect with high-school students much easier, as they are far more likely to understand their concerns. Thus, your child will trust his tutor and confidently use the tips and techniques he has learned on the test day.
Lessons and Course Materials
Unlike others, your child will not get started by taking a trial lesson. Instead, Soflo Tutors will ask him to complete a 2-hour diagnostic test, which closely resembles the actual exam.
This test aims to pinpoint your child’s strengths and weaknesses so that the tutor can later help him manage them easily.
The next step is to start a trial session to test whether your child is satisfied with the teaching style. If he is not, you can request a new session with another tutor for free.
Subsequently, your child’s assigned tutor will create a personalized tutoring plan based on your child’s needs. You will then schedule a prep session that will suit his school hours.
Each tutoring session is two hours long, which is optimal since your child will have sufficient time to “digest” the concepts he has learned and ask the tutor about what has confused him.
Besides the online tutoring sessions, this program offers complimentary learning resources as follows:
- Detailed video explanation of SAT concepts
- Tips and Tricks for every SAT section
- Numerous practice exercises
- SAT Textbook and Cheat Sheets
Soflo Tutors may not offer as many learning resources as other alternatives. However, all the lessons are easy-to-follow, allowing your child to enhance his skills in no time.
Soflo Tutors’ pricing plan is straightforward and affordable. They charge $60 per hour for a session with a regular SAT tutor. However, if you want your child to learn from the most experienced SAT tutor with an exceptional record of success, the price will increase to $90 per hour.
Pros & Cons
- Learn from young but experienced SAT tutors with a passionate attitude
- Include complimentary learning resources to help prepare for the test
- Affordable pricing with no hidden fees or long-term contracts
- Offer a scholarship program for underserved students
- Do not offer as many learning resources as other private SAT tutoring services
- No score improvement guarantee
Kaplan is one of the most prominent players in the test prep industry. Through a team of talented SAT tutors, Kaplan offers an excellent tutoring service that propels numerous students to succeed in the SAT.
SAT Tutor Credentials
Kaplan only works with top tutors. All of them have passed the rigorous vetting process (based on their extensive knowledge and empathy) and possessed significant tutoring experience. Thus, you can rest assured that your child will learn from a well-rounded tutor.
Lessons & Course Materials
The onboarding process is straightforward. A Kaplan representative will inquire about your child, including his academic background and goals. This information will be used to match your child with the most suitable tutor.
Once this process is completed, the tutor will create a personalized study plan that will strengthen your child’s skills on all fronts.
Your child will then take lessons with this SAT tutor through Kaplan’s interactive learning platform. He can also use an animated whiteboard to jot down digital notes, which will be beneficial for his future reviews.
Additionally, all enrolled students can access the following resources:
- 18 hours of live online instruction (worth $699)
- 8 full-length practice tests with score analysis (for you or your child to evaluate his performance)
- 4 Kaplan SAT prep books
Live online instruction is an excellent supplementary learning resource for tutoring. It is basically a “standard” course that utilizes a generic approach (opposite to your “personalized” direction).
However, the course features helpful SAT tips and offers your child to connect with his fellow high-school students, which may help him become more enthusiastic in his study.
Regarding practice problems and tests, Kaplan has provided more than adequate for your child to score well. The only drawback is that Kaplan’s practice tests are much easier than the actual exam. I don’t think it is a precise predictor of your child’s final SAT score.
Kaplan offers four following packages for online SAT tutoring:
- 10 Hours – $1999 ($199 per hour)
- 20 Hours – $2899 ($145 per hour)
- 30 Hours – $3799 ($126 per hour)
- 40 Hours – $4599 ($115 per hour)
All packages have a score improvement guarantee and full access to all practice tools. If your child needs intense tutoring, you may want to opt for the 30-hour or 40-hour plan.
On the other hand, if your child believes he needs only a few hours of tutoring, you may want to consider other alternatives, such as The Princeton Review, which has a much lower entry price.
Note: The above pricing plans do not apply to in-person tutoring. If you are interested, you will need to contact Kaplan directly to inquire about its current pricing.
Pros & Cons
- Taught by veteran private SAT tutors with years of tutoring experience
- Provide high-quality course materials to practice and review, including an entire live online course
- Include as many as four prep books for your child to study offline for the SAT
- Cost-effective if you plan to opt for 40+ hours of SAT tutoring
- Extremely high entry price
- Practice problems and full-length practice tests (including an initial practice test) are not very challenging. I scored much lower (50+ points) on the actual exam.
- Offer a score improvement guarantee, not an X-point improvement guarantee
5. Varsity Tutors
Regarding tutoring services, I personally prefer test prep providers. However, I understand that many parents are more comfortable working with independent tutors.
Among all tutoring marketplaces, I think Varsity Tutors is the best platform to hire SAT tutors for your child.
The entire process is straightforward. You just need to complete a questionnaire (see below.) You should add the information as accurately as possible so that Varsity Tutors can find the right tutor for your child.
Subsequently, Varsity Tutors will contact you via phone or email. They will propose some tutors and a study plan personalized to your child’s needs.
All SAT tutors at Varsity Tutors are of high caliber. They graduated from the best colleges in the US and have gone through a rigorous vetting process. Hence, you can be confident that your quality of instruction will be top-notch.
Lessons & Course Materials
Your child will connect with his tutor through Varsity Tutors’ live learning platform. He can ask questions and complete interactive exercises. Furthermore, if needed, he can also watch previous sessions as they are automatically recorded.
Regarding additional learning resources, Varsity Tutors does not elaborate on what will be handed out to students. Based on my observations, the company does not seem to have an established learning platform. Hence, I do not think the learning resources will be on par with other test prep providers.
The price per hour for 1-on-1 SAT tutoring varies. It depends on various factors, including the number of hours you purchase.
You should expect to pay $50-$100 per hour. At this rate, Varsity Tutors is far cheaper than other alternatives.
Pros & Cons
- Straightforward hiring process
- Exceptional live learning platform with numerous teaching tools
- Taught by experienced, vetted SAT tutors
- Offer a personalized learning experience
- Students can rewatch any sessions at will.
- Score improvement guarantee
- Inexpensive compared to test prep providers
- Varsity Tutors does not provide any information regarding pricing or what learning resources will be included alongside the tutoring sessions.
Wyzant – Wyzant is a leading tutoring marketplace platform with more than 65000 tutors. You can search for online or in-person SAT tutors at will. Most of them will charge $80-$300 per hour.
However, it is crucial to remember that not all Wyzant tutors are vetted or have gone through a background check. Thus, I recommend choosing only the SAT tutor with a background check on file (you can filter out those who are not on the Wyzant platform).