#1: High GMAT Score
Make sure that your tutor has a high GMAT score. Your tutor needs to have demonstrated that they have mastered the test. You can’t expect them to teach you something they can’t do themselves. Whether you are going to a company or picking your own tutor, the 99th percentile is a good requirement to weed out unqualified tutors.
#2: Tutoring Experience
Now this is where you need to start paying attention. A lot of test prep and tutoring companies hire high-performing test takers who have zero relevant tutoring or teaching experience. Then, they sell themselves to potential students based on their tutor’s impressive scores. It’s important to recognize that taking the test and teaching the test are totally different skills. Many of those with high test scores can’t explain why they do what they do on the test and certainly can’t help their students do the same. You should seek out a tutor with many years’ teaching experience, one with a specific track record of tutoring standardized tests. These are a whole different ball game to classroom subjects.
#3: Student-Centered Teaching Style
Make sure that your tutor is student-centered and not lecture-oriented. Hence it’s important that they have experience specifically as a tutor and not just as a classroom teacher. If you want a lecture, you should be taking a group class. Tutoring is one-on-one for a reason. It should be about finding and addressing your needs and, just as importantly, helping you to do things on your own. A few traits of a student-centered tutor are: listening while you’re talking; asking open-ended questions; answering student questions; focusing on the process more than the answer; exploring student mistakes and successes; interactive lesson planning and distilling key points as they occur, and recapping key points.
#4: Complete Study Plan
Good tutors know the hours you spend with them are only part of the equation. They’ll not only plan the tutorials, but also what you should do on your own between sessions. This ensures that you’re making the most of your individual study time, strengthening concepts from your sessions in your work at home, preparing for upcoming sessions to make your time together as high leverage as possible, and sticking to a study plan that builds up to test day.
Check out: Beating the GMAT without Preparation Courses
#5: Convenient Schedule and Location
Students are often forced to choose between the best tutoring experience and tutoring hours that fit their work schedule or a tutoring commute that doesn’t eat up their day. This assumes that you’re in a location that has accomplished GMAT tutors. Depending on what country or city you live in, your options for tutoring may be severely limited or even non-existent. If you’re dealing with this dilemma, then online tutoring can be a great option in order to have both your pick of tutors and to keep living a normal life.