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The math section of the ACT specifically is one of the most perfectly balanced tests that there is. According to data from 2018, the 50th percentile score for the math section comes somewhere between 18 and 19, which is exactly where it should fall on a test that is out of 36. Pretty much no matter where your score is, private ACT math tutoring is going to help you out, but there are a few cases to consider.
First, are the people that probably do not need our help and that is for people scoring 34 or above in the math section. Believe me, we are happy to take your money if you want the additional help, but, realistically, you want to make sure that the investment is going to be worthwhile and the benefits of a 36 over a 34 are surprisingly negligible. In the case of this particular section, a 36 puts you in the 100th percentile (obviously, as there is no higher score), but a 34 or 35 still puts you on the 99th percentile. It takes until a 27 for you to fall out of the top 10% on the math section. If that is the case, you are probably better off working on math on your own. That way you can spend that tutoring money on another section, like ACT writing, which might be a deficit for you if you are math-focused instead of English-focused. That said, it will surely help make up for bad sections on your composite score to bank two extra points in math, but mental health-wise, you are probably better off not stressing over the two points. Unless you are looking to go to Caltech or MIT, where a 34 on the ACT is in the 25th percentile as opposed to the 99th, you are probably fine if you can lock down a 34.
For everyone else, there is a reason to work with ACT math tutors near me. If you fall into the bottom 50%, the reasons for tutoring are obvious. There is a ton of ground to cover, so any amount of tutoring can result in a big boost to your score. In most cases, these are people that have probably struggled through math for far longer than just in this test, so it is obviously difficult, but that is where a great tutor goes a long way. Sometimes, it is just about finding the right avenue to get to them. I was an English class hater all throughout high school. I hated required readings and if you asked me to identify symbols in a text, I would laugh in your face. It was not until my last semester in high school that I found someone that got through to me. I was mostly checked out of my classes, as I was already committed to a fantastic college, but for the first time in my school life, English was my favorite class because the teacher got through to me. When I minored in writing in college, it was a shock to my parents, who had listened to years of complaints, but I knew that it was inspired by my teacher. Maybe we can unlock your passion for math.
For those in the 19-33 range, tutoring might only help you reach up one or two points, but those could mean the difference between a mid-tier school and the top. The marginal benefit of an additional point between 22 and 27 is 5 percentile points per, so even a one point improvement could be enough to separate you in college admissions.
One question that I do not think that I have ever heard a parent ask a prospective test prep tutor is “what did you get on the test?” It feels like the standard question you might ask, as you are hopefully getting someone competent enough to help your student, but it might not get you that much closer to finding the best private ACT math tutors. Instead, the question to ask might be rephrased as “what do your other tutoring clients get on the test?” or “on average, how much better are students scores after working with you?” With the number of practice tests that many students take, it should be a fairly easy, quantifiable measure of the skill of the tutor.
In many cases, the best tutor is someone that is a good tutor, not necessarily someone who is a great mathematician. I got a 36 on the math section, but I get frustrated pretty easily when I explain things to people and they do not get them. My usual instinct when I see a problem that I can solve is to solve it. But when you are tutoring, you want to train the student to be the problem-solver. In that case, doing the problem for them might show them how you would approach things, but they are not building any connections for the next time around. They might run into a similar problem in the future and not realize that this is the way to go because they are still unsure of all of the tools that they have.
In the end, the tutor is not going to be by your side when you are taking the test, so you need to be sure that you are not looking over your shoulder for help on an answer and ending up stuck with no support system. One of the main differentiators between the SAT and ACT when it comes to math is that the ACT rewards speedsters. On the SAT you have an average time per question that is well over a minute, but the ACT is exactly one minute. Running out of time is one of the simplest things that you can work on and is an especially common target area for tutors. Great tutors teach you strategies to find answers faster or at least work through the problems enough that you can make an educated guess and not waste your time.
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