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One-on-One Test Prep Vs. Group Classes: Which is Better for Learning?



Here at Thinque Prep, we offer both one-on-one private tutoring for SAT and ACT test prep and group prep courses. Parents often ask us which we recommend. That’s a tough question to answer, as ultimately it boils down to each student’s unique learning style and preferences. In today’s blog post, we’ll break down the differences between private tutoring and group SAT/ACT prep and how each can help your child meet their goals for college admission.


One-on-One SAT/ACT Tutoring


Private SAT/ACT tutoring offers several advantages. First, this kind of test prep offers students the opportunity to have 1-1.5 hours of an expert’s undivided attention. This type of tutoring eliminates distractions and encourages the student to focus solely on the topic at hand. Because they’re the only student in a particular session, they can also be sure the meeting is tailored to their unique needs and focuses on the specific parts of the SAT and ACT test(s) they may be struggling with.


The individualized nature of private tutoring makes it a great fit for a wide variety of students. When trying to decide whether one-on-one test prep tutoring would be a better fit than a group prep course, a parent may want to consider a few aspects of their child’s learning style. If the child sometimes struggles with accountability, having a private tutor who knows exactly how their student has progressed and whether or not they’re putting in the necessary work between meetings can help boost their success. Also, if the child has trouble focusing or can be easily distracted, private test prep tutoring provides a serene, distraction-free environment in which the student can zero in on the content without possible distractions from peers. A student who learns best in quiet environments will benefit specifically from one-on-one SAT/ACT tutoring.


Group SAT/ACT Prep Courses


Though this test prep is conducted in groups rather than one-on-one, it’s important to note that the best tutoring agencies will keep group SAT/ACT prep courses small. Thinque Prep, for example, limits summer SAT/ACT group classes to 8-10 students at a time. This allows students to benefit from a group learning environment without getting lost in the shuffle.


Group SAT/ACT prep courses have several unique advantages. One is that they allow groups of friends to learn together. Many students find their motivation is boosted when they can pursue learning goals together with people they know and have fun with. Just like any party is probably going to be higher-energy than a meeting between just two people, group classes also offer a little extra energy and fun. Our instructors often incorporate games and little competitions in group test prep courses that wouldn’t work in a one-on-one environment.


If you’re wondering whether a test prep class is the better choice for your child, consider whether they tend to be more motivated in a group environment. You’ll also want to think about whether they may struggle with distractions when among their friends and other students their age. Finally, if they thrive on the level of stimulation and constant action that a group class can offer, it might be a better choice than the more calm, more relaxed pace of private tutoring.


Ultimately, when it comes to whether one-on-one test prep or group test prep courses are better for learning, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The unique nature of both types of SAT/ACT prep offer different benefits to different students. However, we also remind you that you don’t necessarily have to make a choice - some of our students just do both! Private tutoring alongside or before/after a group class can help reinforce learning and offer students the best of both worlds!


If you’re interested in in-person SAT and ACT prep courses and private tutoring, the students Thinque Prep works with in their Lake Forest office tend to be from local areas like Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Trabuco Hills. However, if you’re located in another area of Orange County (or even out of state!), we’re happy to work with you virtually via Zoom as well - whatever’s most convenient for you! Give us a call, email, or text today to learn more about how the test prep services Thinque Prep has to offer can propel your child to college success.




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