Many aspiring doctors rely heavily on private MCAT tutors to achieve success on one of the earliest and most important challenges of a medical career. MCAT, the Medical College Admission Test, is usually the necessary first step to attend medical school. Preparing for this test is a stressful time for a student, and many seek the guidance and attention of a private tutor to ease the transition.
Qualifications and Preparation
Although it might improve a tutor's qualifications to take the MCAT themselves, it is not necessary that an MCAT tutor be a doctor, or even someone who has taken the MCAT. Academically, it is only necessary that they be thoroughly knowledgeable of the questions asked on the test. The test is divided into four sections: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Writing Sample and Biological Sciences. A tutor must be able to review all these subjects with her students, thoroughly enough to insure their achievement on this complicated exam. A tutor may familiarize herself with the exam in many ways. Whole books are devoted to understanding the mechanics of the test, and many respected study guides, such as the Kaplan MCAT Review and the Princeton MCAT Review, are available to aid a tutor.
What Makes A Great MCAT Tutor
It is very important that an MCAT tutor be familiar with the needs of her pupils. This means being able to judge a students' weak areas and understand what learning resources will help them best conquer them. It might be every pre-med's student's dream to be tutored for the MCAT by a successful and respected PH.D, but not many hopefuls can afford these hard-to-find instructors. Though it is important that the tutor be masterful with the material and the process of the test, many students are looking for a different quality in their tutor. To some, it is more valuable to have a tutor who is extremely conscious of their needs as a student and can relate well with them.
Private MCAT tutors have the option to affiliate themselves with a tutoring service. PremiumTutor.com and Tutornation.com are some of the available online sites offering advertising for tutors. Some sites require a tutor to submit their qualifications before they are added to the service, while some add a tutor's profile at no charge. Many tutors hang out their own shingles by means of an ad on Craigslist, or even advertising in local college newspapers. Anywhere prospective medical students congregate is a good place to promote services. A simple but eye-catching ad pinned to the bulletin boards of college library and coffee shops might even get a larger response than expensive advertising.
What a tutor charges depends of their level of education, tutoring resume and the depth of service they offer. Tutors advertising online list the cost of their services as anywhere between $12 an hour to $200. Some MCAT tutors make themselves more valuable by being willing to travel to contact their clients, or by being able to fit around a pre-med student's busy schedule. The more high-percentile scores a tutor can boast among her clients, the more desirable, and expensive, she becomes in her profession.
As in any teaching profession, the MCAT tutor's success is measured by that of her pupil. And so, success as an MCAT tutor requires a level of commitment. Not just to the subject matter of the test, but the to the student seeking guidance.