As juniors (finally) receive their PSAT scores, floods of parents calls and emails begin to come my way asking for test prep and tutoring references. Students are anxious about their testing schedule and initial scores, while parents are hoping to find the best tutor for their child’s unique test prep needs.
Over the last year or so, I’ve met with a handful of tutors in the area to learn more about their strategy and niche. Below is an overview of some of my go-to tutoring companies, as well as basic information about the work they do with high school students, particularly juniors.
1) NorthStar Tutoring Services – NorthStar Tutoring has been operating in the Seattle area for a decade, and the owner Khanh Do is really passionate about his work with students on SAT and ACT prep. Most of the tutoring they do is in-home but they also offer Skype and Whiteboard tutoring as well. All tutoring is conducted one-to-one through a customized 32-37 hour course, usually taking place over a three month period. This is a fantastic option for students needing a comprehensive plan and for those seeking admission to colleges with an emphasis on stellar scores. They also do some work with younger students preparing for private school admission tests.
2) Northwest Educational Services – This small company is located in Queen Anne, very close to the Seattle Pacific University campus. Greg Smith is the owner who is extremely friendly, approachable and enthusiastic about helping students. He has a very strong academic background (Middlebury College), and an compelling personal story about struggling with dyslexia. His company serves a wide-range of students but seems to focus more on high school. Because of Greg’s personal background, they are a great resource for test prep and tutoring for students with learning differences. They do a lot of work with diagnostics, self-awareness, advocacy and coping mechanisms.
3) Applerouth Tutoring – Applerouth is a larger national test prep company with a strong presence here in Seattle. The founder is regularly at the forefront of discussions about new tests and strategies before they roll out, and they maintain a great and very helpful blog. Applerouth’s tutors do in-home and online tutoring and they offer a large number of free mock tests in the area throughout the year. They’ve also developed a great ACT prep book for their students.
4) University Tutoring – This local company is based in U Village, close to the University of Washington (not surprising given the name). The majority of the students they serve are in high school, and their team of tutors are mostly all University of Washington students, both undergraduate and graduate. They work with a lot of high school students on subject matter tutoring and subject test prep for APs, SAT IIs, etc. Many high school students prefer to work with younger or more laid back tutors, a strength of University Tutoring in my opinion. This company is also a good fit for families looking for more short-term help as they have many options for hourly tutoring instead of just full multi-month packages.