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Positioning Your Tutoring Business for Success in the New Digital SAT Era

As the education landscape continues to evolve, tutors are often the first point of contact for students and parents seeking guidance on navigating academic changes. With the impending shift to the new Digital SAT format, you can expect a flurry of inquiries regarding which test is most suitable for the incoming class.

To provide effective guidance during this transitional period, it's crucial to adapt your tutoring business's approach. Here's how to position your tutoring business for success in the face of this test change.

  1. Emphasize the Importance of GPA and Course Selection: Remind parents and students that while standardized tests are a part of the admissions process, GPA and course rigor play a significant role in college admissions. Encourage them to focus on maintaining a strong academic record.

  2. Advocate School-Specific Recommendations: Suggest that parents reach out to the schools to which their student plans to apply. Institutions may have specific preferences or recommendations regarding the Digital SAT or other standardized tests. Gathering this information can help guide their decision.

  3. Conduct Diagnostic Testing: In cases where school recommendations are unclear, recommend that students take both an ACT diagnostic and a Digital SAT diagnostic. This will provide a baseline assessment of their strengths and weaknesses in both test formats.  

  4. Utilize Concordance Tables: Familiarize yourself with concordance tables to help students and parents understand how scores on the Digital SAT, the ACT, and other standardized tests correlate. Use this information alongside diagnostic test results to guide your recommendations.

  5. Consider Student Comfort and Achievement: Engage in thoughtful conversations with students to determine their comfort level and performance on the tests. Encourage them to choose the test that aligns with their strengths and provides the best opportunity for success in the Digital SAT era.

  6. Highlight the Digital SAT Format: Make sure to stay updated with the latest information on the Digital SAT format. Direct parents and students to official resources to familiarize themselves with the new digital testing environment.

  7. Encourage Trial Runs: Mention that practice tests in the Digital SAT format will be available well in advance of the actual test date. This allows students to try out the new digital format and decide if it suits their testing style.  Here is a link to some free Digital SAT practice material from Collegeboard. 

  8. Reinforce the Importance of GPA and Course Rigor: As a final reminder, stress the significance of maintaining a strong academic record throughout high school. This should remain a priority alongside standardized testing.

  9. Familiarize yourself with Test Optional admissions and be prepared to discuss why taking the tests is still a no-brainer, while submitting scores to colleges will be on a case-by-case basis. 

Remember that, historically, SAT test changes create an increase in overall test taker demand.   In short, students who would not ordinarily take the test in the fall, will do so in order to "lock in" a test score on a known entity (the paper & pencil SAT).  Concurrently, more students tend to add or shift to the ACT in the spring, again, a known entity.   

Since the new Digital PSAT is this October and it will influence the eventual demand for the March Digital SAT, there is both opportunity and exposure with respect to test prep tutoring demand.  So, everyone should have a plan to embrace the change!  Here's what we recommend:

Anticipate the increased demand for test preparation services during this transitional period. As the testing environment evolves into the Digital SAT format, there will likely be more test takers seeking assistance. Consider these steps to position your tutoring business for success:

  • Stay Informed: Continuously update your knowledge of the Digital SAT format, concordance tables, and college admission trends.  We've added a "one sheet" in your membership so that your team can use to guide parents.Adapt Your Services: Offer specialized tutoring services tailored to the new Digital SAT format.

  • Promote Your Expertise: Showcase your expertise and commitment to staying current with changes in standardized testing to attract more clients.  You can do this through blogs, emails, social posts etc. 

  • Prepare for Increased Demand: Be prepared for an upsurge in demand for your services as students and parents seek guidance during this transitional period.  Train your team, check your staffing, have a plan for materials and service and hire tutors if you need to. 

  • Add parent, school, and community events which explain the timing and differences between the current SAT, the Digital SAT, and the ACT.  Start promoting those events NOW and be sure to include current families.  Promote those events via email, social, and Google Business. 
  • Schedule fee practice testing locally if you have space or remotely if you don't.  If you don't have the bandwidth or the location to hold practice tests, consider using our proctoring service

While not a comprehensive list, these recommendations will provide a good foundation for the transition. 

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