What Parents and Tutors Need to Know about Teaching the SAT

Hudson Academy is a space for teaching and tutoring  in Vancouver specializing in IB/ AP/ SAT/ BC/ Alberta programs. Here are our tips on how you can teach your child or tutor someone you know. 


Before beginning to work with a student, you should ensure you’ll be able to help that student and identify any obstacles you may face.

Check Your Qualifications

You should not assume simply because you are older and have had more experience with the test, that your knowledge regarding the test is superior to them. She took the SAT only a few months ago; you took it at least five years ago. 

It is imperative that you fully understand the SAT to become an effective tutor (see the next step for a more in-depth explanation).

Think about it this way: if you don’t understand why an answer is wrong, you won’t be able to explain it to your student. Additionally, you will not be able to determine why a student missed the question.

It is recommended that you should score at least 150 points higher than your student. You’ll want to be as close to perfect as possible if she’s already scoring extremely high.

Getting Your Student Motivated

Tutoring can be challenging because you need to convince your students to do the work necessary to improve. Increasing standardized test scores is largely a matter of practice. 

You need to convince your student to put in the effort to improve her grade. Discuss the benefits of a higher SAT score with your student if she is struggling to stay motivated.

Motivating a student who is a close family member or friend can be especially difficult. Students who need extra help tend to benefit from this kind of tutoring when they are young or are independently motivated and come to you for something extra.

Studying for the test is the next step

In order to be an effective tutor, you should know everything you can about the subject matter you’re tutoring.

Become familiar with the format

In spite of the fact that it may seem inconsequential, you should make sure that you know what the SAT is all about: how long it is, what questions it contains, and what sections it consists of.

Remember that changes have occurred to the SAT over recent years, so even if you remember the SAT from your high school years, be sure to take the test today.

Your student must understand what the SAT entails.

Make sure you know both the different formats of the questions and the topics you will encounter on the test. If you need assistance, consult our guides on what you will encounter in each section.

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math

Learn how the SAT differs from other tests

Students take SATs differently than the tests they take in class. You will need to help your student learn how to make the most of these differences.

The SAT is largely a multiple-choice test: it doesn’t matter which of the choices your child selects, as long as she gets the answer right. Students can speed up the process by using a variety of strategies and shortcuts.