Varsity Tutors - Official Review of Varsity Tutors
Review of Varsity Tutors. Company called "Varsity Tutors"
My Experience With Varsity Tutors
Review of Varsity Tutors' Service
Varsity Tutors is one of many online tutoring websites that claims it can help students improve their scores on standardized tests. The Varsity Tutors platform has been acclaimed by various media outlets, including CBS and NBC, and Varsity Tutors has been operating for years. Before trying them out, I was a high school senior who was preparing to take her SAT exam.
You see, I had taken several practice tests a few months before trying out Varsity Tutors and kept getting lower scores than I wanted. My dream was to get into Harvard University, but my score was just too weak. So I decided to try out Varsity Tutors to see what they had to offer. What I found was a pretty startling deflation of the hype surrounding this company.
In this Varsity Tutors review, you will learn all about my experience with this company, their approach to tutoring, and whether or not it is worth your time and money. I warn you that this is going to be a negative review. So before you look up the Varsity Tutors contact information, you might want to know why I can't give them a high recommendation.
All About Varsity Tutors:
Varsity Tutors offers its customers many different tutoring options. For example, you can hire a private tutor to help you prepare for a variety of standardized tests, like the SAT and the ACT. They also have practice tests which you can purchase and use on your own. Beyond test prep courses, they also offer tutoring services in math, science, and even language courses.
When I read through the many Varsity Tutors customer reviews, I was struck by the disparity of the reviews. Some were very positive and claimed they had earned 20 or more points on their SAT score. Others were negative and said that their experience was not helpful. So I was a bit concerned right off the bat.
Another thing that almost turned me away was their non-transparent pricing practices. Sure, they have a section that purports to tell you about tutor pricing. But you have to enter your full name, email address, phone number, and zip code before they show any prices! I understand that this step is required to connect you with a tutor in your area, but other tutoring sites I investigated did not take this unnecessary step.
Why I Tried Varsity Tutors:
I am sure that a lot of you reading this review right now are wondering why I went with Varsity Tutors. After all, I just explained the negative reviews and their troublesome pricing system. To be honest, I almost didn't choose them. However, I read through reviews by the media outlets that had praised them and found that their reviews were different in tone than the customer ones.
In these reviews, Varsity Tutors was praised as an extensive tutoring site that allowed you to choose your tutor, pick a fair pricing option, and select your tutoring subjects. They claimed that students had earned higher SAT scores as a result of these services. The customer service of the site was also praised, as was the variety and quality of the tutors on the site.
So in the end, I ignored the many negative Varsity Tutors customer reviews. I rationalized this by saying that they often wrote poor reviews for the silliest reasons. It was my belief that many of these reviews were perhaps unfair or judging the company too harshly.
As a result, I decided it was worth at least looking through their test prep options to see what they had to offer. What I found surprised me, as there was a surprisingly large number of potential tutoring options from which I could choose.
What Kinds of Test Prep Do They Offer? Varsity Tutors customer reviews
The big thing that initially impressed me about Varsity Tutors was the many test preps they offered. For example, they provided ACT, SAT, PSAT, and ASPIRE test prep options. However, I was also interested in their graduate school tutoring options, as I planned on continuing my education after my undergraduate work. For example, they offered tutoring options for the MCAT, GRE, LSAT, and more.
So I decided that I would use Varsity Tutors to help improve my score on the SAT. I filled out the contact form, learned I'd be paying hundreds of dollars for each session, talked to my parents about it, and finally picked a tutor that could help me. We set up online tutoring sessions, as she lived a few states away from me.
Choosing a tutor was actually difficult. Each tutor has a detailed bio that discusses their experience and education. These bios were simple to read and were helpful in narrowing down potential candidates. The only difficulty was in narrowing down the options, as there were dozens of potential candidates.
My Experience With My Tutor
My tutor was a younger woman, someone just a few years older than me. I decided to pick her because she was strong in science and math, my two weakest subjects. Her age was also a deciding factor. I liked the idea of working with someone close to my age. Our closeness in age, I thought, would help make the experience run more smoothly.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. After we had scheduled several weeks of sessions ahead of time, she didn't show up to the first one at all! For hours, I sat in front of the computer screen waiting for her video to appear. No luck. I emailed and even texted her but got no reply. Later on in the day, she apologized via email and told me that a personal emergency had occurred.
After that, she was usually on time to our sessions. However, I quickly found out that she and I were going to have some problems. Her idea of tutoring was to tell me what I needed to know and then teaching it to me via mere repetition. That wasn't what I wanted from her. Instead, I desired someone who could explain complex ideas in a way that would help me understand them.
When I told her that I was frustrated with her approach, she laughed at me. She said that complex learning wasn't necessary for SAT preparation. Getting a good score on the SAT, she said, was all about temporary memorization. There was no need to understand complex ideas until later when taking classes at school.
Her refusal to teach frustrated me, as I wanted to know about these ideas before I went to college. It was my belief that knowing them beforehand would make my higher education experience run more smoothly. I also thought it was a rather cynical approach to tutoring. But she refused to budge.
How Did It Go?
So after a few weeks of tutoring, it was time for my test. Honestly, I wasn't feeling that great about it. Working with the tutor had been more difficult than I had hoped. Even though she was friendly enough as a person, she simply didn't understand the way I learned.
She also tended to push subjects that I didn't feel I needed to study. Even worse, some of the information she told me was wrong! Again, I can't point to exact details, but you'll have to trust me when I say I was very disappointed with my tutor and her focus on memorization learning.
So I sat down in the classroom and started the test. I went right to the science and math sections, as these were the ones I'd struggled in the most in my practice tests. I found a few answers came to me pretty easily, as usual, but more complex problems were difficult for me. In fact, I discovered that there were sections that I couldn't do at all.
Frustrated, I went back to the English section and finished that off quickly. My confidence restored, I went back to the science and math sections. Again, I struggled with them. In fact, I think I had a harder time than I did in my practice tests. Why? A lot of the information that had been covered by the tutor was not on the test!
Even worse, I think some of the things she had told me were wrong. I don't remember any specific examples, but I felt like I was doing more poorly on the test after her help than I did on the practice tests before. After a few weeks passed and I got my score, it was confirmed: I'd dropped 20 points! There was no way I was getting into Harvard with that score.
Final Thoughts about Varsity Tutors:
How could I possibly give this company a positive review after I lost 20 points on my SAT score? Now you may be wondering if it is their fault or mine that I lost 20 points. That's a fair concern and one I've considered heavily before writing this review. After all, some might think I'm just blaming them for my failures.
But even if the decreased score is my fault, shouldn't their tutoring have helped me at all? The truth is, their award-winning program didn't work for me. From my confusion about pricing to a tutor who didn't understand how to help me, I was very disappointed with Varsity Tutors.
Honestly, I have a hard time reading the positive Varsity Tutors customer reviews with a straight face. Could these people have worked with an entirely different company? It feels that way to me. So it's fair to say that I do not recommend them and award them with a 1.5 out of 5 stars.