Becoming a tutor?

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confused_humpback
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Becoming a tutor?

Postby confused_humpback » Sat May 02, 2015 6:29 pm

Hi all,

Does anybody have any insight into how becoming a tutor/instructor works? I got a 170 on the LSAT. Any good way to go about doing that?

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Jeffort
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby Jeffort » Sat May 02, 2015 7:51 pm

If you want to try to get a job with a prep company, just submit a job application. However, the quality big name LSAT prep companies typically require a 98th or 99th percentile score and 170 is now below that being a 97.4 percentile score.

Otherwise you could try applying to other prep companies or to a tutors to students matchmaker service that doesn't have a 99th or 98th percentile score requirement or try marketing yourself as an independent tutor through craigslist and/or other ways to advertise in your area.

Keep in mind though that deciding to try to make some $$ tutoring/teaching LSAT without any experience is pretty tough these days due to the significant decline in test taker volume and oversupply of qualified LSAT teachers and tutors that already have a good amount of LSAT teaching/tutoring experience and a track record of success. The supply demand ratios vary by geographic area, so where you live influences your chances a lot too.

GL

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Pneumonia
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby Pneumonia » Sun May 03, 2015 4:14 pm

Depends on where you live. If you're in a big city, or any city with a decent law school, you've probably got no chance: 170 is low for tutoring, and even if you had a 180 supply >>> demand. If you're in a really small city you'll have no demand. Only way I see a 170 solo tutor getting paid any money at all is if you live in a small- or medium- sized college town that does not have a law school.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Sun May 03, 2015 10:56 pm

I was just talking to another tutor about this. I think the market is rough right now for those who don't have an independent platform to get students.

The rates seem alluring. You could earn $100+ an hour! But here's what's not obvious about those rates:

* Your clients are not long term. Most study for the LSAT 2-3 months. This significantly increases overhead, as acquiring new clients is the costliest part of business.
* At $100+ an hour, most students will just do a lesson a week. Total volume per student is low.
* $100 an hour is your rate for tutoring, only. You still have to do other work like marketing, taking notes, replying to emails, invoicing, tax administration, etc. None of this is paid. Divide your rate by at least two to get your effective hourly rate.

From the outside, LSAT tutoring looks incredible. And if you can get enough student volume, it's still a pretty good side thing. But it's hard to get volume. Not only are test taker numbers declining, but the explosion in excellent cheap/free online resources has reduced demand for tutoring, especially logic games.

I should note that I am not, primarily, a tutor. I make money from book sales. I do some tutoring because people find my site and give me requests, but I don't go chasing clients. You can make more money if you seek out clients, but it's significantly more work to actively market vs. passively take in some requests.

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All that said, the barrier to trying is pretty low. You can put up a craiglist ad, make some posters for your local campus, make a site, get listed on google places, etc. If some clients come in, great. If not, you probably wasted 10-20 hours max.

If you do get some clients, you'll learn a LOT from tutoring. So much so that you might be able to retake for 175+ later. I've long wanted some of my higher scoring students to try the learning by tutoring strategy, but so far no one's actually done it. Tutoring was what brought me to mastery; it forces you to deepen your understanding.

Good luck!

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Blythe17
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby Blythe17 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:39 pm

That's some interesting insight, Graeme. It seems, however, that some of those concerns mostly apply to independent tutors, no? Sure, the decline in demand and abundance of qualified instructors will affect all, independent or not. But I imagine you won't be spending much time if at all on chasing clients/tax admin/etc. as testprep company employee. So I wonder whether the outsider-allure of seemingly high pay isn't so misguided after all, at least for company employees. What do you think, Graeme?

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RZ5646
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby RZ5646 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:22 pm

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Last edited by RZ5646 on Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Becoming a tutor?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Tue May 05, 2015 6:02 pm

Blythe17 wrote:That's some interesting insight, Graeme. It seems, however, that some of those concerns mostly apply to independent tutors, no? Sure, the decline in demand and abundance of qualified instructors will affect all, independent or not. But I imagine you won't be spending much time if at all on chasing clients/tax admin/etc. as testprep company employee. So I wonder whether the outsider-allure of seemingly high pay isn't so misguided after all, at least for company employees. What do you think, Graeme?


I worked for a major company in Toronto for a bit, and then for another in Montreal. Very, very few tutoring inquiries, compared to class levels. Tutoring is the gold-plated option of LSAT prep. I think a lot of companies offer it mainly to make their classes look less expensive.

The economics of tutoring aren't favorable for companies, tutors or students. Here's a cost breakdown:

* Tutoring price for student: $150-$200 an hour. Pricey.
* Very high overhead in terms of scheduling, marketing, administration, class space etc. for company. A class divides most of these costs among 10-40 students, whereas tutoring places it on a single student.
* Likewise, very high staff cost per hour for the company. You've got to pay the tutor $30-$50+ per hour whether they tutor one student or a class.
* For a tutor, you're doing one hour at a time. It may be difficult to stack these together, as the company will cater to client schedules. (As an independent tutor you have more leeway to set lessons to the time that suits you)
* For the tutor, you're making less with a company than you would independently, $30-$50 an hour in most cases, sometimes more with some of the majors. Though the plus side is that you don't have to do much admin work.

In a major center like NYC or LA, volume + wealth makes most of these issues go away. Almost anywhere else you may see little demand.

I'm prepared to be corrected on parts of that, as I don't have experience working as a company tutor in a US city. US students take standardized tests far more seriously than Canadians do, so it's possible there's more tutoring volume.

If a company has enough volume to give tutors 8 hours of work in a row, then the economics work out much better for both the company and the tutor. If there's low demand, it's likely tutoring is just a front to make the classes seem impressive.

Also for a tutor, tutoring gets exponentially harder the more lessons you do if you don't set your schedule. Three hours week at random times is easy. 20 hours a week at random times can get messy even if you're getting paid $50+ per hour. There's a big difference between working 8 hours in a row and 8 hours spread out randomly over three days.

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I'll note that, as a side gig, tutoring is still pretty great. All I'm saying is that it's not nearly as great as it seems from the outside, once you have a full view of the economics + scheduling considerations.

Volume + long term clients + control of schedule + long blocks of work + high rates = happy freelancer. LSAT tutoring for a company pretty much only offers high(ish) rates, and maybe volume in a major center. Tutoring for yourself can offer higher rates + control of schedule, at the cost of adding marketing and admin work.

Tutoring for yourself with some kind of platform that generate clients can offer high rates + volume + control of schedule, but that's about as good as you'll get. Note that you'll need a rather large platform as I know few people doing that full time from a site. If you have a referral relationship with a school or other local institution that could provide enough volume.




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