Tutoring News Post

Expert Skype Tutoring: Online Test Prep for the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT & ISEE

Posted by Brian R. McElroy at 2016-04-28 00:00:00

Please note: I am a Harvard grad (class of '02), SAT perfect scorer and full-time private tutor (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, ISEE) in San Diego, California.  Since 1998, I have amassed over 15 years and 15,000 hours of private tutoring experience, both in-person and online via Skype.  To arrange private Skype tutoring with me, or for a free 15-minute consultation, please contact me directly at 619-889-2935 (call or text) or mcelroy@post.harvard.edu.   You may also book tutoring hours with me here.

Live in Idaho but want to connect with an expert ACT or SAT tutor in San Diego?  Reside in Texas, but want to work with an an experienced GRE or GMAT tutor in Los Angeles?  Don’t want to change out of your pajamas before starting your ISEE tutoring session? Or maybe you’re just too tired of spending gas money and wasting time sitting in traffic.

We’ve got the solution for you: real-time, online private tutoring via Skype. 

Many people are hesitant to try online tutoring, feeling that the personal connection provided by in-person tutoring is invaluable. And while I would be inclined to agree with this assessment in many cases (such as instances where the student lacks motivation), there are also many other instances where online tutoring would be at least as effective, if not more effective, than in-person tutoring.  For a self-motivated student, Skype tutoring can work wonders, and its convenience is unmatched.    In fact, over 25% of my students now choose to work with me online--even some of the students who live here in San Diego.   

Here is how it works:

1) If you haven’t already, then go to www.Skype.com and create a free Skype account and username. Find the tutor’s username and add him/her as a contact.

2) Make sure the tutor and the student have the same books and materials (taking into account that there are often different editions of the same book). You can’t have an effective tutoring session unless the student and the tutor are looking at the exact same material.  This shouldn’t be a problem if you coordinate in advance and the tutor makes sure to use screen sharing and/or webcam features to provide the visual component necessary. 

3) Create a lesson plan and timeline for tutoring.  How often are you going to meet before the test?  What type of homework will be assigned, and how much?  What are your score goals?

4) Connect with your tutor via Skype the same way that you would over the phone.  The tutor will sometimes use the chat bar to type written messages.  What’s nice about this is that it provides a written record of each session. Other times, the tutor might “share the screen” so that he/she can draw figures, shapes and equations using a digital tablet or mouse. 

Lots of parents will ask me, "how is a tutor on the other side of a computer screen supposed to draw out math problems for my student?" Easy.  The tutor doesn't need any special equipment; he/she can simply draw with pen and paper as usual, then hold the paper up to the screen and have the student take a screenshot. The student can collect all the screenshots in a folder and save them for later review.

If you like, then you could even use screen capture software to record your computer’s screen so that you have a full video record of the lesson. This is very helpful if you'd like to go back and re-watch the video to review certain topics.  We also encourage our students to take screenshots of the visuals that we provide, for example, when working through a long math question, and we send them a PDF of the lesson notes afterward. 

That’s all!  If you’re willing to consider online tutoring, then your number of available tutoring options will increase exponentially; you will then be able to choose from among our entire team of expert tutors.  Yes, there is no exact substitute for meeting with your tutor in person, but Skype comes pretty darn close.  It’s the most convenient way to connect with an expert tutor without having to leave your home. 

Happy Holidays, everybody.



Back to Blog Home | View Brian R. McElroy Profile

Reader Comments


Posted on 2015

Hi , I'm an international school student. I'm currently in grade 11 and I'm looking for a private SAT tutor that I can ask questions


Posted on 2015

I have 1 month time for my GRE test.I wanted to take online classes, could you help me with the fee how much for each class? Thank you

Submit Your Comment

*Email (will not be displayed)


HTML tags are not allowed.
*Spam Protection

Secure Spam Blocker