There are hundreds of tutoring companies out there, and each one claims to be the best. That leaves parents with the daunting task of figuring out which one to choose for their student. In order to decide which tutoring company is the right fit for a child, please consider asking the following questions:

What subjects and areas do you tutor?

Why this is important: Parents don’t want to look over an otherwise promising tutoring company simply because they don’t appear to offer tutoring in their child’s specific area of need.

The short answer: Some tutoring companies’ websites are vague and don’t list the specific classes or tests their tutors can help with. For instance, I recently came across a tutoring company whose website said they offered assistance with “upper level languages.” Does that mean AP Spanish? German III? Advanced Mandarin? If you come across a website like this, call or email the tutoring company to find out if they can help your student in the subject he needs help with. Oftentimes, tutoring companies will only advertise their most requested services on their website.

How soon can I get a tutor?

Why this is important: Sometimes busy parents forget to book tutoring sessions for their children until a day or two before they need the tutor to come to their home. You want to make sure the tutoring agency can provide you with a tutor quickly in the event this oversight occurs.

The short answer: Tutoring companies vary as to how long they take to match your student with the appropriate tutor. While some companies can accomplish this within less than 24 hours, it’s generally a good idea to book at least 48 hours in advance to avoid same-day fees.

 What are your tutors’ qualifications?

Why this is important: You want to make sure the tutor is an absolute expert in the area in which you need assistance in order to ensure the best results.

The short answer: Depending on the tutoring company, you may be able to answer this question simply by browsing the company’s website. Many tutoring companies have it set up so you can browse tutor profiles individually. Said profiles often list the tutor’s standardized test scores and hours tutored, as well as any certifications they may have for certain areas. But, again, if you do not readily find this information online, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Most tutoring companies are very proud of their tutors and will have no problem extolling their multiple accomplishments and subjects of expertise.

How can I keep track of my child’s progress?

Why this is important: If parents are not in the loop, they can’t offer their child the support he needs to succeed. You also have no way of checking whether or not the tutor is adhering to your pre-set goals for your child.

The short answer: Some companies offer face-to-face time or progress reports after every tutoring session in which they’ll discuss key details such as specific concepts the tutor and student worked on during the session, how the student has improved, and in which areas the student could stand to improve.

What is your cancellation policy?

Why this is important: Parents will have to give the tutoring company sufficient cancellation notice in order to receive a full refund.

The short answer: With some companies, the individual tutor sets his own cancellation policy. Yet some tutoring companies have one standard cancellation policy that applies to all tutors. In any event, most cancellation policies require 24 hours’ notice to cancel a tutoring session. If parents do not comply with the company’s cancellation policy, they may not be entitled to a full refund.

These are just a few of the many questions you could ask when choosing a tutoring company. Call tutoring companies and ask if your child can meet tutors; Compatibility with the tutor’s teaching style and your child’s learning style is extremely important. In fact, I encourage you to ask as many as necessary questions to assure yourself that you are making a worthwhile investment in your child’s education.

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