What is Better Edge Tutoring’s success rate with students?

In the last year, Better Edge’s academic tutoring has helped 16 students (in grades 6 through 11) to raise their GPA in Math and/or English by an average of roughly 9.81 points. 94% of these students showed significant gains after two months of tutoring.

On the SHSAT, Better Edge test prep worked with two 8th grade students: one gained admission to Stuyvesant High School and the other received a full scholarship to a private high school. Comparing diagnostic test scores with the final result, our test prep helped students increase their score by an average of 13.5 points (out of the 100 point raw score).

On the ACT Exam, Better Edge has worked with 2 students this year. Comparing diagnostic scores with the final result, these students raised their scores an average of 3 points (out of 36). Considering that one of the students started with a diagnostic score of 34, that average score increase is more impressive than it may seem at first. Moreover, these score increases are more than double those seen nationally. Studies have shown that private tutoring raises students’ average score 20 to 30 points on the 1600-point SAT and 0.6 to 1.0 points on the 36-point ACT.[1] Currently, Better Edge is working with two students taking the SAT on June 6th.

How soon can I expect tutoring to show results?

Most students will see their grades and test scores begin to rise after 5 or 6 tutoring sessions. In the first 3-4 tutoring sessions, the tutor diagnoses the student’s grasp of the subject matter, creates a specialized strategy for the student, and helps the student practice putting that strategy into action. By sessions 5-6, the student’s increased understanding of the material and more effective test-taking strategies should begin to be evident.

Of course, a great deal depends on the student. A student’s willingness to complete the homework exercises and/or practice tests assigned between sessions is essential for building on the short amount of face-to-face time that the student and tutor have.

Better Edge Tutoring cannot guarantee a higher grade or higher score on the standardized tests, and we cannot guarantee that students will reach a specific grade or test score. However, we generally do see students make significant gains in their grades and test scores. (See above). As tutors, we work to set the conditions for success, and we are committed to keeping parents informed of students’ progress. We issue detailed progress reports, analyze students’ practice exams, and constantly give feedback on how likely students are to achieve their goals.

How can Better Edge help students with the college search?

For many students, the college search comes down to a frenzied two or three months in the fall of senior year when they write their personal statement, get recommendation letters, and fill out college applications. Add schoolwork and standardized tests to the mix, and it is easy to overlook something important.

Our tutors’ experience and knowledge of the application process can benefit students in any stage of the college search. As a member of The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and The New York State Association for College Admission Counseling, Dr. Kevin Cooney works with high school and transfer students on the following tasks:

  • keeping track of deadlines
  • writing the personal statement
  • editing applications
  • searching for scholarships
  • preparing for interviews

At all stages of the college search, our tutors are there to answer questions, explain options, identify resources, offer step-by-step advice, and provide detailed feedback.

How do Better Edge Tutoring’s prices compare to those of other tutoring companies in New York?

For group sessions (capped at 5 students), Better Edge Tutoring charges $40/hour. This rate is comparable to that of big test companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review, whose 30-hour courses cost between $33 and $53/hour. (These companies have a 30-hour package that ranges from $1000 to $1600).[2] But Better Edge Tutoring’s total cost will be much lower because you don’t have to sign up for a set number of hours in advance. Also, there are no hidden registration fees.

For individual tutoring sessions, Better Edge charges $75/hour. Comparing our rate to that of other tutoring companies is difficult because many companies in New York City negotiate their rate with each individual customer. Nonetheless, the general trends are clear. In A Parent’s Guide to Tutors and Tutoring (2008), James Mendelsohn claimed that New York tutoring prices fall into four ranges: $30-40/hour, $75-110/hour, $125-225/hour, and $250-500/hour.[3] In 2015, the top range has climbed much higher (to $1000/hour in one case[4]), but one can still find tutors at the prices Mendelsohn mentions.

Another way of looking at these individual tutoring rates is to consider what kind of tutor is available at each price range. One article classifies tutors into 3 groups: “Junior” (below $70/hour), “Professional” ($70-$150/hour), and “Boutique” tutors (above $200/hour), where Juniors are new tutors, Professionals are established tutors with credentials and proven experience, and Boutique tutors are established tutors who simply charge high rates for a specialized clientele.[5] So, when it comes to Better Edge Tutoring’s hourly rate for individual tutoring sessions, our rate is among the lowest in New York City among professional tutors.

Do Better Edge tutors work with students online?

Yes.  Our tutors are available to consult with students through Skype, FaceTime, or other internet applications.  In general, online tutoring can be less effective than in-person tutoring, except in cases where the student and tutor have already met in person and established a rapport.  For this reason, tutoring sessions are conducted in person except when special circumstances make an online session necessary.


[1] D.C. Briggs, Preparation for College Admission Exams.  Alexandria, VA: National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2009. With more than 20 hours of tutoring, students raise their score 40 to 60 points on the SAT. See Susan Black, “Acing the Exam.”  American School Board Journal (January 2005): 35-46.

[2] Ann Carrns, “Another College Expense: Preparing for the SAT and ACT”  The New York Times, 28 October 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/your-money/another-college-expense-preparing-for-the-sat-and-act-.html?_r=0

[3] James Mendelsohn, A Parent’s Guide to Tutors and Tutoring.  San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008: 173.

[4] Ann Carrns, “Another College Expense: Preparing for the SAT and ACT”  The New York Times, 28 October 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/your-money/another-college-expense-preparing-for-the-sat-and-act-.html?_r=0

[5]“Why is Tutoring So Expensive?” http://www.brooklynmathtutors.com/why-is-tutoring-so-expensive