What you need to know about meeting your online GMAT tutor
About a third of our NYC tutoring clients travel for work. Beyond that, a solid third are from outside NYC or the USA.
For us, being awesome at online GMAT tutoring is essential. We’ve been refining our online GMAT tutoring system for almost 10 years and it’s become our main way to provide GMAT preparation.
Our platform is built around delivering online tutoring sessions and our GMAT tutors are specifically trained to work online.
Online GMAT tutoring = Any other online work meeting
What you need for your online tutoring sessions is basically the same as what you need for any online meeting: a solid internet connection, a well functioning computer, headphones, a webcam, and a room.
Most moderately spec’d internet connections work just fine. No need for google fiber. But if you’re tapping into your upstairs neighbor’s internet connection and arranging the furniture to try to capture a signal then that may be an issue.
If you have a decent cell phone plan you can also tether to your phone. That generally functions as long as you have a strong signal. In extreme cases you can also dial-in to the session to take some stress off the connection and just use your internet connection for screen sharing.
You don’t need any special software but ideally go ahead and create an account and download: zoom. We have a professional plan and it has all the options we need for online tutoring along with high quality audio and video. To connect to our sessions you’ll just need to click on the session link which should then automatically connect you to the meeting room.
As back-ups we also use Google Hangouts and, if that fails, Skype. That said, 99.9% of online tutoring sessions are conducted with zoom. These other options are really an excess of caution to keep things running smoothly in all cases.
You’ll need a well functioning computer. It doesn’t have to be a 16 core Mac Pro but it should be dependable (not restarting and freezing intermittently).
We strongly recommend using headphones as they eliminate any issues with echoes or extraneous noise.
We generally have a webcam active because we find that it helps communication. We recommend that you also have a webcam. Non-verbal cues are helpful. That said, if you don’t have a webcam, don’t want to buy one, or just don’t want it on for the session that’s also fine. We’ve done plenty of successful online tutoring sessions without a webcam on the student’s side.
Last thing but an important thing. Aim to have your sessions in a reasonably distraction free workspace. If someone needs to walk around in the background every once in a while or you can hear some traffic noise from the window that’s all normal and AOK but avoid having your roommate binge re-watching Game of Thrones right next to you at full blast.
How is online tutoring conducted?
Most of the collaboration is based on screen sharing with a virtual whiteboard. So we can share materials and can work together on the screen. The shared white board allows your GMAT tutor to resize, copy/paste, clear the board all instantly so the work goes faster. Also we take screenshots of each stage of the lesson so you can review later on.
In addition we can pull from a vast vault of GMAT materials that we can reference throughout the session. All of our GMAT tutoring materials are online so we can also tap into those in addition to your error log which we keep in Google Docs.
How does my tutor see the work I’m doing?
Your tutor will follow along with you on the shared white board so that what’s on your page is also on the screen. We’ve all been through these questions so many times and know the variety of ways that things can go right and wrong that along with you explaining your approach we can usually predict where you’re headed. Sounds a bit strange but works perfectly.
In general, we don’t advise that students buy drawing tablets. It always slows things down. It takes quite a while to get adept at using the tablet and better not waste precious session time fiddling around with it.
Our system works really well without you needing a tablet.
Is online GMAT tutoring right for me?
There are plenty of crappy online GMAT tutors and just as many crappy in person tutors. Put a low-rent GMAT tutor anywhere and you’ll get a sub-standard experience. Hire a great GMAT tutor without a plan for how to conduct online sessions and you’ll also end up behind the eight ball.
Tutoring online requires additional skills. That said, provided that you’re working with a seasoned online tutoring pro, I don’t think there’s a better way to do your GMAT prep.
The convenience factor is huge and, again, the shared whiteboard and materials work tremendously well (at least in our system).
We’ve done tens of thousands of hours of successful online GMAT tutoring and would be happy to start a consultation process with you to see if we are a good fit. We usually to do the GMAT consultation using the tutoring platform so you can get a sense for it before committing to working together on your GMAT prep.
GMAT Tutor Online FAQ
What if the connection drops out during our session or we have some other tech issue?
All of our tutors have well functioning online tutoring setups and are doing dozens of successful hours of tutoring per month. Provided that you have a working computer and stable internet connection issues are very rare.
If there are tech issues that are interrupting the session we pause the tutoring clock so we won’t be wasting time while we’re getting things on the right track. We’ve been doing this for a long time so are pretty good at getting things moving.
Do I need to buy anything additional for the online tutoring sessions?
Assuming that you have access to a working computer, stable internet connection, and headphones (any cheap pair will do) you shouldn’t need anything additional for online GMAT tutoring.
Can I have a trial session to see if meeting online is for me?
Generally we require 6 hours paid to start tutoring. That said, all unused tutoring hours are 100% refundable given that any confirmed sessions are cancelled with 24+ hours notice. So, yes, you can do one session and then decide whether you’d like to continue. However, we do stick to the billing policy and you’ll still need to pay 6 hours up front to get started with us.
Here are our GMAT rates and policies for your reference.
Again, if possible we do the GMAT consultation using the tutoring platform so you can get a sense for things before committing to working together.