Group Class & Tutoring: Dual Test Prep for Faster Results

Group Class & Tutoring: Dual Test Prep for Faster Results

When it comes to test prep, many parents often wonder what type of course to choose. Should they pick a group class, which could save them money and be a little more comfortable for their children? Should they choose private tutoring, which could provide a more personalized learning experience and additional help on weak points? Oftentimes, there are a number of factors that go into this decision, but for many students, the answer might not lie in which one to choose, but instead how they could potentially balance both!

What are the differences between group classes and private tutoring?

As the name suggests, group classes are held with multiple students at once. This means that one teacher is in charge of a few students, all learning the same subject and covering the same material. This also means that when reviewing content, the instructor must cover questions and mistakes from the class as a whole. 

In contrast, private tutoring is a one-on-one interaction. A tutor and student will meet throughout the week, with the number of sessions depending on availability and preference. Tutors are able to personalize lesson plans and material depending on student needs. 

What are the Strengths and Weaknesses for both Options?

Group Classes

Taking test prep in a group can seem daunting for some students. That said, there are many advantages to taking a group class.

    • Highly structured class format and system
    • Shared learning from other students
    • Ability to take class with friends and other students
    • Generally lower cost and commitment


However, there are some areas where a group class differs from private tutoring and could present themselves as challenges for students.

    • Teachers are required to balance attention across the entire class
    • Students need to actively participate to get the most out of the course
    • Less flexibility in scheduling and structure


Private Tutoring

While private tutoring is the more traditional option for some students, it isn’t always the best choice. However, there are naturally a number of benefits for this option.

    • High level of focus and personalization from the teacher
    • More flexibility of scheduling depending on instructor and student need
    • Able to get more time in class as needed


As with any option, there are some disadvantages and drawbacks to one-on-one tutoring.

    • For students who are shy, the constant spotlight can be hard to manage
    • Students can feel discouraged from constantly being challenged and forced to improve on weaknesses
    • Generally higher cost and commitment required


What is the Solution Then?

As we can see, there are many things to consider when deciding what the perfect test prep program is for students. One interesting thing to note though is how complementary their advantages and disadvantages are to each other. Each option covers some of the drawbacks, allowing for a more well-rounded tutoring experience. 

Thus, our team at MEK would recommend, if you have the resources and ability, choosing to supplement your students group class with private tutoring. While this of course comes with additional cost, doing so provides all the benefits of both methods while reducing concerns for lack of progress and challenging students to grow. Students are able to push through plateaus quicker, receive the attention they need from their individual teacher, and still utilize the same structure and framework provided in a group setting. Above all else, students can then see the benefits of private tutoring without having to fully commit, providing flexibility and cost advantages as well. 

Next Steps

Looking for a one-on-one tutoring package as an alternative or supplement to group classes? Check out our School Support and Private Test Prep tutoring programs for:

    • SAT Prep
    • ACT Prep
    • BCA/BT Prep
    • AP Tutoring
    • High School Honors Tutoring
    • MEK Learning Circles 


Click here to learn more about our tutoring program and packaging options.

If you are interested in hearing more about our test prep options and discussing what the right choice might be for your student, give us a call at +1 (855) 346-1410 or contact us today!

Jaehee Ahn

Jaehee Ahn is MEK Review's Director of Academic Counseling Services and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She is also an alumnus of MEK Review's SAT Prep program. If you have any questions about our College Counseling programs or wish to set up a consultation, you can email Jaehee at


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