Just the thought of studying for the SAT or ACT exam can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not motivated to study on your own. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to study. While self-study is an option, there’s also group study and one-on-one tutoring. Read on for the pros and cons of each study option.


Target Students: Self-study is recommended for self-motivated students who can create their own schedules and stay on top of their studies.

Pros Cons
Study How, When, and Where you Want
A major perk of self-study is the ability to study how, when, and where you want.
It can be challenging to maintain focus and maintain a consistent designated study time, especially during busy times of the year with regular class homework and sports practices.
You can also study at your own pace. If there’s a topic or concept you don’t understand, you can spend more time on that content.
Lack of Guidance and Feedback
A major disadvantage to self-study is the lack of guidance and feedback from a subject matter expert. You aren’t able to ask questions if you don’t understand the video or study guide explanation.
Self-study is the most cost-effective study choice- there are many free and low cost options.
No Accountability
You can’t turn to a teacher or tutor for encouragement or support when you’re not motivated to stay on track.

*suggested study materials, Khan Academy

Group Study

Target Students: Group study is recommended for students who can focus in a group setting and feel comfortable asking questions in class. This is a good option for students that need an overall review on all content areas of the test. Group study provides accountability and structure at a lower price point than 1:1 prep.

Pros Cons
Built-In Study Partner

Questions about your homework assignment? Ask someone in your class to study with you.

A group study class is not ideal if you are easily distracted by your peers.
Learn from Peers
While learning with peers can be fun, learning from peers is even better. Pair up with someone who is stronger in your weaker subjects and vice versa.
Set Curriculum
Group study follows a structured curriculum across all subject areas (reading, writing, and math), making it less than ideal for students that need a deeper review of specific topics (ex: a student that needs to improve only the math score).
A study group provides accountability- you have a place to be on a specific day, at a specific time. If you’re not there, your teacher will ask why you missed.
Group Dynamics
The attitude of your peers will most likely influence your own. This can end up being a pro or con depending on the group. If there are many motivated students, it will likely push you to also put in the work. However, if there are students that are less positive, it can be a distraction.
Test Strategies
Learn new test strategies and decrease anxiety on test day.

In-Person 1:1 Tutoring

Target Students: One-to-one tutoring is recommended for students who score extremely high or low on the SAT or ACT test because it offers a flexible, personalized approach. Private tutoring is ideal for the easily distracted student and the reserved student who might not speak up in a group setting. This is also the best option for students with busy schedules as it is the most flexible in terms of scheduling.

Pros Cons
Personalized Study Plan
A tutor creates personalized study plans based on your academic strengths and weaknesses.
Private 1:1 tutoring requires a financial investment.
Guidance, Feedback, and Encouragement
Tutoring offers one on one study sessions with a subject matter expert who provides guidance, feedback, and encouragement.
Individualized Attention
With individualized attention it can be easier to focus and concentrate during tutoring sessions. You can also focus on your specific weak areas rather than following a set curriculum.
Your tutor will hold you accountable for paying attention during the session and completing homework assignments.

Online 1:1 Tutoring

Target Students: Online 1:1 tutoring is a great option for students that need more flexibility. It’s great for students that may be traveling or live outside their preferred tutor’s travel area.

Pros Cons
Online tutoring can take place in your home or out and about- anywhere you have a computer and internet connection.
Technology can be great when it works, and not so great when it doesn’t. If your computer or internet is not working, an online tutoring session won’t work either.
Flexible Scheduling
Since online tutoring can take place just about anywhere, scheduling can be more flexible.
If you’re not in a quiet, distraction free setting, it can be difficult to concentrate during online tutoring.
Online Resources

Utilizing and sharing online resources is more accessible when tutoring online.

Access to All Tutors
Matching a tutor and a student is usually somewhat dependent on geography. However, if doing online tutoring, you have access to any tutor.

Learn about Tri-Ed Tutoring’s 1:1 SAT/ACT tutoring services here or schedule a phone consultation for more information. Group classes are organized at individual high schools. Want Tri-Ed to host SAT classes at your school? Contact us to learn more.