How to Tutor Overachieving Students

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Many parents are curious if students who are already successful will still benefit from tutoring. Here’s how to tutor overachieving students!

1. Executive skills.

Both executive skills as well as “soft” skills are crucial toolsets students will utilize throughout their entire lives. Surprisingly, it’s not uncommon for students to struggle with these skills even while receiving excellent grades. Some of the common executive training skills tutors will implement into their sessions include:

  • Prioritization and time management – We often see older students who, despite doing well on exams, subject themselves to weekly stress with late-night “cram” sessions. These students often need to learn how to prioritize their most important assignments while developing a more effective studying schedule.
  • Organization – A lack of organization is one of the most common problems in students of all ages. We frequently see overachieving students who continue to struggle with mismanagement of their materials, from messy backpacks to misplaced notes. Organizational problems can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress, and tutors can help students develop a more streamlined system that works for them.
  • Problem-solving and adaptation – We see many students who have no issues reviewing the homework assignments their teacher assigned in class – however, they struggle when presented with the same material framed in a slightly different way. In math classes, this commonly appears with word problems. Students may understand the mathematical operations, but have difficulty applying these concepts to new problems and scenarios.

Standardized exams like the SAT and ACT will require students to adapt their core skills and apply them across a variety of questions and approaches. This leads us to…

2. Test-taking skills. 

Contrary to what most people believe, one of the most common remarks we hear from overachieving students is “I always finish tests last.” Students who are extremely driven often struggle not with the exam’s academic content, but with the exam itself. This includes not managing time, becoming fixated on difficult problems, second-guessing their answers, and not checking their work thoroughly.

We often hear the same students say, “That test would have been no problem at home.” Of course – and this isn’t surprising! At home, there’s no time limit or pressure. Test-taking skills are important for every student to develop, and will also help to combat exam anxiety. Learn more about how to develop test-taking skills!

3. Preparing for the future.

High school students will find themselves faced with a wealth of upcoming responsibilities, including:

  • Creating a senior portfolio
  • Writing college essays
  • Building their curriculum vitae
  • Researching universities
  • Filling out college applications
  • Navigating scholarships and grants
  • Studying for final exams
  • Preparing for the SAT/ ACT

…and more! Naturally, the increased pressure of preparing for “what comes next” can be both stressful and overwhelming. 

Tutors can help prospective college students navigate the path ahead! Learn more about how tutors can help high school students prepare for the transition to higher education.

Find a tutor near you!