The Tutoring Epidemic

By , Old Westbury, NY
I go to a public high school that is situated in an affluent area. Many people move to my neighborhood because of the topnotch academics, and because of it, an epidemic is occurring.


Almost every student in my junior class of about 300 would be able to admit that at one time or another, he or she has received tutoring for at least one rigorous academic class, he or she has received tutoring for the SAT and/or the ACT exam. I am not here to argue that tutoring is a bad thing, but when it becomes as prevalent as it has in my neighborhood, it becomes a problem.


Unless you have been living under a rock for the last ten years, you know that the college craze has spiraled out of control. Now, parents are willing to pay hundreds of dollars and hour for standardized testing tutoring. In turn, students are spending their entire junior year studying for the exam, and scores are inflated. When the SAT and ACT were created, the creators did not intend for students to make the exams the only focus in their lives.


Many problems have resulted from this inflation of standardized testing scores. Students are gaining entry to colleges that they are not prepared for, and are struggling. A student who recently graduated from my high school had received excessive amounts of tutoring and gained entry to a prestigious Ivy League University. Now, she is unable to handle the course load and returns home from school each weekend in order to receive even more tutoring. Some people never learn.


Tutors here have even taken on their own personalities. For example, a tutor who lives in a small sector of my neighborhood is known for her Facebook profile, the main use of it being to comment on students’ statuses stating what colleges they have either been accepted to or rejected from. I even caught her texting a good friend of mine, who is a student of hers, asking, “How did the kids who don’t go to me do (on their SAT’s)?”


At highly prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, standardized testing has essentially become a non-factor because most students applying have near perfect, or in some cases, perfect standardized test score. How many of these cases are a result of tutoring is debatable, but the fact that students can no longer work for their test scores on their own and use it to their advantage on college applications to these universities is disappointing.


How do others feel about the idea of tutoring? Is some tutoring acceptable, or is it immoral all together? Is the theory of over-tutoring a valid one? In my opinion, financial comfort and therefore easy accessibility to unlimited tutoring is creating a plague. After all, Biggie said it best. Mo’ money, mo’ problems.





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