While it is certainly easy to find a tutor, finding a great MAT tutor is difficult to do on the first try. You are looking for a combination of experience, teaching ability, and personality—this has to be someone you will enjoy working with.
How to choose an MAT tutor
There are numerous resources available online to help you meet a tutor. Knowing what to look for should make your selection easier. It also helps if you can find a few potential tutors willing to sit down and talk to you so that you can ask them questions and get a feel for them.
Experience isn’t everything, but you should still be looking for someone with at least a handful of references. An experienced tutor will have already developed a curriculum and a teaching method that they have seen work for previous students. A new tutor will likely still be developing these things.
This is pretty straightforward: someone who takes the MAT annually (once a year) is ideal. When this is not possible, someone who has at least taken it multiple times and done so recently is the next best choice. Your tutor needs to be “tuned” into the exam. If they have taken the it themselves, they will be better able to empathize with your situation. They will also be able to suggest exam strategies that they have actually tested.
Their teaching methods
You should ask questions about how they teach. What are their methods? How do they with their students? See if they can run you through what a tutoring session “looks like.” Hopefully, you know you’re learning style and what sort of organization you like (general guidelines or day by day instructions). Try to find someone who teaches in a way you enjoy.
What are you paying for?
What exactly do you get for your money? Are materials included or do you have to purchase your own? Will they be designing a study plan for you or guiding you in creating one? More often than not, a great tutor will provide you with some beyond just hour long study sessions.
Talk with previous students
A good tutor will have references, and should be willing to pass along emails so that you can contact former students. This will give you the opportunity to ask students about the tutor’s teaching methods, materials, and so on. Also, if you use a service online to find a tutor, it will be easy to see student reviews.
For more great tips see this GRE article on the same topic; it also has a list of tutoring services you can look through.