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TestMasters Review Summary
TestMasters is a North American test prep and admissions consulting company that provides 1v1 tutoring and taught group classes, online and in-person. They pay $30-$100/hr but are very selective, requiring test scores in the 98th percentile and 100 hours of rigorous training, while hours can be inconsistent.
|Pay (per hour):
|USA and Canada
|Test score required?
|Teaching certificate required?
|Teaching experience required?
|Online and in-person classes
+ 1v1 tutoring
TestMasters Pros and Cons
- Good rate of pay
- Compensation for prep time and academic support
- Opportunities to travel around the country on expense-covered assignments
- Strong work culture
- Supportive colleagues
- Highly selective – less than 10% of applicants are successful
- 100 hours of intense training
- Hours can be inconsistent
- Mixed-ability classes
Is TestMasters Legit?
TestMasters.net (not to be confused with TestMasters.com) is a legitimate test prep company based in Beverly Hills. It was initially founded in 1991 to help pupils in California study for the LSAT, but has since expanded to cover other standardized tests and admissions consulting for hundreds of thousands of students across the United States and Canada. The company’s legitimacy is supported by its A+ rating and accredition from the Better Business Bureau, as well as a Glassdoor score of 4 out of 5 (at the time of writing).
How Does TestMasters Work?
TestMasters educational services are offered in admissions consulting and test preparation for the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, PSAT, and ACT.
TestMasters courses are offered live online, pre-recorded online, and in-person at locations across the USA.
TestMasters tutors work with students to create a personalized study plan, challenge them with test questions, analyze practice test results, and provide feedback on how to improve whilst avoiding future mistakes.
TestMasters Salary Information
The TestMasters rate of pay is advertised as starting at $60 per hour for taught classes, with veteran instructors earning up to $100. Elsewhere it is reported that tutoring pays $30-$40 depending on location.
Compensation is also offered for class preparation time, helping learners via the academic support system, and conducting workshops for prospective students.
The company also covers housing and travel expenses for anyone willing to temporarily relocate on ‘rover assignments’ of 2-4 months to teach classes in specific parts of the country.
TestMasters Hours and Schedule
Courses typically consist of 15x 3-hour group classes, scheduled at the same time once or twice a week in the months leading up to an exam. Students may also schedule 1v1 tutoring sessions outside of this and submit online questions 24/7.
TestMasters promise that their ‘large student base and lengthy class schedule ensure that instructors have plenty of work’, though several teachers have reported that hours can be inconsistent (see Reviews below).
To apply to become a TestMasters instructor, you must have:
- scored in the 98th percentile or above for the test you wish to tutor
- exceptional teaching ability with a passion for teaching
- a dynamic presence, with the charisma to make classes fun and engaging
- the ability to explain concepts clearly and make challenging concepts easy to understand
- the desire to go the extra mile for each student
TestMasters Application Process
The TestMasters hiring process is notoriously selective and rigorous, with less than 10% of applicants making it through to the live audition and even fewer completing the intensive training program:
- Prospective instructors should email their résumé, cover letter, and a copy of their official test score report to [email protected].
- An introductory telephone conversation will follow with the TestMasters hiring manager, primarily to screen for social competence.
- Promising candidates will be interviewed by a veteran faculty member and asked to teach a sample question.
- A select few are flown to Los Angeles to audition in front of live classes.
- Finally, new instructors have to complete 100+ hours of rigorous training before they are certified to teach with TestMasters. They will be taught the company’s methodology and how best to deliver it, before taking a series of oral and written tests that assess, among other things, their proficiency in argument evaluation, abstract logic, and language interpretation.
The ‘brutal’ training is described in detail by this successful LSAT instructor:
TestMasters Reviews – What Is TestMasters Like to Work For?
The TestMasters Glassdoor page currently gives the company an overall rating of 4 out of 5, with 73% willing to recommend them. I have extracted all the TestMaster instructor reviews from the last 6 years, which talk positively about the supportive team, flexible assignments, pay, autonomy, and materials, but have complaints over ‘inconsistent hours’ that create ‘unreliable income’, ‘brutal’ training, a culture of overwork, and the challenges of teaching mixed-ability classes:
- “Intelligent team and flexible work.
- Great team fun training, high standards.
- Cares about employees, lots of training and support.
- Good job for undergraduate students.
- Class assignments are available on a per-term basis (for a specific LSAT administration) and last about two months. There is a lot of flexibility regarding how much and how often you teach. For example, you could come in and teach just during a summer or work for years teaching part-time throughout the year. Classes are generally in the evenings, so the job pairs really well with schoolwork or another job. Their “rover program” is particularly cool: they relocate you for a term to an area where they need an LSAT teacher. In addition to the standard pay for teaching classes, tutoring, and helping students online, your housing is entirely paid for. Great way to earn a bunch of money in a short time. Some people rove for just one term, and others have been doing it for years.
- The company provides extensive training both before you teach your first class and ongoing support after you start teaching.
- The administrative staff in California is super helpful and nice.
- Good pay, good instruction, give you all the tools you need to succeed, open line of communication, opportunities for additional money.
- It pays pretty well for a starting job!
- Good pay, good people, decent hours.
- This position is great as a part time job. Classes are typically taught on the weekends or weekday nights so there aren’t many conflicts. The work is enjoyable. Teaching and tutoring students is valuable, challenging, and fulfilling.
- The pay is generous and is broken down into three tiers of hourly rates. The lowest tier is for answering students questions online. Instructors can login whenever from wherever, i.e. from your living room in your sweatpants, to answer these questions when they are available. The second tier of pay is for actually teaching lessons. This is about twice as much as answering questions online. The last tier is for individual tutoring which is about three times as much as answering questions online. The online questions and tutoring are wholly dependent on student demand. There are no guaranteed hours. I’ve been in a larger market and so I have had a steady supply of students to tutor. The online questions can disappear for weeks between seasons.
- You also get paid a paltry sum for prep hours, hours that you devote to preparing the lessons. These could be the most hours that you have in a pay period. If you have to travel a certain distance to the job site the reimbursements for gas and parking are nice and the administration is easy to deal with.
- The personnel that I’ve dealt with in the company, the administration and other instructors, are for the most part supportive and friendly. There is no one looking over your shoulder at your work, but this can also make you feel isolated.
- Good hourly pay, good course materials.”
- “Pay is good, but only a fraction of what you produce as a tutor or instructor.
- Payment distribution for private tutoring may be adjusted.
- Classes don’t run at all times but you can still do tutoring.
- Inconsistent hours, brutal training week session, many instructor trainees do not make it out of training, many times where there will be no work available for an entire session.
- The availability is not very consistent.
- No regard for time off.
- The “training” session was brutal…(see previous extract for full description)
- The hours can be really inconsistent. If you have a class to teach then a single class is 8 hours a week. Some seasons you won’t have a class. Classes are offered based on seniority and some seasons there aren’t enough classes for all of the instructors so the senior instructors take up all of the classes. In addition to that inconsistency there is inconsistency in tutoring hours and online question hours. It adds up to an income source you cannot rely on.
- There is also a culture of working more hours than you bill. At first I was consistently preparing for twice as long as I said I was and I needed to in order to give the students a quality product.
- Teaching a class with students of all different levels of ability and preparation is hard. Some people are always going to be either bored or lost.”
Conclusion – Is TestMasters Worth It for Online Tutors?
TestMasters provide a more niche offering for online teachers but, if you meet their criteria, the pay is one of the better rates around. However, the selection and training process is rigorous so you must be committed, and there is no guarantee of consistent hours at the end of it all.
You can apply for TestMasters jobs by emailing your résumé, cover letter, and test score report to [email protected]. Also consider these other test prep positions, or explore our full list of online teaching companies.