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Private Tutors

Frequently asked questions (faq)

Here we try to ask and answer the most common questions we encounter from new students during our initial contact. If you can think of any additional problems, please let us know.

What should I expect from tuition?

Tuition is designed primarily to supplement any additional study - not to replace it. Some aspects of "mainstream education" (e.g. in a school or university environment) don't always focus on the individual. For example, you may not understand a particular topic within a subject, or a question you've been asked or even thought of yourself. Alternatively, you may simply need to review the material more slowly. Tuition enables you to do this in a friendly environment, without fear of ridicule or judgement. Indeed, many of our tutors have taken tuition at some time in their lives - there is no shame in not knowing or understanding something, but there is shame in not doing anything about it.

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What should I expect from a tutor?

Generally speaking, a tutor is there to provide for a student's needs. That is to say, a tutor will be unwilling to do your homework, but will be more than willing to show you how to do it. Fundamentally, homework is designed to prepare you for forthcoming examinations. A good mark for homework is no real indication of good examination performance - it's testing ground. If a tutor does answer a homework question to illustrate principles, you can therefore be sure that it will be replaced with other, harder questions to answer for your private study. Tutors, like all teachers, aren't generally all-knowing - there will be things they don't know from time to time. When, and if, this happens, they should tell you they don't know (and then find out about them for your next meeting).

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How should I prepare for a lesson?

It's generally a good idea to have a plan. A lesson can be considered like a meeting. Meetings have agendas, so try and plan an agenda of things you'd like to cover, and prioritise them, with the most important things first. Whilst you may have a burning question about general relativity, that isn't going to help you in tomorrow's arithmetic test, so put the test at the top of your list. By writing these things down, you have a record of what difficulties you have before the lesson, and something to compare to after the lesson, to see what you've accomplished. Also, by showing the list to the tutor, the tutor may be able to use their experience to identify an underlying problem that needs to be addressed, which may make a lot of other things fall into place. Alternatively, they may be able to see some other aspect of a subject that you could have problems with that you haven't encountered or simply forgotten to write down. This idea can be quite a powerful tool if used thoughtfully - you can make notes of all kinds of problems or things you'd like to know or find out more about as you think of them, and then cross them off your list once you're satisfied.

Scan through your list before the lesson. If materials are needed to address some of the points (e.g. a school book), make sure you have it to hand for the lesson.

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What should I expect from a lesson?

Firstly, bear in mind that a lesson with a tutor isn't necessarily like a lesson in a school - you dictate the pace, and the things you want to know about. For some problems, if there are some things you know, then tell the tutor these things before asking the things you don't. This makes the tutor's job easier, since they can understand the things you know better, and identify things you might not be clear about as part of solving the problem.

Sometimes, students expect too much from a lesson. One lesson will rarely solve all your problems (in fact, almost never). It should however have addressed some of the problems you had, and you should be feeling better about the subject and yourself as a result.

Also, try not to feel self conscious during a lesson. Many students try and demonstrate how clever they are - if you're that clever, why do you need a tutor? Your tutor is there to try and help you with any difficulties you're having, so why should you feel bad about not knowing or understanding something?

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What should I expect from Private Tutors?

The primary purpose of Private Tutors is to connect a student with a tutor. However, we don't see this as the end of our responsibility. At any time during the relationship between student and tutor, someone is here to discuss any problems which may arise and to offer advice.

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Are you CRB registered?

Yes, we are registered to carry out Enhanced Disclosures using the Criminal Records Bureau. Please contact us for more details if required.

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