College can be a rude awakening for many students, and they can have a tough time adjusting to the new culture. As a result, even students who never had a problem with school begin to struggle academically. In this situation, a tutor may help smooth over the transition. However, you want to make sure you find a good one, or it could make the situation worse. Here are 9 tips on how to find a good tutor.
1. Know what you need
When hiring a professional, you need to have a clear idea of what you want. For example, if you are hoping to get into a college that requires a certain GPA, you need to figure out what grades you need to get to achieve that. Find what subjects are pulling your GPA down the most and find a tutor for those. In most cases, getting a tutor for your worst subject and working a little harder on the others is enough to pull your GPA up enough.
2. Know your budget
Tutors can be expensive, so establish a budget before looking for a tutor. In most cases, the most expensive are tutoring agencies, while the most affordable are students looking to make some extra money. Either solution can work, but it is a waste of time researching tutoring agencies when all you can afford is $10 an hour.
3. Shop around
It is easy enough to find a tutor online, but simply clicking on the first result in a search will not guarantee you will get one that is qualified to help you. Before deciding on engaging a tutor, take the time to check three or more websites. Check the tutor profiles and the reviews onsite, if any, and see if there are mentions of the company or specific tutors on social media and blogs. You can get a pretty good idea of the quality of the tutoring company and/or tutor when you do your homework, and choose one accordingly.
4. Ask other people
It is highly likely that you know a few people that have availed of a tutoring service in the past. Ask them about their experiences and take notes. Ask for a referral to a good tutor if they know of any. If their experiences have been negative, at least you know who and what to avoid.
5. Ask your school
Your school may actually have a tutoring program for their students, so don’t overlook this possibility. Go to your counselor and request for a referral to a tutor that can help you with your problems. In most cases, these are also students screened to tutor lower years, so you should be able to connect quite well.
6. Be discerning
Good reviews are one thing, but a good fit for your needs is another. You can use good reviews to narrow your search, but you need to evaluate a tutor based on your needs. Ask for a detailed resume so you can check if they specialize in the subjects you need, and check their social network profiles. In many cases, you will see how they interact with other people, and if they use a style of communication with which you are comfortable.
7. Do an interview
Don’t be shy about asking for a voice interview. It is important that you hit it off with your tutor because you will be spending a lot of time together. An interview will give you an opportunity to ask questions that will give you a better idea of the tutor’s competencies. If they have successfully handled other students with the same problem as you, then you may have found the perfect fit.
8. Experience not required
Most people look for experience in a tutor, but that is not always necessary. You can pick up some valuable insights from a student or recent graduate who went through the same course with which you are having difficulty. They may not have extensive experience in tutoring, but they know the course, and possibly the teacher, and that is even better.
9. More is not always better
The academic achievements of your tutor are important, but you don’t have to go to the best to help you out with a small problem. If you are only looking to pass an exam, and you just need a bit of a boost, you probably don’t need someone with a PhD. If you defined your goals as suggested in the first tip, then you can adjust your requirements accordingly. A recent graduate will often do nicely for minor academic issues, and they will not charge you as much as someone with a doctorate degree.
|Laura Buckler is a mother of two and works as freelance writer for Scholaradvisor coursework writing. She was a tutor as a undergraduate, and taught English after graduation before her marriage. With two young children at home, she finds freelance writing both convenient and satisfying. You can follow her on twitter.|
I like how you say that your school may have resources to find a good tutor. It would be smart to check with them first in order to know if they are good for you or not. My son needs some help in math, so we’ll have to see if his school offers a tutor.
Yes, definitely check with the school. Many colleges and high schools offer free or discounted tutoring.
My wife and I have been thinking about getting a math tutor for our son, and I think that your tips to be able to find a good one for him would be helpful. I hadn’t thought about conducting an interview for a tutor that would be spending a lot of time with our son, but it makes sense. We’re going to have to do a little bit of searching here locally and try to find a math tutor or two that we could sit down and interview!
There are many good and bad tutors out there and sometimes it is hard to find the one that really understands the concept as well as the student. As Jessica mentioned, you can interview the tutors and even ask for free initial session to see if they are a good fit or not. During this session, ask them to teach your child and see if your child is happy with the teaching style. At the end of the day, your child should be happy with his/her tutor before he/she can be motivated to learn.
I like that you mention checking social media and blogs to get a better idea of how the tutor is outside of tutoring your child. My oldest brother is looking to get math tutoring for his daughter. I’ll be sure to talk to him about making sure he knows that the tutor is professional before hiring.
Since my son has been having some trouble with his school work, we are wondering how to find the best tutoring services for him. So I like your suggestion to do an interview with them so that you can be sure you like them and will be ok with spending time with them. We will definitely have to meet with the tutoring services we are considering so that we can be sure we will like working with them in the future.
It really helped when you said that asking for a recommendation from the counselor. I think that it would really help since they have a clear understanding of the needs of a child. I will share this with my sister since she is looking for a tutor for her child since he is having a hard time understanding math especially that it is advanced now.
Thanks for your great recommendation! My child needs a little assistance in Math. The subject Math is a bit different from the other subjects because it requires time to practice answering equations, which most parents, like me, with busy working schedule struggle to provide my kid. Indeed, asking for a referral from a trusted source is one best way to go, I asked the school’s counselor if they have a list of tutors, and thankfully found a good and suitable one for my kid. Nowadays, there are a lot of good online tutors which I am also looking at as they can be a lot less expensive.
Thank you for all this fantastic information about choosing a tutor! I love that you say to do a voice interview with them before hand. It would be nice to know that you will get along.