If you’re looking for a tutor, you can cross location straight off your list – and instead focus on much more important qualities when you search for a tutor. Location shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all, and with online tuition, you don’t need to think about it at all.
The first and most important thing to think about is their communication skills, motivation and of cause their own academic achievements and subject matter knowledge. Their own academics record and their expert knowledge is especially important for higher qualifications A-level, IBs and university exams. Ask your potential tutor about their results in the subject you’re require support for and for any extra-curricular achievements that help support their expertise.
Regardless of what your budget is, price should be next on your list. Some tutors charge a small fortune for their services, and most of the time, this isn’t necessary to pay. Hunt around for value and not necessarily the cheapest, and do not be influenced by block booking packages and discounted prices. Why book more sessions than you require? You may not know what you need until you have had a few sessions? Why make a commitment to a tutor that is unable to help you as much as you initially hoped.
There are always tutors who do bad work for high prices, and good work for low prices, so don’t ever assume anything about a tutor’s fee: it’s not as black and white as it comes across.
Personality must be high up on what you’re expecting. Someone who doesn’t suit the way you think, learn and communicate is no good. Some students thrive on discipline and straight-talking, while others prefer a tutor to be more gentle and guiding. Never assume that just because a tutor is raved about, that they’ll suit you and how you learn.
As online tutoring offers you so much freedom, flexibility is a must. As you can have sessions at the drop of a hat, find a tutor who can fit into this routine as well. If you have a busy schedule, working with a tutor who doesn’t mind weekly changes and carrying out routines at odd times of the day is vital!
A good speaker can persuade you of almost anything, so don’t just take their word for it. Get personal recommendation or ensure tutors who advertise through web sites meet your criteria and ideally have have gone through a selection process to advertise on web sites. Great tutors will be happy to share their testimonials with you, so always ask if they have any.
If it’s a well known tutor in the town, ask around. People will always have different opinions, and you should always take them with a pinch of salt, but if you get unanimous good or bad results, you’ll have a good idea of whether to book or avoid! Bear in mind how creative a prospective tutor is. Do you want someone who will suit and read through reams of textbooks? Or someone who knows their material, and can spice it up a bit during sessions? One of the best ways to learn and teach is actively, so the more creative and ‘out-there’ a tutor is, the better. You’ll be surprised how much you absorb when your tutor’s using different and engaging methods of teaching.
No two people will have the same requirements when searching for a tutor, but if you use these basic guidelines to help refine your hunt, you’ll be onto a winner in no time!
Robert Grabiner – Founder of MyTutorWeb
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