Find the Right Exam Tutor

15 Mar 2018

Explore your tutoring options with this step-by-step guide to finding the right exam tutor for your child.

If your child is undergoing a Higher School Certificate, or is university bound, it all comes down to those crazy exams every family dreads.
 
If you know your kid needs a little extra boost or you just want to make sure that they have all it takes to be ahead of the pack, tutors may be a good option. Knowing the right type of tutor to look for will mean that your kid will have every advantage on test day.
 
Here are some useful steps to finding the best tutoring for your child:

 
Talk
If your child has been juggling school all year without much help, online tutoring could be the cheapest, easiest option for the whole family. And your child knows the subjects in which they are confident and where they need extra help. They should voice an opinion about what they think the best exam preparation strategy is for them. Allow your child to be in control of their future plans – at the end of the day, it is them who will be taking the test.

 
Practice
Have your child take a practice test in order to give you a good idea of how much test preparation they will need. It can also give you a snapshot of strengths and weaknesses you may have missed. Practice exams are available online from the relevant exam bodies, and the more your child takes them, the better, as familiarity is the key to doing well on these exams. If a tutor doesn't offer this option, move on.

 
Costs
If you decide to pursue tutoring, you will have to spend some money. Most private tutors tend to be cheaper than study centres but there are free online services that offer exam prep at no cost. If your child has scored well on practice tests, this may be a better, and less expensive, option for you to try out first.

 
Time commitment
If your child's life outside of school is filled with extracurricular activities, such as after-school sports, jobs or volunteer work, you need to realistically figure out how much time he or she can commit to preparing for their exams. Perhaps weekend classes make more sense than tutoring sessions after school. Assess the calendar before adding something this important into an already busy mix.

 
Study habits
Is your child a self-motivator or do you have to remind them constantly to crack open the books? A self-motivator may benefit from a self-paced, online course, while that same program would not work for a procrastinator. A super procrastinator may struggle even in classroom-taught preparation courses, so private tutors may be the most beneficial option. Determining how your child studies and how he or she best learns will help you make a better-informed decision about which method to pursue.

 
Temperament
Examine each tutoring option based on how it fits with your child's personality. The student who benefits from a collaborative classroom environment will find a classroom course to be a more engaging. Also ask whether a tutor will allow multiple students to study together, because social interaction can improve results for test takers.

 
Access tutor's strengths
Find someone with experience and a good vibe to fit your child's learning abilities. Read online reviews of tutoring centres and consider an individual tutor's background. Check for what their experience and track record shows. Do they have reviews from other students? What books, material or software is the tutor using? If you can get the material on your own, then you probably don't need them.

 
Consider all resources
Look around you for help. People who have been through this process already, or are currently thinking about it, may be great sources and put you in touch with specific tutors you might not find otherwise. Also talk to other parents; you're not alone in wanting to seek the best approach for your child when it comes to preparing for exams, so chat with others to find out what they have learned about your area's options.

 
Follow up
Once you've selected an option, check in regularly with your child and tutor to make sure things are progressing well. The best preparation for taking exams is a combination of being present for classes or tutoring sessions, taking notes, participating in discussions, having ‘study buddies’ and getting help when needed.

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