What to look for when finding a private tutor

At this time of year students’ minds tend to turn towards their summer exams and depending on how well prepared they feel might start thinking about contacting a tutor. There are many tutors out there now and prices vary, unfortunately there can be some tutors that are in it for a quick bit of cash, whereas, others like myself tutor as a full time job and take pride in the teaching of students. If you are considering finding a tutor then here are some things to keep in mind when looking at whom to pick:

1) They have experience of teaching the specification
There have been a number of changes to A-Level courses; most notably the exam expectations and not all tutors have quite caught up with these. I have had a student come to me after finding a philosophy tutor that had been teaching them an old specification that nearly ruined their chances of doing well in the exam. If the tutor doesn’t know the specification in sufficient depth then they won’t be able to teach it and might even teach the wrong topics.

2) They have A-Level teaching experience
There are some tutors which, despite being qualified to PHD level, haven`t taught the course and in some cases teach above what is needed and can confuse students. I’ve had a student pay over £100 per hour for a religious studies tutor that, although highly intelligent, taught them material that wasn’t on the specification and unnecessary. By the time the student contacted me they were so confused about what they needed to know and disheartened by the subject that they nearly gave up.

3) They only teach a few related subjects
Some tutors offer a multitude of subjects and personally I don`t think it is possible to have that much in depth knowledge to do each subject justice. At RCR Tuition I only teach two subjects that are closely related; I did my degree in Philosophy with a focus on Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion (two of the three components of the Religious Studies course. The A-Level Religious Studies course contains many over laps in material with the Philosophy course, so much so that most institutions won’t have both courses as an option for students. I taught the AQA Philosophy course for 4 years at a sixth form college and have been teaching the OCR Religious Studies course for over 9 years, having been an examiner for 4 of those. Due to this my students consistently achieve top grades in their exams.

Obviously there will be some tutors that fall outside of the above and are fantastic teachers, but some thoughts to keep in mind none the less should you be considering employing the help of a private tutor.

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