Getting a tutor

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Having some trouble with your studies? Maybe you just can’t seem to set aside enough time to do your homework. A tutor could be the answer.

What is a tutor?

A tutor is someone who helps you study. They don’t do the work for you, but they can give you ideas and advice.

A typical tutor arrangement involves meeting regularly to work on things like:

  • Specific problems you might be having
  • Preparing for exams that are coming up
  • Working together on assignments

Lots of students get help from tutors. Getting a tutor is not about admitting defeat. It’s about making a commitment to improving your study results.

How a tutor can help

Ways that a tutor can help include: 

  • Improving your understanding of subjects
  • Giving tips on how to tackle exams
  • Helping you understand homework and assignments 
  • Explaining unfamiliar concepts
  • Testing your knowledge of concepts
  • Sharing their personal experiences

Tutors usually also have access to valuable resources like study guides and practice exam papers.

How to find a tutor

There are a few different ways to find a tutor:

  • Ask a family member or friend (if they know about what you’re studying)
  • Find out if senior students at your school offer tutoring services
  • Search online for a tutoring service or directory
  • Ask your teacher or lecturer for a recommendation

The New South Wales State Government's Office of Fair Trading has a good guide to finding a tutor (new window), which includes a downloadable tip sheet. Some of the information is specific to NSW, but a lot of it is good general advice. 

Questions to ask before hiring a tutor

There are a few things you should ask before hiring a tutor. 

  • How long have they been operating?
  • What will the tutoring involve? 
  • How much will they charge to tutor you?
  • What are their qualifications?
  • Can any of their current or past students provide a recommendation?
  • How will they measure your progress?
  • Do they have a current police check record and clearance to work with children? (this is really important if you are under 18)

Don't forget that you're paying for a tutor's services. If you don't feel like you're getting your money's worth, you can always stop working with them and look for a tutor you feel happier with.