From the student's mouth: How my private tutor helped me

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My family (older sister) had used a private tutor before, but always from recommendations from friends, etc. In January 2011 I felt I needed a private tutor immediately for Psychology A-level and asked around, but no one had any ideas/recommendations. "Various 'Revision Schools' were recommended, for attending during the holidays, but we wanted a personal, one-to-one tutor on a weekly or more often basis, especially one who would come to our house. I did not want to have to drive miles after a full day."

So I Googled "Tutors in Surrey", found several sites and set about contacting them, with little success. One couldn't offer even one Psychology tutor for A-level; another could offer a couple of tutors who lived a long distance away and would not travel to me. Another company did introduce a tutor who came for an interview, but was very aggressive, and made me feel "stupid" for needing a tutor!

Finally I came across First Tutors. You offered several tutors for psychology at A-level and I could pick and chose. Some lived too far out of my area and others did not indicate that they would travel to me. However, I quickly found Charmaine's profile and made contact. Charmaine lived locally, she would travel to me and her profile showed that she had plenty of the right kind of experience and knowledge (degrees and so on).

After exchanging details through your site, I talked with my mum and we decided that she might be just what we were looking for. We paid the introduction fee to First Tutors and within literally minutes Charmaine was in touch with us. She was immediately interested in and really keen to understand me and what my needs were. She was so kind and understanding. We arranged an appointment for the next day and when we met I felt that I had known Charmaine for years. "She is so warm and friendly. She has a family of her own and really understands teenagers. She also has a massive knowledge of her subject and is so enthusiastic about it that you also feel that Psychology is really worth studying and how useful it is in every day life and the world of work."

I had already taken two AS modules of Psychology and gained a B and a C. I had also taken an A2 module in which I had gained a C. My main hope was to increase at least the two C grades into Bs. Charmaine has been an amazing tutor. Not only has she been so thorough in her teaching, but she has also helped me with study skills, shown me a much better and faster way of writing (sounds silly at my age, but my handwriting had become a bit scrawley and Charmaine went over ways to write until we came up with a very fast, neat, half-print, which makes my writing really quick and very neat) This writing technique and study skills/revision techniques has also proved really useful with my other A-level subjects. Also, Charmaine is helpful and flexible about dates and timings of my lessons. She is very reliable and always on time and is never clock-watching or keen to get away.

"Finding First Tutors, registering and then contacting Charmaine was very simple. First Tutors makes everything very straightforward (even for my non-technological mother!) it is all excellent and clear. My mother also says the rates are very fair."

I met Charmaine in February and she has come to me at least once or twice a week since then (she also came through the school holidays and has continued to come through my study leave). Not only has Charmaine helped me tremendously with Psychology, but her teaching of other study skills has proved invaluable to me. She takes a real and genuine interest in my other exams, and gives me so much confidence and a feeling that I can achieve. She never gets cross or makes me feel as if I 'ought' to know something. I am relaxed enough to tell her if I don't know something and know that she will go over and over that topic until I am happy with it. I haven't felt like this much during my schooldays, I usually just keep my head down.

I was 18 in March 2011. My mother helped me find First Tutors and Charmaine, and took me to the first meeting in February. Mum is pretty shrewd and a good judge of people and she was/is also very impressed by Charmaine, in all ways. "Mum is very happy to see how much more confident I am and believes that Charmaine has made a huge difference to me."

In conclusion, I really think I have been so lucky in finding First Tutors and then meeting Charmaine. She could not have been more perfect for me. She is like a ray of sunshine when she arrives at my house, always cheerful and laughing. She fills you with cheerfulness and enthusiasm somehow. She is never cross or annoyed, in fact no negatives at all. She has made up some big gaps in my understanding of Psychology, she has given me study/exam skills which are so useful for now and the future (I hope to go on to university to study Business Management). Most of all Charmaine has given me so much more confidence in myself and I will really miss her when my exams finish next week.

"I know that whatever my results are in August, they will be better than they would have been if I hadn't had Charmaine to tutor me."