Making the Grade in Common Entrance

Sharon's son Robert needed the motivation and guidance to pass his Common Entrance exams. With the help of Angela, he passed his mocks with flying colours and is set to do well in the actual exams.

Robert had lost his way at school. He didn't feel valued or capable or bright: I knew he was all these things but he was critically lacking in attention and self-esteem.

I did an internet search for 'tutors', visited each site carefully to assess quality of tutors, how easy site was to use, the speed of asking for contact, options on how to contact and whether to pay for more details: First Tutors' ticked all these boxes, which made it the obvious choice.

Angela and I talked on the phone, then she came and visited my house and we discussed things further. She was very keen to spend quiet time with Robert, getting to know him. She came across as capable, straight talking and passionate about teaching. I liked that she commanded Robert's attention in a calm, considered way. She discussed how she worked and what was expected of him. We then started lessons, visiting Angela at her home which was only a 10 minutes' drive away.

Angela has ground rules on arriving on time, coming prepared with equipment, being polite and engaging. The first few lessons were an eye opener as I watched my son interact with a teacher - an experience I hadn't had before - I was a little surprised to find he was quite prepared to directly engage the teacher in discussion.

What was lovely for me was that Angela corrected Robert very early on about coming fully prepared in his mind to engage in the lesson; little things like not slouching, keeping focus: she instilled a strong sense of order. She started each lesson with a positive talk on how well he did in the last lesson and how very capable he was and if he focused he could do really well.

Robert spent a year and a half with Angela. In this time he blossomed. He began to see how very bright and able he was; throughout the lessons his knowledge and confidence went from strength to strength.

Robert attained 82% in his mock Common Entrance exam. He is currently sitting his actual CE exams this week, and he went into them with great confidence all round. The school have remarked on what a completely changed boy Robert has become and commented that he was their star pupil in terms of coming such a long way over the last year. This has allowed him to shine: his newfound confidence has also trickled over to his sport.

Overall, Robert is kinder, more patient, very aware of the importance of achieving good grades and succeeding in life: Angela taught him that preparation and hard work really does pay off.