6 Tutoring Myths

by Anita Naik

Myths abound about tutoring. Common beliefs are - it's only for those who struggle, tutors aren't trained, and there is no benefit to tutoring. Here are five tutoring myths that aren't true and how a tutor can help you.

Tutors are not teachers and don't have the same skills

The benefit to working with a tutor, compared to a teacher, is that they come from various backgrounds. Some tutors are subject teachers, others are specialists in their fields like mathematicians, and translators and some are university students with expertise in the subject you are studying. Though they all differ in their experience, this can benefit students as the type of tutor you choose will offer more knowledge and a different learning experience. Always research the background of the tutors you opt for, and don't be afraid to question them on their teaching styles, experience and knowledge base before you have a session with them.

Anyone can be a tutor

It's true; anyone can be a tutor, and this is where specialists come in. So to safeguard yourself, make sure you fully read a tutors profile and background before you sign up. First Tutors are legally required to collect and hold two references for our registered tutors per the employment agency regulations and the Information Commissioner's Office. We are also required to complete identity and address checks on all of our registered tutors. Background checks (references, photo identity documents and address checks) and individually reviewed by our compliance manager. We recommend that students request to see any photo IDs at the beginning of the first lesson.

You need a tutor for the 11+

You don't need a tutor for the 11+ if you are willing to do all the extra work yourself. This includes verbal and non-verbal reasoning, which isn't taught in state primary schools, working on past papers, filling knowledge gaps and a revision timetable. There are plenty of books that will enable you to do all of the above. One reason to choose a tutor is they come with specialist knowledge of the 11+ and the exam, built up through years of tutoring.

Tutoring is only for students who struggle

Tutoring helps struggling students, but also a whole variety of other types of students and adults. If you have confidence issues with your work or feel unable to speak up in class, a tutor can help. They can also help with knowledge gaps and ensure you meet the requirements of your university of choice or an undergraduate degree. Adults also choose to work with a tutor in an area that benefits their career or enhances an area they are interested in, such as art, music or tech.

Tutoring doesn't make a difference

While tutoring is more likely to benefit a student than not, research on tutoring varies; this is because some students are more motivated than others. However, talk to someone who works with a tutor, and you will see that tutoring can and does make a difference. Students report improved comprehension, better confidence in exams, a clearer understanding of homework and improved grades.

This is down to the fact that tutors work on specific problem areas and advise on everything from revision to exam specifications, what examiners want, and more.

Having a tutor guarantees top marks

If you are willing to put in the work with a tutor and around your tutoring sessions, there is research that shows you can gain better marks and even jump grades in exams. This is down to a tutor helping you with exam and revision strategies and working through past papers with you. Such work leads to a jump in confidence, better problem-solving and a reduction in exam anxiety.