Updated: Aug 27
By Lily Edwards
Starting tutoring can be an overwhelming concept. One common feeling before starting tutoring is knowing you need some help, but not knowing how to explain exactly what kind of help you need. We have created some tips on how to create a tutoring plan, so that you can make the most out of your sessions.
Structure your Questions
Prior to starting tutoring, it may feel like you have a million questions to ask (which is completely normal!). It is helpful for both you, and your tutor if you can structure your questions around each module/topic you need help with as your questions can act as a guide for your tutor to give you the most specific advice. One tip when doing this is to use your syllabus, so that your tutor can see what is examinable and give you exam-specific guidance as well as answering your questions.
Know your End goal
Whether you are having one session or ten, knowing your end goal for the sessions is crucial. Your goal may to be improving a grade, or simply to gain a concrete understanding of a module. Whatever the goal, remind yourself of this before every session so that the questions you ask will help you achieve this goal. It’s also a good idea to let your tutor know this goal so that the advice they give you helps you get there. However, one tip is to be realistic with your goals. This is not to say don’t aim high, as this is encouraged! But when setting your goals, think about how likely you are to achieve them based on the amount of time you have. Achieving a large goal, such as ‘improve my understanding’ can seem daunting, so creating check-lists of things you can do to achieve your main goal (e.g. get above 80% in practice MCQs for topic 1) is a great way to structure your plan and stay motivated.
Find your Exam Resources
One huge benefit of having a tutor is their profound knowledge of exam style and technique. This is an added bonus to consolidating your knowledge of the course content, and so we advise to make the most of it! One way to do this is to create a folder of your exam resources, including your syllabus and any past papers. This will give your tutor a chance to see the question style and assess what the examiners are asking of you.
Knowing your Learning Style
Understanding the way in which you learn is something we don’t talk about enough. One of the reasons tutoring is so effective comes down to the one-one-one aspect, as the tutor is able to get to know you and get an understanding of how you learn best. If you are aware of this before you begin tutoring, this acts as a head start. For example, some people learn best by having things explained to them, whereas others are less engaged when things are being engaged, and instead learn by things being written down. So, knowing your style of learning can tailor your tutoring sessions and make them more effective. Think about the lectures/seminars you have come out of feeling the most and least confident. How was the information taught? The way I became aware of my learning style was when one of my seminar leaders would write down everything they said on a whiteboard, using different coloured pens. All my other lecturers would simply just explain, and I never got as much out of their seminars. This made me realise that the visual aspect made a huge difference to me, and now I create my notes in a visual way and it helps me remember. You can also take quizzes online which will estimate your learning style, for example here.