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How to Get the Most Out of Private Tutoring

Updated on June 22, 2013

How to Choose the Right Tutor

To get the most out of your tutorial, you must hire the right tutor. Don't compromise for a tutor who lacks experience or personality simply because he or she is cheaper.

  • A good tutor is knowledgeable in his or her subject area, and has the ability to inspire you or your child with his or her enthusiasm. A tutor with many degrees may have the knowledge you are seeking, but may not be able to convey it in a way that is helpful to you.
  • Check the tutor's references.
  • Meet with the tutor at least once, simply to talk about what you or your child is struggling with, and what you hope to work on during your time together. Trust your first impressions; if the tutor is warm and friendly, listens to what you have to say, and already has a few helpful suggestions for you or your child, then he or she is a good choice for you.

Where to look for a tutor:

  • There are many websites that feature tutors, such as, tutor, or Tutor These sites make it easy to sort through tutors in your area, view a profile of each tutor, contact references, and some even provide official background checks.
  • You might also try asking freinds, family, or a teacher/professor if they know of a good local tutor.

Private Tutoring Rates

How much is a private tutor?

Private tutor fees can be alarmingly expensive, varying anywhere from $15-$150 or more per hour. While a more expensive tutor is not necessarily better, the very inexpensive tutors usually lack both experience and training.

Many factors influence the price of tutoring:

  • Prices often correlate with the price of living. Tutors are more expensive in large cities and wealthy suburbs.
  • Tutors with teacher certifications and high degrees are often more expensive.
  • Some tutors hold certifications such as TESOL/TEFL or in certain styles such as ABA.
  • Tutors who have special education degrees are in high demand, making them more expensive.

Why is private tutoring so expensive?

  • Quality tutors not only possess costly degrees, but also have a talent that few people possess. Therefore, the demand for their service is high.
  • Most private tutors travel to meet with their client, and spent only an hour or so at the location. This creates travel expenses for tutor, as well as a lot of "dead time" when the tutor isn't being paid. Therefore, if the tutor were to work for eight full hours in a day he or she might spend 4-8 additional hours traveling, making for a sixteen hour day!

Online Tutoring

You can find an online tutor in your subject at virtually any time.
It is more difficult to establish a personal relationship between the tutor and tutee; one of the most valuable aspects of one on one tutoring.
Online tutorials are generally a little cheaper because it is more convenient for the tutor and there is no gas or travel time.
There is a delay in communication between the tutor and the tutee.
If the tutee struggles to convey what he or she means in writing, online tutoring is a disastor because the tutor can never truly help the student if they can't communicate effectively.
There is little consistency between tutors on a day to day basis.
Online tutoring is a useful tool if you have a fast approaching deadlines and there is no time to find an in home tutor.
Come prepared with all of the necessary materials.
Come prepared with all of the necessary materials. | Source

Get the Most out of Your Tutorial

Out of respect for your tutor, and to glean the most from your tutorial, arrive prepared.

Before the session:

  • Have any materials that you need for the session, such as a pencil, paper, assignment, and textbook.
  • Read any material necessary for the assignment you wish to work on with the tutor.
  • Attempt any math problems, and pre-write any writing assignments before the tutor arrives so that you have a clear idea of what to work on.

During the session:

  • Make sure that you and your tutor discuss a plan for the tutorial. What do you want to get out of the tutorial? What assignments do you hope to complete during the tutorial? Your tutor will help to set realistic goals.
  • Ask any and all questions you have.
  • Don't be afraid to let your tutor know if you don't understand something, even if he or she just tried to explain it to you. The tutor's job is to break down concepts and explain things clearly, so never be embarrassed to ask for clarification.

After the session:

  • Your tutor should take a few minutes to review what was covered during the tutorial. Make sure you follow up with any edits, and changes that the tutor suggests.
  • If there is a lot to remember, ask your tutor to make a list for you.


Use a Computer

A computer is a handy thing to have-- if you will not be near a desktop computer during the tutorial, bring a laptop with you. It is also helpful to look things up and to type any writing assignments. It is much quicker to make edits to the draft during the tutorial, while it is still fresh.


Plan to meet in a place free of distractions, perhaps a quiet room in your house, or the local library.

Meet Regularly

If you or your child is working with a tutor on organization or study skills, it is best to meet at least twice a week. Many homework assignments can be missed within a week!

Find a New Tutor if it's Not Working Out

A good tutor gives you the tools you need to succeed. If it's not working out between you and the tutor, begin looking for another tutor. Don't feel obligated to stay in a situation that isn't ideal.


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