Advice for Students, Tutors and Parents
Advice For Students
Do lots of past exam papers. A lot of the questions follow a formula, so if you do say, five exam papers for an exam, you have seen most of the questions that can be asked. On the day of an exam, get there early and think into empty space. A clear mind makes possible pure knowledge. If you start out to get there in time, you may be late. Read the question paper through first. It will give you some idea of the size of the job, and refresh the topics in your mind. Also, having read the questions, your mind is working subconsciously on how to answer them. This is especially important if the answers must have a structure, such as in long essay questions or mathematical proofs that each require several steps.
Advice For Tutors
Set out to get your own students. Rely on word of mouth foremost. Any student so gained will be your own and you will not need to pay commission to an agency. Find your own sources of advertising - classifieds, free tutor websites, Best of all is to set up your own website. You can advertise yourself at length, host a blog etc. Work on it obsessively over a couple of years, then you will have a decent ranked website that gets you lots of students, just like mine. If you do set up your own website make sure it has plenty of content - advice for students, notes, tips. DON'T PUT UP ADVERTISEMENTS! That is so tacky!
Advice For Parents
Don't ever hire a tutor from an agency. An agency will send you someone on the way to the grave, and if you don't find them suitable, will keep sending you these people one after another, charging you for a lesson each time. Ask your friends if they know a suitable tutor. Look on the internet for a tutor with a personal website. If they went that far, that makes them well above average. The first time you speak to them may be on the phone. Conduct a telephone interview. Are they easy going? Competent? Qualified? Any references? Do they know the subject at the level they are teaching? If you can stop the cowboys here they won't cause you any more trouble. Ask to see a crb certificate or police check. I have rarely been asked this - I have never been asked by parents who are police people - surprising since much of the time they don't know anything about me except what I tell them. It may be a good idea to have a short chat with them after the first lesson and every few weeks - did they leave homework? did your children they do their homework? You need frankly to find out if the money is worth it, and the best way to do that quickly is to talk to the tutor. If the tutor is not full and frank, get another tutor. Don't try to intimidate - it goes around and comes around. Don't feed the tutor - they have a home to go to. Don't try to bargain them down in price - their price is either set by an agency or, if they don't work for an agency, they will be cheaper anyway.