What to look for in a maths tutor

Formal education

A good maths tutor will need to have a good understanding and knowledge of the material that s/he is tutoring and so it’s important that they have a strong formal background in mathematics. When teaching young children, of primary school age, a tutor with at least a GCSE grade C in maths would be recommended. Teaching older students, in high school or college, requires more specialist knowledge and so the ideal tutor would have at least an A Level, but ideally an undergraduate degree, in a subject with a strong emphasis on mathematics (engineering or science degrees often have solid maths requirements too).

Experience and training

Helping others learn requires great communication skills, patience and the ability to identify the best way to convey the material that matches the individual needs of the learner. Previous experience in either tutoring or teaching is highly recommended when choosing a maths tutor, and that experience should ideally include the grade-level of the material you are covering.

Practice, practice, practice

The best way of learning maths is through practice, practice, and more practice. It also helps to write it down (it has become very difficult to get students to show their working and write down a maths problem!). A good maths tutor will be able to identify and work on areas of weakness through explanation of the method and practice.

Tutors will also offer homework assignments, if asked, and regular testing is important. Maths tutors often help their students prepare for specific standardised tests such as the eleven plus, 11+, entrance tests, SATs, GCSE’s and A Levels – AS and A2 and so using practice tests in the same format as the expected standardised exams is helpful.

Our tutors have experience and knowledge of the requirements for the different exam boards at the main key stages – e.g. AQA, Edexcel, OCR and for the GCSE, IGCSE, AS and A2 exams.

Student- teacher ratio

Many academic studies have recognised that students learn best when they have more attention to their individual needs. Smaller classroom sizes, or even one-on-one learning, are advisable to maximise the benefits of maths tutoring.

Location & Availability

To save time and travel expense, it is best to have the maths tutoring near you, or even in your own home. A tutor’s availability will depend on several factors, such as your location, the times you require tuition, the time of year [most tutors are fully booked close to public exam times] and the level you require – the most experienced, successful tutors get booked quickly and so often have less availability and/or a waiting list. Some tutors are only available out of school hours and/or at weekends, whereas others may be free at other times.

Pricing

Tutors need to be compensated for their time (they’ve also got families to feed!), so it’s unrealistic to expect good maths tutoring for a very low cost or free – again, the most experienced, highly successful tutors are in high demand and as a result charge higher fees. One to one, individualised tutoring will naturally cost a little extra. Whether or not that is a good investment will depend on the individual needs of the learner, and their enthusiasm to succeed at maths.

If you need a maths tutor in the Manchester or Cheshire area then contact us today.

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