Studying is never easy, but it’s not that hard to confuse it being challenging with becoming burdensome. Challenges are a natural part of the learning process. But once studying becomes a burden, it stops being enjoyable or efficient.
Admitting you need in-person or online tutoring can be tough. In fact, you may not even realize that your struggles have come to the point where they impair your learning process. Or that they are indeed struggles and not just the ’college experience’ or challenges you can overcome on your own.
In case you’re unsure whether hiring a tutor is a good solution for your particular situation, here are 9 signs it’s the right time to consider it.
- Your Grades Are Below Your Expectations
This is the tell-tale sign you need someone to help you navigate the subject. (However, it’s not the only one.) Perhaps, the grades went down after your alma mater switched to remote learning; perhaps, they were always too low for your liking. Whatever the cause is, if you give it your best but the grades remain low, it’s time to get help.
- Your Homework Takes More Time, But Grades Don’t Change
Does your homework take two or three times longer than usual, even though the workload hasn’t changed much? (Yes, grades may remain unaffected in this particular scenario.) If so, this means it takes more time for you to wrap your head around the material.
- You Have Too Many Questions
You wouldn’t even know which question you should begin with. There are just too many of them, and asking every single one in class isn’t an option (or the thought of it just makes you too uncomfortable). In this case, a tutor won’t just give you answers – they’ll prioritize the questions and build a learning path based on them.
- You Have Gaps in the Basic Knowledge
Everything went smoothly up until the new topic. During the lecture or assignment, you realized that several things that are supposed to be obvious don’t make sense. Or, some terms that are integral to the topic are strange to you. Then, private lessons will bring all the knowledge gaps to light and help you fill them.
- You’ve Missed a Lot of Classes
Whatever the reason might be, skipping classes will likely leave you struggling with catching up. You’ll have to process a lot of material, and cramming isn’t the best way to do it. In their turn, a qualified tutor will help you pace the learning process. And, all the explanations will be based on a personal approach, making it easier to wrap your head around the material.
- You Ask for Help More Often Than Before
You used to turn to your friends for help with assignments once a week or two, and now you reach out to them every time you wrestle with homework? Ring the bell – it’s another sign your homework has become more difficult for you.
In this case, tutors will be of more help than friends. They are experts not just in the subject but in teaching, too. And yes, these sessions can be fully dedicated to doing homework.
- You Despise Attending Certain Classes
All the struggles may add up to the ‘I Hate Everything About This’ attitude. It shows itself in dreading the next class, procrastinating on homework, and grappling with yourself for hours to study for the exam. Although sometimes awful teachers might be the cause behind it (unfortunately), more often than not it’s all because you struggle with the material itself.
- You Feel Lost
Every time you sit in front of the assignment or listen to the lecture, you’re lost. Lectures have become just sets of words that don’t make sense when put together. Assignments are now an exercise in patience and googling. If it sounds familiar, chances are it’s you and not the teachers.
- You’re Ready to Give Up
Or you already have given up. You just came to terms with your situation, you don’t see the point in trying anymore. You tell yourself: “I’m bad at this.” But believing there’s no way to get better at the subject is self-deception. All you need is the right person to guide you in your learning.
How to Find the Right Person for Tutoring
Have you recognized yourself in one or more of the paragraphs above? If so, admitting you need help is the first step, but it’s not the only one. After that, it’s time to find the right person to be your guide in the subject. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before starting the search:
- Would I be comfortable with in-person lessons, especially during the pandemic? Or would I prefer online sessions?
- What are my performance and learning objectives?
- What do I expect from private lessons? Are my expectations reasonable?
- How much am I ready to pay them?
- How often would I need to have tutoring sessions?
Once these questions are answered, it’s time to take a look at your options and select the right person. Here are 6 criteria to consider:
- Their experience and qualification;
- Teaching methods they use;
- Reviews and references from former and current students;
- Their approach to evaluating students’ progress;
- Rates and availability;
- Cancellation policy.
Finding a tutor that meets your learning needs may take time. The thing is, there’s no guarantee the first person you settle on will be the right one. So, negotiate trial lessons to get a sense of whether this will be a good match.
And remember: it takes two to make tutoring bring results. As much as the tutor should be there for you, you’re the one who has to invest time and effort in making the most out of your sessions. Don’t expect a tutor to magically make everything simple – that’s not how it works.