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Tutoring Tips for Success

Here's how to make the most of your tutoring sessions

Education is the investment that lasts a lifetime, and tutoring is no exception. That being said, there are some things students can do to help make their tutoring sessions as beneficial to them as possible.

  • Be on time. With Inspire In-Home Tutoring, your tutoring sessions take place at home. Just make sure you allow enough time to get home from class, work, or whatever takes up your time. Being rushed causes extra stress, and stress is something you do not need when you are trying to improve your grades!
  • Have your "supplies" at hand. When you're paying for a tutor, you don't want to spend Tutoring Tips for Successtime looking for your textbook. Take a few minutes to gather your books, notebooks, pens/pencils, calculators, syllabi, homework assignments, class notes, dictionary, and anything else you might need for your tutoring session. That way, the entire time can be spent on learning.
  • Get organized! Easier said than done, you might be thinking. But organization is key to developing good study habits and to using your time with your tutor wisely. Everyone is different, but here are some ideas that might help you stay organized:
    • Keep all your notes in one place. Some students prefer to type their notes. Others like to use binders where the pages can be added and removed. Many people prefer to use one notebook per class, and reserve each notebook only for taking notes for that class.
    • Organize tests, homework assignments, class hand-outs, etc, in chronological order. It might help to separate these by categories. For example, some students like to keep all their tests together in the front of their notebook, so they can easily review their progress. If you are using a binder, you can buy inexpensive dividers, or even make them yourself!
    • Does anyone have a pen? You do, because you already gathered extra pens, pencils, erasers, a highlighter, etc. and are storing them in a pencil holder (we like the ones you can put right inside your three-ring binder, but it's up to you.)
    • Clean out that book bag. Yeah, it's probably already clean, but just check, okay? Your gym socks do not need to accompany you to your tutoring session.
  • Review. Taking even a few minutes to review before a tutoring session will help you feel more prepared, as well as help to make sure you don't forget anything important. If you like to highlight, use your highlighter. If bookmarks are your thing, mark the pages of your textbook where you would like to begin, or pages where you have specific questions.
  • Speaking of questions, write a few of those down, too. It's easy to forget when you are in the middle of learning new concepts. As the tutoring session gets under way, you might answer some of your own questions. If so, that's great, but at least you had them written down to begin with.
  • Minimize distractions. This is a big one. It's hard to learn when your dog wants attention, and you think you hear your favorite TV show coming on in the other room. Also, turn off or silence your cell phone. Even if you don't answer it when it rings, you will probably be wondering who called you for the rest of the tutoring session.
  • Optimize your environment. Clean, clutter-free surroundings allow you to feel relaxed and focus on the task at hand. Make sure you have adequate lighting and that you are not excessively hot or cold. If you are uncomfortable, it will be harder to learn.
  • Have a snack. Even if you don't feel hungry, a healthy snack can give your brain the energy it needs to process and retain the information. Avoid excess sugar and carbohydrates, which can cause your energy level to "crash" halfway through your tutoring session. Just give yourself time to finish eating before your session begins.
  • Take notes during your tutoring session. You won't remember everything. If you don't understand something, ask until you do. Review your "tutoring notes" before your next session, and ask for clarification on anything that is not clear.
  • Do what you can ahead of time. Tutoring is an educational tool that can help you understand new concepts, reinforce old ones, build self-esteem, and excel academically. It is best to use the time spent with your tutor on the areas where you need the most help. If you think you are on the right track, get a head start, and ask your tutor to help make sure you are headed in the right direction.
  • Communicate with your tutor. Let your tutor know about any tests or projects you have coming up, and when they'll be. Be specific about your teacher's expectations. If you are not clear on what these are, it may be possible for your tutor to speak with your teacher directly. Ask for feedback from your tutor, too. He or she can probably give you some valuable pointers that can help improve your study habits, test-taking skills, and more!
  • Relax! Your tutor has worked with many students who need some extra help. You are not alone. Know that we are here to help you in any way we can.


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