Lots of students feel that they need a bit of extra help with certain subjects, especially when the dreaded exams are looming, so they decide to find a personal tutor. This can be an excellent idea – if you find the right person who has a knack of explaining the difficult subject in a way you understand, it can make a world of difference.
There’s plenty of advice out there on how to select the perfect tutor. As someone who offers this service, I think it best to avoid offering my own views on this. I’ve seen this happen a few times, and it always puts me in mind of Donkey from Shrek:
Anyway, to my point….When you are thinking of hiring a tutor, please don’t leave it too late. One of the most frustrating things about this business is encountering students just a few weeks before the exams who really haven’t understood a particular subject from the start of the course, and who now need the whole lot demystifying, plus help with exam technique, in just a few weeks. If there are multiple subjects causing concern, it’s even more difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to escape the feeling that a student hopes to have full knowledge of 3 different subjects imparted via some sort of Vulcan mind meld 3 weeks before the exam, and it’s just not possible. (That said, if anyone does have a Spock style technique that works, please let me know……it would be most useful!)
My advice is to arrange sessions with a tutor as early as you can, giving yourself plenty of time before the exams. It’s not that you have to have (and therefore pay for…) more sessions. It’s just that you have the option of more time between sessions to take in what you have learned, to do some practice questions etc. before the next session. Often you don’t really become aware of not understanding something until you go away and have to deal with it on your own. By starting tutoring early, and putting in some work yourself between sessions, you should be able to gain so much more than if you arrive on the tutor’s doorstep (or Skype) in a panic 10 days before the exam!