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Stumped at School? 5 Signs You Need a Tutor

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Alex Convery
October 21, 2020

need a tutor: 2 people studying together

You might be having a hard time mastering some math concepts that you need to know to get to the next level. Or perhaps your chemistry class is just not clicking. Maybe you just want to learn more about a topic that won't be covered in your current classes. If any of this sounds familiar, you just might need a tutor.

While many people think of tutors as a tool for struggling learners, there are many other reasons why someone might benefit from working with a tutor. Still, the decision to get a tutor is one you should consider carefully. We’ll review five key questions that will help you make a decision.

1. Are You Struggling in a Specific Subject?

need a tutor: person using a pencil to point at something

Academic hurdles are one of the most common reasons a student will need a tutor. Whether you're in elementary school, high school, or even college, a tutor can help you keep up with difficult schoolwork when you’re overwhelmed.

One common mistake is waiting until you're very behind before you seek help. Part of staying on top of your work means being honest with yourself about your strengths and areas in need of improvement. If you realize you aren't keeping up or you can’t complete your work as quickly as you'd like, a tutor may be a good choice. In fact, individual and small-group tutoring is linked with increased performance. The sooner you start, the more benefits you’ll see.

The best tutors for your specific need will be those with tutoring experience in the area that you need help with. They will often be subject area experts who know the material and know how to teach it.

2. Do You Want to Learn About Subject Matter That Isn't Covered at School?

need a tutor: people learning guitar online

Sometimes, the benefits of tutoring aren't just about schoolwork. Sometimes, tutors can help you learn new material or deepen your knowledge. Interested in learning about music composition? How about expanding French language skills or appreciation for old English literature? Odds are, there's a tutor for that.

You can pursue many interests at school, but some don't fit neatly into a course offering. If you're interested in learning something that isn't covered at school, or you want to go deeper into a subject area that your school doesn't offer at a higher level, you might find that you need a tutor.

Many people falsely believe tutors can only help struggling learners. In fact, tutors can also provide extra help for students who want to dive more deeply into an area of interest.

3. Do You Learn Better When Material Is Explained in Multiple Ways?

need a tutor: blackboard with Chinese to English translation

If you're a student who needs subject matter to be explained in a way your teacher doesn't always provide, or you just need to see the same material presented in multiple ways, a tutor might be a great choice for you.

Sometimes, students find that their learning style necessitates a certain type of instruction. Do you struggle to memorize dates but can retain them when you have a visual like a timeline? A professional tutor can help with this. Do you know that you don't retain something until it's placed into context with your existing knowledge, but your teacher doesn't always do this? This is another reason to consider a tutor.

4. Do You Need Help Getting Organized?

need a tutor: flat layout of pencils, erasers, pens and envelopes

Tutors don't just help you to learn new things. Many tutors also teach general learning strategies. This includes things like organization, time management, and common study skills. If you find that studying takes you extra long or you don’t have time to crack the books between everything else you've got going on, you might need a tutor more than you realize.

Tutors aren't just here for homework help or brushing up on academic skills. You can think of a good tutor as a learning coach. When you use a tutor for these kinds of tutoring sessions, they can help you to keep track of your assignments and test dates, communicate with classroom teachers, build self-esteem, and figure out your learning style.

Although you might not polish your skills in any single subject area, you will certainly gain long-term study skills you can use throughout the rest of your academic career.

5. Are You Preparing for a Standardized Test?

Standardized test with pencil

Regardless of how smart you are, some things require specialized knowledge that may not come naturally. This is definitely the case for standardized tests. Standardized tests come with a host of rules, instructions, and test-taking and test prep strategies, in addition to any content specific knowledge you might have to master. It's no wonder this specialized knowledge sometimes requires speciality of instruction.

Many tutors specialize in test prep. These tutors have usually mastered the test themselves by becoming experts in it, and then turn to pass this knowledge on to other students. Whether you're a high school student prepping for the ACT or a college student preparing for the LSAT, enlisting the help of a test prep expert can only improve your chances of performing well.

How To Find a Tutor

woman on a video call

Deciding that you need a tutor should be the easy part, but it can be a challenge. And sometimes, finding the right tutor for you can be even harder than it was to decide that you needed help. This is often because finding a tutor who is a perfect fit requires matching a multitude of factors like cost, schedule, location, and expertise.

The options available through private tutors near you or through local learning centers may be limited. Luckily, you can cast a wider net when you look for online tutoring. Online tutors are able to provide most of the same services as in-person tutors, but because you don't have to look locally, you can often find a tutor who ticks all the important boxes for you.

As online tutoring becomes more popular, online tutoring companies like TutorMe are growing and perfecting the craft. This is especially true during the time of COVID-19 when maintaining a safe distance from others is important.

At TutorMe, you can find options to filter for test prep, subject area, and availability, all at upfront costs starting as low as $27/hour. Tutoring services here can be purchased as you go, or you can buy a monthly membership. Check out the online demo lesson space to get a better feel for the experience.

Do You Need a Tutor?

Kid watching an online class on a laptop

Deciding that you need a tutor isn't always a simple decision. Whether you pursue private tutoring or tutoring through a tutoring business or tutoring program, all options represent an investment of both time and money. Still, this investment is usually worth it if you need to brush up on academics, use different learning styles that work for you, or perfect your study skills. The same can be said for specialized work like independent studies or test prep.

Once you've decided you need a tutor, don't waste any time before beginning your search. Find tutors locally or online to keep your studies on track.

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