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How to get the Most of your Tutoring Sessions

Math TutoringWhen looking for a tutor, it is important to inquire about your tutor’s expertise and/or training.  You will want to be certain that you are confident about and comfortable with your tutor’s skills.   A tutor that is ‘good at math’ can help with some things, but if you are really struggling, look for a tutor with actual teaching experience.  Once you have set up your tutoring session, the tips below will help you make the most of it.


  1. Come prepared to your tutoring session with all relevant worksheets, notes, handouts, materials, and supplies.
  2. Bring specific questions to your tutoring session.  This will help guide the tutor to your main concerns and prevent you from spending time on issues that you are not as worried about.
  3. Ask your tutor to review the most important issues at the beginning of the session so that you do not run out of time before addressing them.
  4. Jot down any important advice or information your tutor provides you.
  5. Do not ask nor expect your tutor to complete your class assignments or projects.  The purpose of your tutor is to guide you through and explain concepts so that you have the skills to complete your assignments/projects successfully on your own.   S/he will not be taking your quizzes or tests for you.
  6. Do not simply sit back and watch your tutor solve a problem; work alongside the tutor.  It may be helpful to just watch the tutor work and explain an example, but you should be working most of the problems as well!
  7. As you work through a problem, try to verbalize the rationale behind each step (or ask the tutor to do this).
  8. After receiving an explanation from your tutor, sit to the side for a while and try to work through some problems on your own. (This will build the confidence you need later for quizzes/tests.)
  9. If your tutor introduces a new method for solving a problem, be open to it. Try using the new method on your own and then decide whether you will use the old or new method, or which types of problems you would prefer one over the other.
  10. To increase your confidence and independence, try to tie the tutor’s explanations with material in your notes or textbook and even add this information to your notes using a different colored pen or pencil.
  11. If you have identified consistent errors in your homework, ask the tutor if s/he has any suggestions for avoiding that kind of error.
  12. Speak up!  Be certain that your tutor is clear when explaining concepts. If an explanation is not clear ask if s/he can explain an idea in a different way until you are clear.
  13. Finally, if you feel that you would benefit from another tutoring session, make an appointment right away to provide yourself with as much time to successfully complete your assignment(s) as possible.
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