How to choose a tutor so that you don’t feel sorry for wasted money and irretrievably lost time?

A good teacher does not take on impossible tasks in advance? for example, two weeks before the start of the exams, prepare a student with an almost zero initial level of knowledge for admission. So our advice is rather intended for those prudent people who are planning long-term training right from September.

(If there is not enough money for classes during the entire academic year, you can start classes from January – but in a more intense mode. Those who enter the second year in a row can also choose this option, while it is better not to lose the first half of the academic year, but make the most of learning in other ways – on your own, in courses, from educational CDs, or remotely.)

Set criteria? why do you need a tutor

Before proceeding directly to the choice of a tutor, it is necessary to decide on the ultimate goal. There is nothing more upsetting than spending your parents’ money on preparing for a university, after which you will not become a specialist, but will say: “I made a mistake with the choice?”. Therefore, you must first choose a specialty. After that, you need to get acquainted with the requirements for entrance exams (of one university or several). Best way to find tutor, is to visit Here you will find various announcements, including those from teachers. This is the easiest and most reliable way.

Despite the fact that the answer to the question: Why do you need a tutor? seems obvious, in fact it is not. Here are the possible answers:

To make me study.

To guarantee admission.

To close gaps in knowledge.

Depending on your answer, it will become clear which teacher to choose. For example, if it is important for you to be forced and motivated to study, and the tutor is aimed primarily at eliminating gaps in knowledge, it is not a fact that you will be satisfied with the nature of the classes. It may happen that you do not meet the rigidity expected from the teacher and become disappointed in tutoring as such.

Objectively, the main goal of the tutor is to make sure that the applicant, with the greatest possible degree of probability, successfully passes the entrance exams and is accepted to the chosen university. All other goals are secondary. Based on this goal, as well as the requirements of the entrance exams, specify what you need to study and what learning skills to train in classes with a tutor. Unfortunately, many tutors tend to give not what the student needs, but what they themselves like.

For example, for passing written exams in a foreign language, the skills of correct pronunciation and listening comprehension are absolutely not important. What if the tutor insists on their training? it’s just a waste of parents’ money.

Accordingly, before starting classes with a tutor, it is advisable to pass a trial exam with him, similar to what you actually have to do.  You will practice that knowledge and skills that lead to the success of just such an exam, and not to study the subject at all. An experienced tutor participating in the work of the selection committee knows these requirements; and the tutor who does not know them must be informed (he must be interested in them if he wants to ensure the effectiveness of training). Tutors who need something vague – so that you know the subject better, should be avoided:

Types of tutors – star, experienced, student

Even if the parents have an unlimited budget, this does not mean that you should automatically hire the most expensive and experienced tutor available.

A star tutor is one who sits directly on the admissions committee for entrance exams. It costs more to study with him than for others, but these additional costs are not always justified. An arrogant star can easily not answer your questions or not find contact with you.

Many parents think that one of the most important requirements for a tutor is the promise of a guaranteed admission and a refund in case of non-admission. Of course, a tutor who is in the selection committee at the time of passing the exam has some opportunities, but every year they become more and more limited. And sometimes it happens that a person, having entered, flies out after the first session. And if we are talking about a private paid university, then in most cases a tutor is hardly required for admission there. Overpromises should be treated with caution. Only swindlers can absolutely guarantee admission to a university, regardless of the level of knowledge. A sane tutor, firstly, cannot guarantee anything (the higher the degree of such flexibility of the teacher, the worse), and secondly,

Depending on which tutor you choose, the price of an hour lesson with him can range from 15 to 65$ per hour. It should also be taken into account that the hour is academic (45 minutes) and astronomical (60 minutes). The effectiveness of training is determined not by price, but by the ratio of price and quality. It is possible that by taking three low-paid tutors, one of whom is engaged in pronunciation, the second in grammar, and the third in speaking practice, in total you will get more than if you turned to a star who would talk about life in the lessons and not could competently work out all the necessary moments for admission. In addition, it will be difficult for you later, if you are not satisfied with the results of the training, to refuse the services of a star – who knows, how will this affect the results? If a tutor not from your future institute is studying with you, then in case of an unsuccessful choice, you can safely refuse his services.

An experienced tutor * is a teacher who has enough knowledge and who owns the approach to the student being taught. How many students – so many features. A good teacher will find a way to almost any person. And if the tutor does not suit you, it is better not to suffer, but simply change it to another. It’s better than going to hard labor every time. Classes must be fun to be effective.

The price of a lesson with an experienced teacher is average. Pros: Good quality of education. Cons – not always an experienced teacher does exactly what is needed in this case; experience often plays a cruel joke – does the teacher know how to do it? and loses contact with the student. However, many experienced teachers, especially those who truly love their job, can instill in a child a passion for the subject being studied, which is an invaluable help in the learning process.

A student is the cheapest option for a tutor. Despite the lack of teaching experience, the student himself recently took exams, and it is easier for him to understand what the applicant feels, what he does not understand, what he needs to be taught. The disadvantages of a student are not the best knowledge, but this can be redeemed by the low price of the lesson and the enthusiasm inherent in young people. However, a big problem will arise if the tutor teaches the applicant incorrectly, due to the fact that he himself makes mistakes and is not aware of them. It is not always possible to test such a mistaken youth, since this requires understanding the topic at the level of entrance examination requirements or higher, and sometimes parents do not have such qualifications.

How to find a tutor

Good teachers usually start classes in September, and in January it may turn out that such teachers have already been snapped up. Therefore, it is advisable to search and negotiate in advance so that you do not have to choose from the worst ones later.

The most reliable source is the so-called word of mouth. Usually this source does not lie, but it is not without subjectivity. If relatives or acquaintances do not have a good tutor in mind, get to know the students of the university you need and ask them about a tutor.

Also, tutors are looking for directly at the university. Since the entrance to third-party visitors is usually closed there, you can enter the university either during an open day or by signing up for preparatory courses. There you will meet the teachers, make contact with them, and only then they will give you the phone number of a reliable tutor. But it is usually given reluctantly, since such a tutor already has a lot of people who want to study with him. They compete for good teachers, and they do not need to arrange free trial classes, promotions, and home visits.

The easiest way is to find a teacher through an advertisement on the Internet or in a newspaper (ads on poles are put up by those who do not know how to use more modern advertising methods). However, this method is most fraught with the risk of experiencing teaching unprofessionalism (a real high-class tutor does not have to search hard for students: they themselves ask to be taken). It is advisable to call 15-20 candidates. The best recommendation for a teacher is the fact of admission of those who studied with him earlier. Also ask clarifying questions about work experience, specialization, prices, place and time of classes, etc. This will allow you to make a choice.