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Classroom Tutoring vs. Private Tutoring Classroom Tutoring vs. Private Tutoring

Students and parents often assume that classroom tutoring is not as effective as private tutoring: students often feel that since they aren't learning in their classroom, the same will be hold true for classroom tutoring in general; others feel that they need private tutoring because their learning abilities are not up-to-speed with the teaching pace of their class, because they never took a course (chemistry, for example) in high school, or because they have not taken a math course in years. With such concerns, students often lean toward individual, private instruction to catch them up to speed with their peers, or fill in educational gaps that prevent them from understanding the course material.

There are many benefits to classroom tutoring, however: at A+ Tutoring, we are able to meet the needs of any student who feels that they need private tutoring. We have devoted a great amount of time identifying the learning issues that students experience in a classroom environment and developing ways to overcome them, to help as many students as possible. If our teaching methods were not effective, we would not have remained a successful business and continued to expand in order to accommodate the growing number of students that attend our classes. Since we began tutoring in 1987, we have helped over two thousand students each semester. We must be doing something right!


Here are our thoughts on the most common concerns:

I have never taken a chemistry, physics, or accounting class.” OR “I have not taken a math class in so long that I can't even remember simple algebra.”

One of the reasons students attend our lectures is that we teach under the assumption that those attending know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the course topic. We begin by teaching students the basic fundamentals that they should have learned in high school; we know that many students were not taught well enough or they have simply forgotten much of the material. Once we know that all of the students have a strong enough foundation, we teach them the tools that they will need to tackle problems dealing with a specific topic. We teach you how to recognize which topic is being tested, what logic or equation you need to use to solve a problem, and how to use the tools that we teach to work more complex problems involving that topic.

“I am embarrassed to raise my hand and ask a question, because I don't want to look stupid.”

We know!!! That's why we always answer ALL of the questions that a student may have before they even raise their hand. It sounds hard to believe, but our tutors have been teaching for so many years that they have heard just about all of the questions that students could ask. We have used all of those questions to develop our lectures so that we can give a thorough explanation and students do not need to ask questions. Do not misunderstand this; we ALWAYS welcome and encourage students to ask any questions that they may have. We usually get one or two questions in a two-hour session and we find that one of the following occurs: either the student was text-messaging a friend or day-dreaming, so we just repeat the answer and move on, or the student has a great question and everyone else benefits from hearing the answer to something that they hadn't thought about. In either scenario, we want students to know that there is no reason to be embarrassed or afraid of asking a question. We do our best to create a very friendly and comfortable environment so that this is never an issue for students.

“I can get more out of private tutoring than I can get from a classroom session. I only need help with my homework or just this one topic.”

Private tutoring is nowhere near as effective as classroom-style tutoring. Students are never aware of what material they do and do not know, simply because they are not experts in the course that they are taking. They may think that they know everything that they need to know, but after attending our sessions, they quickly realize that there is A LOT that they needed to learn. We describe this by saying that students think "they know what they don't know." Private tutoring does not solve this problem and this is why it DOES NOT WORK. In a typical private tutoring session, the tutor usually begins by asking the student what they need help with. The student asks a few questions about a topic or two and probably asks the tutor to work some homework problems that they are having difficulty with. After spending 40 to 60 dollars per hour, the student leaves with only a few questions answered; unfortunately, these questions will most likely not be asked on an exam and they will not need to know that information for their upper level classes. The problem with private tutoring is that it lacks structure and organization and allows the student to run the show. With an unfamiliar subject, students are not able to predict what information will be important for them to understand and what questions they need to be asking. Instead, our students pay 6 dollars per hour and attend sessions that are structured to ensure that we are able to cover a set number of topics in a two hour time-frame. These are the topics that are necessary for students to know before their exam and we incorporate questions that have been asked in the past for a more thorough lecture. We are not concerned with how much you know prior to attending our sessions; we just want to make sure that you know EVERYTHING that you need to know before you leave a two-hour session. After attending a session, you will feel confident that you are well prepared and have the necessary tools that you will need to perform well in your class.

“Can you help me with my particular professor? He is not like any of the other professors."

Unfortunately, your grade in a class does depend on which professor you have, but learning the material does not. We do not advertise that we are going to get you an "A" on your exam; we guarantee that we will teach you everything that you need to know in order to earn the grade that you desire. It is then up to you to put in a few extra hours of studying to make sure that you can recall the information during test time. If your professor has taught the course before, he or she will be able to prepare you better by showing examples of their test questions. However, becoming familiar with the style of the questions is only helpful after you understand the material. This is what A+ Tutoring brings to the table; we TEACH the material and more importantly, how to apply it. So the answer is YES, we are able help students regardless of which professor they have.

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