New Survey Reveals Immediate Impact of Private Tutoring

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On average, students improve by more than a full letter grade in just 10 hours with an in-home tutor according to a national survey of 269 independent tutors conducted by tutor-student matching service, WyzAnt.com.

With a tutor, the students are able to talk about issues that they are having with the material, make mistakes, correct them, and not have to worry about being judged by peers or dismissed by a teacher.

According a recent survey, 72% of students improve their scores between one and two full letter grades after just 10 hours of private tutoring compared with only 4% of students who see minimal improvement. 12% of students see an improvement of 2 or more full letter grades.

Tutors site several major reasons for the great results, first of which is the individualized instruction. John Park, a math tutor and chemistry tutor from New Jersey, explains, “Tutors are better able to assess a student’s needs and weaknesses and target the instruction to fulfill the gaps in their knowledge. We can also do it in fun and interactive ways that cannot be accomplished in a classroom setting.”

Many tutors also cited improved comfort level and confidence as key factors. “With a tutor, the students are able to talk about issues that they are having with the material, make mistakes, correct them, and not have to worry about being judged by peers or dismissed by a teacher,” says Taylor Blake, an elementary education and Spanish tutor in the Atlanta area.

According to the tutors surveyed, the degree of improvement depends on a number of factors including the subject area (math and science are especially receptive to tutoring), grade level, how far behind the student is, the student’s personality and, most importantly, the student’s attitude and work ethic.

Says Jason Billings, a math and physics tutor from Connecticut, “Students that are self motivated typically do the best. Issues with understanding concepts and test taking techniques are fairly easy to fix; issues with actually doing the work and putting forth effort are much more difficult to overcome.”

In many cases an unmotivated student can turn into a motivated one with increased confidence, according to Mr. Park. “Many students report being able to answer the teachers’ questions in class the very next day,” he remarks. Several tutors said witnessing a student’s renewed excitement for learning as their greatest professional satisfaction.

For families hesitant or unable to make a large financial commitment, it’s great news that so much progress can be achieved with just a few hours of private tutoring, and many tutors indicate that once students get back on track, they require a minimal amount of tutoring to maintain their improved performance.

Mr. Billings explains that “the bulk of the improvement is seen between six to eight hours. By this time, they’ve usually had about a month of tutoring. Most students go into more of a maintenance mode after this point rather than playing catch up.”

WyzAnt’s CEO, Andrew Geant, is quick to point out that staying current in class in the first place is the real key to success in school and that, “it’s best to use tutoring to supplement classroom instruction rather than for emergency damage control.” Mr. Geant also notes that tutoring is about much more than improving your GPA. “Let’s not overlook the other advantages of private tutoring,” he says. “Self-esteem, knowledge, study skills and mentorship are also major benefits of private tutoring. Much of the learning that occurs is not measurable in terms of grades.”

WyzAnt.com is an online marketplace where students and parents can search 30,000 qualified home tutors in hundreds of subjects.

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Daniel Breiner
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