As someone that has been tutoring as a profession for many years – I can tell you that many students need a tutor and pretty much all students could benefit from using a tutor. Using a tutor is not just for those that are horribly failing a course or for those with a learning disability – of course these people often really need one. Using a tutor is also needed by the many students who just can’t learn the material from the professor – or can’t really grasp the concepts without some one on one explanation and discussion. Sometimes it is just a certain professor’s style of teaching that doesn’t fit with the student’s learning style – or in other cases it is the need for a student to get one on one teaching to really learn effectively.
Unfortunately many students (for lack of time, effort or money in many cases) do not get tutoring help when they are struggling, and instead they resort to just trying to learn the material on their own using the textbook, course slides. and practice material. The problem with these materials on their own is they are not good for most learners – even a visual learner would need some good illustrations and diagrams to effectively learn from a textbook. These materials are good supplementary materials – once you understand a concept it easy to read the textbook and do practice problems on that concept – but to actually learn the concept from doing that can be difficult for most.
Also – don’t just think of struggling students as ones that should use a tutor – many students are trying to achieve higher goals than passing – they need a certain grade average to stay in their program or they need to ace their courses to get into a desired post grad program. Tutoring can provide a great way to get that student the extra 5-10% on their grade they need. And it’s not just about not being able to learn everything from class lectures, a textbook, and practice problems – some students could ace a course if they really used these sources well. However – students are also strapped for time – especially ones trying to get good grades in all of their courses – and tutoring can provide an easy way to cut your studying down into a half or a third of what it would be. I have had students that could get an A on their own – but they love coming to me so I can quickly teach them a concept in a couple minutes that on their own could take an hour to really grasp at the same level.
For those who don’t want to pay for one on one tutoring – you can try different tutoring services that are out there that are a little less costly. For instance, I charge $70/hour for my one on one tutoring – but on my website I offer videos for as little as $5 that teach you concepts in the same way I would teach students in my tutoring sessions. I will also be adding other materials to help you out – such as practice problems with solutions, since I know many textbooks don’t offer solutions which makes them of little use to a student. Search around for other materials, online tutoring, or group tutoring that can reduce your costs in getting additional help. Don’t get stuck with just looking at your course slides and textbook, thinking that is all that is available to you.