Depending on your level of study, you might want to find a different kind of tutor. From GSCEs to university studies, there's a lot of different options when it comes to choosing the right person to tutor you or your children.
One on one tuition session can make a significant difference on a student's grades hence the importance of choosing the right person to help you or your children catch up with the rest of the class.
Many factors need to be considered: goals and needs, level of study, tutor qualifications, price per hour, etc., but ultimately the most important are that students are comfortable studying with their private teacher, feeling empowered and more comfortable when exam time comes around and seeing actual improvement of their chemistry grades.
Why Should You Study Chemistry?
First of all, let's talk about chemistry and why anyone should study a subject that many students often overlook when it comes to choosing GCSE and A-level options.
Less than 10% of all UK KS4 students go on to study chemistry for their A-levels even though it seems that those numbers have been steadily climbing for the past few years. And for good reasons: studying chemistry opens a lot of doors.
With many career opportunities following chemistry studies, more and more students have been choosing to study this science during their secondary school cycle. However, even if you are not considering a career in the chemical industry, you might want to take chemistry lessons and here are a couple of reasons:
- Chemistry will make you more informed about the world around you: from product labels to world news regarding pollution, food contaminations and oil crisis; everything in our modern world is somehow connected to the chemical industry: clothing, food, beauty products or even the water coming out of our taps.
- Chemistry is a fun and very hands-on science field. Unlike physics or mathematics, chemistry will require you to perform experiments that you will have carefuly prepare ahead. Turn metal into liquids, change the colours of solutions depending on pH or extract aromas from fruit peels.
- Chemistry is the linking subject between physics and biology. If you are interested in a career in science, chemistry will most likely part of your daily work.
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Get Recommendations and Check Credentials
The first step before hiring a tutor or even starting your search online (which will probably give you hundreds if not thousands of different options) is to ask around you if anyone could recommend you a good chemistry tutor.
Start by asking school teachers, guidance counsellors and other students and parents, chances are, you or your children won't be the first ones to ask, and many schools actually keep a list of qualified tutors that already been approved by others. You may also find out that the school offers free tutoring for students in a small group setting.
Your local parenting magazine or local newspaper can also be handy in your quest for the perfect private tutor.
Once you short-listed a few candidates, it is prevalent to have a short "interview" before proceeding with one on one tutoring for you or your child. These can either be done in person and many tutors will come by to your house for a little chat, but if your schedule is too busy, you can also do these by phone or video chat.
Do not be afraid to ask for credentials or past students and student's parents' testimonials and references. It is also very common to ask for DBS check, as most private tutors, working with tuition centres and schools, will have to undergo such a check as they will be working with children.
You should also ask about their qualifications. If your child is only studying Chemistry for his or her GCSEs, having a Chemistry undergrad, who's studying at the local university, would usually be enough, though home tutoring requires some adaptation skills as each child has different needs and you may want someone who already has academic tutoring experience.
For A-level, depending on the level of difficulties encountered in a student's chemistry studies, a post-grad or a certified teacher are probably prefered. If you reached an undergraduate degree and need some help with your Bachelor of Chemistry studies, you should look at hiring a post-graduate or chemistry teacher to help you out.
Before signing up for the very first lesson, you should also clarify the tutor's policies. Some tutors may charge you if you fell to cancel a booked lesson more than 24-hours in advance.
Most parents think it is fair as private tutors are often in high-demand and a booked lesson cancelled last minute will be a loss of wages for the tutor. Some science tutors are more flexible than other but best to check beforehand.
If you are working with a tutoring center or through tutoring services, you might want to ask about their substitute policy and check who will be teaching you or your child in case your prefered tutors is unavailable.
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Discuss Priority Areas
As each child's need is different, it is essential to lay out where the difficulties are from the beginning. Some students might struggle with inorganic or organic chemistry, while other may be falling behind in biochemistry.
Also discuss what kind of help you or your tutored child can expect: exams prep, homework assignment, supplemental instruction or all of the above.
During the initial interview, make sure to discuss which area you want to focus on and if there are any specific part of the chemistry lessons that need to be looked at. For this, the best way is to involve your children directly as students will always be more aware of their difficulties than their concerned parents.
You should also ask your or your child's teachers for their opinion. Having teachers and private tutors collaborating is ideal as their work is complimentary and a close-working relationship will often give the best results possible for the student who needs help. A teacher will be able to point out parts of the curriculum or specific notions that a tutor should focus on.
It is also essential to closely track the progress of a child while studying with a tutor. The primary goal of private tuition is to improve the Chemistry grades of the students. Some tutors will include a periodic progress report into their schooling and will check that the goals set in the initial stage of the tuition have been fulfilled and if they need to be updated or redefined.
You should also ask how long private tutoring usually lasts: a quarter, a semester or all year. Some tutors have enough experience to tell you how long you or your child will need to catch up with the rest of the classroom.
Find out about possible futures for a Chemistry graduate.
How Much Will It Cost?
One of the main factors that should be considered when picking a chemistry instructor and that we haven't discussed yet is the price of private tuition.
If you are living in London, sadly you will probably have to pay more than anywhere else in the country. As students in the capital are the most likely to receive some form of private tuition during their studies (44% of London students), tutors are in high demand in the city. Add some expensive commutes, and you end up with hourly home tuition averaging £30. However, some qualified tutors may charge you up to £45 an hour.
If you are leaving outside London, lucky for you like the price tag of private tuition will quickly fall. Big cities such as Birmingham, Glasgow or Manchester are more likely to see tutors offering lessons for £20 an hour in average, and the fact that fewer students take on private tutors also means that you will be more likely to find an educator.
Wherever you live, an online tutor will often be less expensive than their home tuition colleagues.
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Find Your Perfect Tutor On Superprof
Our online platform has tens of thousands of registered tutors, ready to help you on almost every subjects, from math, calculus, geometry and trigonometry to accounting, grammar and SAT prep, Superprof has your tutoring needs covered.
For general chemistry alone, almost 15,000 tutors are available to help you. If you prefer, many tutors also offer online tutoring, making lessons more flexible and often less expensive than the classic one on one home tutoring format.
The most important thing when a student starts private tutored lessons is for him or her to gain the study skills, strategies and confidence to succeed in taking any chemistry test. The coaching offered by a home tutor, from test preparation to individualized advising is the perfect way to achieve your grade goals and academic success.
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