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Is VCE tutoring worth it or is it a waste of money?

Izabella Bratek

Management Team

I am an enthusiastic, friendly and patient tutor with 12 years of VCE tutoring experience. I have taught a number of VCE high achievers and also helped students significantly improve their marks... Read this tutor's blog

Latest from Izabella's blog: Introduction to Factorization Video

Many schools, particularly private schools are completely against VCE tutoring or any type of outside tuition help. Schools advice parents against extra tuition and claim that school should be enough for student's success. Although it is possible that a student succeeds without any tutoring- given that they have heaps of will power, positive work ethic and determination it is a challenging path. Not every student will be able to battle through VCE themselves and although schools are usually very supportive and helpful as they find it difficult to cater for every student's needs.

Tutoring offers individual support

No matter what school you attend, or how much it costs – in every school you will have other students in your class. This means that there will not be too much personalized time for students that may have missed an important concept or are behind. Although some schools organized out of school tutoring – sometimes this is not effective because it is still usually (a) in a class (b) the same teachers. Sometimes it is beneficial to get a fresh outlook on your subjects and to experience a different teaching style than your school teacher/s deliver.

Tutors can have different resources

Tutors usually have a wide variety of different resources that they can provide for the student. Usually school teachers will focus on the textbook questions and may provide extra note/questions – however rarely will they expand the student's understanding by focusing on challenging analytical questions. Particularly the type of questions found in SAC's and exams, so it is no wonder that ? students often walk into tests full of confidence and then become distressed that the questions in tests, SAC's and exams are many degrees harder than the exercises.

Teachers usually go through exercises to prepare students for exams and tests. However this becomes very robotic to students because they know what they have to do in the exercise. They know exactly what method to use and what formula to apply – because it is obvious within the exercise. So why is using a textbook alone limiting students? Because a test or exam will not state what method, formula or approach to take. It will simply jumble up the whole topic and leave it for the student to decide. No wonder the student will become confused in a test if they never tried to apply their knowledge!

This is a common mistake that teachers make – they don't focus on the application of knowledge they simply focus on building skills. Although building skill is important, it often limits students to excel because they don't understand where to use it. An excellent VCE tutor understands how important application of knowledge is, and strives to work on the student's ability to use this information.

VCE tutors can motivate their students

Often it is a daunting task to face the challenges of VCE – and although parents and friends can support you, a VCE tutor can help motivate you. By setting regular goals and complementing students upon achievements, a VCE tutor can really help encourage students to reach their full potential. Usually the most significant improvement occurs when students are encouraged and find that they are improving in their studies.

Students usually work harder when they have a VCE tutor

Usually when students have a tutor they begin to work harder in the subject. This is because they are now committed to make a difference in their subject marks. By having assistance from a tutor, students usually ensure that they are prepared for lessons, they know exactly what questions to ask and they made progress ahead of the syllabus.

However there are also students that fall into the trap of using their VCE tutor to do their homework. Or they may not focusing during class because they know that their VCE tutor will help them understand the topic. A good tutor will recognise this problem and encourage students to try homework themselves as well as inspire them to be more attentive in class.

Tutors can often explain topics differently than school teachers

There is not only one way to understand a particular topic – there are multiple ways to reach understanding. Sometimes the way it teacher explains in class doesn't "click" for students. It may be too complicated or other communication style may not resonate with the student's preference. The benefit of having a tutor is that they can explain topics differently. This broadens the student's outlook on the topic and therefore allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.

Tutors can develop an understanding of the student and their weaknesses

Since the tutor is working with the student on a weekly basis, they can begin to understand exactly where the student is at – including strengths and weaknesses. They can focus on improving the strengths and sorting out weaknesses. Unfortunately a schoolteacher usually does not have time for this, they have hundreds of students to worry about which doesn't allow them to focus on individual care. This is not because they are inefficient at what they do, but it is challenging to help improve hundreds of students in their work.

It is almost impossible for teachers to be able to develop excellent rapport with every single student, and therefore students fall behind. This is why individual tutoring is so beneficial, the tutor is able to help the student personally based on their needs.
Overall to summarise, VCE tutoring is only worth that it student is able to put in hard work and dedication to their studies. If this is not the case, then even VCE tutoring will not perform miracles – in such a case in may not be worth spending the money. However if a student is willing to try and really wants to learn, then VCE tutoring can be beneficial and is worth the investment.

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