Having a Tutor in College and University
Deciding to get assistance from a tutor during your academic career depends on how you feel about your classes, your grades, and your study skills, and does not mean you are a bad student. There are good reasons to get help from a tutor for a single assignment, a specific course, or for the whole semester, regardless of your grades.
Maintain or Improve Academic Standing
Grades are often the main consideration when deciding to get a tutor. You want to do well in school, and a tutor can help. Particularly for students who are relying on grade-dependent scholarships and grants, having a tutor can ensure you are able to keep your grades up where they need to be to continue receiving this support. Depending on the direction of your academic career, future programs may require minimum grades for application and consideration.
Get Help for a Particular Assignment, Course, or Subject
No one is an expert in everything, and you may have a class or assignment containing a lot of new material with which you are not familiar. If you start feeling confused or overwhelmed by course material, a tutor can be a great help. They can explain and demonstrate concepts, offer study tips, and suggest ways to organize the information to increase understanding. They can also help you plan and outline assignments, or read over a draft of a report or essay and offer suggestions for improvement.
Recover From a Low Grade
You don’t necessarily want to wait until after you get a low grade on an important exam or assignment to consider getting a tutor. However, if that is what happens, a tutor can help you review your work, explain the comments from your professor, and talk through where you could have improved or what you may have missed. Then they can help you study and work on future assignments, for a better understanding of the material next time.
Tutoring can help you at any time during school – not just when you‘re a freshman or having trouble with a class. You can gain a clearer understanding of course material and avoid low grades before they happen. You will also gain confidence in your study skills and in your ability to complete assignments. Getting a tutor early on and having regular meetings with them (even if it is just a few times a month) can give you an excellent academic boost.
There are various options for finding a tutor. Most colleges and universities offer tutoring services free through academic counselling and student services departments. These can be either drop-in sessions, or pre-arranged appointment times for one-on-one assistance. External tutoring services also operate independent of any specific school, though usually there is a fee.
Lastly, if you know another student in your year, or a year or two ahead, you can ask them personally if they would be willing to tutor you. Just remember to take the tutoring sessions seriously, as they are willing to share some of their time with you.
University of Western Ontario Student Development Centre