How to Study with a Tutor

How to Study with a Tutor

There are times when attending class and studying your textbook just aren’t enough to help you to understand the class material. This is when you should consider hiring a tutor. When you study with a tutor, you are able to get one-on-one attention and interaction where you can ask any questions you may have and focus on parts of the material that you really struggle with.

To get the most out of studying with a tutor, here are some tips. If you follow them, you’ll surely understand the material better and pass your class.

Go to Class

The most important thing when you study with a tutor is to attend class. This is where the bulk of your learning should come from, not your tutor. Keep in mind that your tutor is there to help you with the specific problems you are struggling with and not to teach you all of the material from the class. When you attend class, make sure that you pay attention and take thorough notes to bring back to your tutor. Here is where you can identify what you are struggling with.

Come with Questions

Before each tutoring session, make a list of questions that you had come up during class and still do not have the answers to. This will not only help your tutor with the direction in which to take their lesson, but it will keep you both from wasting time on material that you do already understand. Making a list also helps you to remember what you are struggling with. Too many times students will go to their tutor and draw a blank on what they had questions about.

Schedule Sessions Accordingly

Believe it or not, you should be strategic about the timing when you study with a tutor. It isn’t a great idea to schedule your tutoring sessions after a long day of multiple classes. You’ll be burned out, tired, and less likely to pay attention and absorb information from your tutor. Instead, pick a day that you have a lot of free time. If your schedule is busy, as most college students are, you can schedule a session in the middle of the day between classes so that you are still in the zone of learning. Being in that mindset will help you stay motivated and absorb the information better.


When you study with a tutor, it’s important that you participate in the session. Don’t just let your tutor talk to you and lecture you. That’s exactly what your professor is doing and it isn’t helping. Ask questions if you do not understand something or need your tutor to expand a little more. If you need something explained in a different way, speak up. Have a discussion with your tutor about the material. Sometimes just talking it out in different ways or scenarios can make something click where it suddenly all makes sense.

Be Honest

The worst thing that you can do when you study with a tutor is to lie to them about understanding the information. Remember, your tutor is there to help you and make sure that you are absorbing and comprehending the material. You don’t have anything to prove. It may feel embarrassing or frustrating to tell your tutor to go over something for the third or fourth time, but that is what they are there for. It’s time to put that pride aside and really focus on what you need to have done to understand the information.

Build a Relationship

You’ll probably spend a little bit of time with your tutor. During that time together, you’ll undoubtedly build a relationship with them. When you and your tutor start to get to know each other, you learn how to work with one another better. They will recognize your learning style while you will become more comfortable asking your tutor questions. When you two get along, gong to study with a tutor can seem like fun. You can joke around a bit and talk to each other, but remember to stay focused on the work at hand.

Stay Dedicated

It’s extremely frustrating when you do not understand something that you want to learn so badly. The key to studying with a tutor is to never give up and stay dedicated. Don’t skip your sessions and always come prepared with questions and notes from class. When you study with a tutor, ask them questions that you may have been too nervous to ask in class. Be honest with them when you still don’t understand the material. They are there to help you and will not judge you. Lastly, build a relationship with your tutor so you two can know exactly how to work with one another. This relationship will definitely benefit how you study with a tutor.

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Brittany Loeffler is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University, who also writes for, Online Marketplace for College Life

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