How to get the Most of your Tutoring Sessions

Tutoring Session Tips – General

  1. When setting up an appointment with your tutor, be sure to take down all important information including the time, place, necessary materials, length of the tutoring session, etc. At this point, you may also consider inquiring about your tutor’s expertise and/or training. You’ll want to be certain that you are confident about and comfortable with your tutor’s skills.
  2. Come prepared to your tutoring session with all relevant worksheets, notes, handouts, materials, drafts, and supplies.
  3. Bring a notebook to jot down any important advice or information your tutor provides you with.
  4. Do not ask nor expect your tutor to complete your class assignments/projects. The purpose of your tutor is to guide you through and explain concepts so that you have the skills to complete your assignments/projects successfully on your own.
  5. Bring specific questions to your tutoring session. This will help guide the tutor to your main concerns and prevent you from spending time on issues that you are not as worried about.
  6. Ask your tutor to review the most important issues at the beginning of the session so that you don’t run out of time before addressing them.
  7. Speak up! Be certain that your tutor is clear when explaining concepts. If you don’t understand an explanation, ask if s/he can explain an idea in a different way until you are clear.
  8. Finally, if you feel that you would benefit from another tutoring session, make an appointment right away to provide yourself with as much time to successfully complete your assignment(s) as possible.

Tutoring Session Tips – Math/Sciences

  1. Don’t simply sit back and watch your tutor solve a problem; work alongside the tutor.
  2. As you work through a problem, try to verbalize the rationale behind each step (or ask the tutor to do this).
  3. After receiving an explanation from your tutor, sit to the side for a while and try to work through some problems on your own. (This will build the confidence you need later for quizzes/exams.)
  4. 4. If your tutor introduces a new method for solving a problem, be open to it. Try using the new method on your own and then decide whether you will use the old or new method.
  5. To increase your confidence and independence, try to tie the tutor’s explanations with material in your lecture notes or textbook.
  6. If you have identified consistent errors in your homework, ask the tutor if s/he has any suggestions for avoiding that kind of error.

Tutoring Session Tips – English/Writing

  1. Most tutors (like those in the Writing Center) will ask you to bring the assignment sheet or homework assignment as written out by the instructor. This is very important! You want your tutor to clearly understand what is required of you to successfully complete the assignment, so that s/he can best help you.
  2. If you are not far enough along in the writing process to provide the tutor with a complete draft of a paper, bring your written ideas, notes, and/or an outline so your tutor better understands your approach to the assignment.
  3. Concentrate on the “bigger picture” (i.e. paper organization, transitions, clarity/quality of content, etc.) first and then move on to smaller issues (i.e. spelling, fragments, punctuation, etc.).
  4. When working on large projects like research papers be sure to consult with the tutor far enough in advance so that you have ample time for revision before the paper’s deadline.

Written by Ixta J. Menchaca
UIC's Academic Center for Excellence
1200 W. Harrison, Chicago 60607

Top

Copyright © 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois