FAQs

I got a top one-to-one tutor but still did badly in my exam. What is wrong?

This usually happens when there is a tutor-student mismatch. As much as teaching expertise matters, the tutor’s ability to empathize with and understand the student is important as well. Even if  the tutor has produced excellent grades with students from top schools, he or she may not have the experience to do so with students from average secondary schools. Likewise, a tutor who went to a polytechnic and then the university may lack the experience to motivate a student who aspires to do  ‘A’ Levels.

Is one-to-one tuition better than going to a tuition centre?

There is no easy answer to this question. Generally, one-to-one tuition will be the best option for a student who is focused and self-disciplined. Group tuition at a tuition centre will be more suited for students who are less focused and for those who need constant motivation.   However, if  a student “mentally switches off” during the one-to-one tuition, probably because of a tiring day at school, then whatever the tutor teaches will have no impact on the student.  However, even if  astudent “switches off” during group tuition,  he or she will still learn from the questions that his or her classmates ask the teacher.

On a related note, for science subjects, tuition centres can conduct experiments which one-to-one tutors are unable to do so.

Does the class size of the tuition centre matter?

Of course it does. The smaller the class size, the better it is for you. Research by the University of London has proven this. Read the research paper here.

Beware of tuition centres who claim that their class sizes are small when you register with them but subsequently increase their class sizes indiscriminately. Such tuition centres are usually not registered with the MOE or CPE. Check the list of tuition centres or schools registered with the MOE here [choose private schools (A to H), (I to N) or (O to Z)] and those with CPE here (type the name of the private school in the ‘Private Education Institution (Full List)’ search bar).

How are Penciltutor tuition classes different?

Every individual is different and everyone learns in a different way. To better understand the students’ strengths and weaknesses, our teachers monitor students closely during tuition classes  before coming up witha personalized student analysis. This analysis helps us understand the students’ learning patterns and the way they approach questions. In addition, we also offer free school homework help, test or exam paper analysis and free motivational interviewing.

What is a test or exam paper analysis?

Test or exam papers reveal a certain pattern about the students’ approach towards tackling exam questions. More often than not, it also reflects their time management skills. We will analyse the student’s test papers for free and then provide feedback on where the student is losing marks and what could be done to improve his or her time management during examinations.

Does my child really need motivational interviewing?

Motivational interviewing helps to identify habits and patterns that hinder a student’s ability to excel in his or her studies. For an example, we all know that we have to exercise 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, but seriously, how many of us actually do so? We all tend to fall back to our comfort zone and resist change. Students are no different. Although every student wants to do well in his or her exams, there are many distractions, such as computer games or social media that hinder their efforts. Motivational interviewing will identify the ‘stage of change’ that the student is in and help to set targets to achieve.

Penciltutor ‘O’ level Timetable

Dear students, please download your 2017 PENCILTUTOR ‘O’ level timetable by clicking here.