10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Online Tutoring

By Victoria Robertson on June 13, 2017

When seeking help from an online tutor, it’s important to note they are the experts and you are the student. They’re taking time out of their day to help you become better in a given subject, and their goal is just that: to make you better.

With that in mind, here are 10 ways to get the most out of online tutoring.


1. Be ready to learn

When working with an online tutor, you have to be open to the experience. In other words, if you don’t go in ready and willing to learn, you’re going to walk out without having gained anything from the experience. You want to go online with the intention of learning more than you went in knowing. Without that mindset, it’s going to be a waste of your time.

2. Be prepared

Just because there’s no one physically with you doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared. Have your assignments and questions ready to go. Know your due dates and make sure you’ve done any readings or other work necessary.

Also, be sure that you’ve actually tried the assignments. They are not there to do your assignments for you, so only bring to them what you’re unable to do. For one, it’s a waste of their time and yours. But also, you won’t be learning that way, meaning you won’t take anything of value away from the experience.

3. Try your hardest

If you go into your tutoring session under the impression you don’t have to try, you’re already failing. You should be trying your absolute hardest — don’t hold anything back. So that means you should be well rested, prepared, and ready to work. If you walk in unmotivated, you won’t gain anything.

4. Don’t get frustrated

It’s very easy to get frustrated when you don’t understand something. Don’t let that get to you. This is the part where you ask for help — that’s why you’re here! Your tutor knows you don’t understand it, so getting frustrated doesn’t help anybody. Simply explain that you still don’t understand and they can explain things a different way in order to help you.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Especially when you’re frustrated. The tutor is there to help you better understand, so take advantage of that! If you don’t understand something, ask! There’s no such thing as asking too many questions or even asking dumb questions. Your tutor knows you’re there for help, and they’re prepared to answer any questions you may have.

6. Don’t expect them to know everything

That being said, don’t expect them to know absolutely everything. Odds are, when preparing for this session, they’ve done an appropriate amount of research and work, but they can’t possibly know everything there is to know about the topic. If your tutor isn’t sure on an answer, however, they will likely research it and get back to you. So don’t let it deter you from asking, but don’t expect them to know it all, either.

7. Take it seriously

When you sign up for an online tutor, you need to take it seriously. This is the tutor’s job, and they’re taking it very seriously, so you should as well. This is their time that you’re utilizing and their hard work, so if you don’t go in with serious questions, nobody will win in this scenario.

8. Value their time (and yours)

Along these same lines, you shouldn’t be wasting anyone’s time. Your tutor put in the work to come up with a plan to help you. This means they not only did the work, but they’ve prepared to teach and walk you through how they did it. So be sure that when you’re utilizing an online tutor, you’re valuing this time and respecting the amount of work they’ve put in. In other words, don’t waste your time if you don’t take it seriously, and definitely don’t waste theirs.

9. Be mindful of deadlines

Your tutor does not know your schedule. Don’t expect them to. It’s your responsibility to know when your deadlines are. If you’re making a last minute appointment for an essay revision and they aren’t available, but your essay is due the next day, that’s on you, not them. They can’t know your schedule, so ensure you’re giving them plenty of notice to squeeze in your appointment.

10. Take notes

This is one of the keys of active listening. While many people think they don’t need to take notes, that’s not true. You’ll forget minute details that could be helpful later. Or, you may need this information again down the road. Either way, you’ll be saving yourself some time and research by just writing down what you can the first time around. Plus, it’ll be a lot easier to retain this way!

Basically, just because you’re receiving online tutoring doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously. The bottom line is that you’re seeking help in order to improve, so you need to pull your own weight and ensure you’re doing everything necessary to make sure you’ll achieve your goals.

They’re there to help, not to walk across the finish line for you.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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