3 Fatal Mistakes Students Make When Choosing a Tutor



I tutor students of all ages, and I constantly meet with families who want me to work with their children because they feel they’ve exhausted all other options. I’m happy to help, but I’m also sad that these families have gone through so much inconvenience and frustration before coming to me. It’s not just the hassle of finding one tutor after another; it’s also the mental drain on the child of having a bad tutor. As a child, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not good enough or smart enough for someone else, and this is what happens when students work with tutors who don’t fit well with their personalities or learning styles.

1. Failing to screen their tutor.

  • The first mistake is failing to screen their tutor.
  • The best way to find someone who matches your learning style and needs is by asking questions about the tutor’s qualifications and experience. You should also inquire about what types of students they work with, as this will help you gauge whether or not they’re the right fit for you.
  • If a potential tutor has less than 10 hours of tutoring experience, it might be wise to pass on them altogether, especially if they are offering free sessions or discounts during your initial meeting. These sessions should not be used as an opportunity for training; instead, use them as information gathering opportunities so that you know exactly what kind of teacher/tutor suits your personality best (and vice versa).

2. Hiring a tutor who does not understand their child’s learning style.

Whether you’re looking for help with math, reading or writing skills, the first thing you should do is make sure that your child’s tutor understands their learning style.

A child’s learning style is the way they absorb information best. This might include how they take in information (auditory vs visual), the pace at which they learn (fast or slow), and if they learn better from written instructions or oral instructions.

The most effective tutors will be able to recognize your child’s preferred method of learning so that they can adapt their teaching style accordingly. For example, if your son learns best when he sees things visually then having him read word problems orally may not work very well — but showing him a diagram of what those same word problems would look like might do wonders!

3. Not being involved in the tutoring sessions.

  • 3. Not being involved in the tutoring sessions.

It’s important that your child be active in the lessons, not just sitting back and letting his or her tutor do all of the talking. Your child should ask questions and make sure to understand how each concept fits into a larger picture so that he or she can apply it to other situations as well as remember what was taught. You should also be present during these sessions so that you can speak with your tutor about any concerns that come up between tutoring sessions (such as if your child isn’t grasping something).

Don’t make these three mistakes when choosing a tutor, and your child will benefit more from tutoring sessions.

  • Don’t make these three mistakes when choosing a tutor, and your child will benefit more from tutoring sessions.
  • You may be surprised by how many students don’t know how to choose the right tutor for their needs.
  • Be sure you’re involved in the process of selecting a tutor: if you’re not, your child won’t learn anything new.


If you’re planning to get a tutor, we hope that you’ve found this list helpful. As we mentioned at the beginning, there are many obstacles that you can run into when searching for a tutor. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to these problems, being aware of them can help you navigate your way around them.

So next time someone asks if homework should be banned or not, make sure to let them know it’s not the homework—it’s the way they approach it!