After a few years of teaching maths, I found out that tutoring A level mathematics is one of the most rewarding experiences and an important job for a teacher. As teachers, we are responsible for helping our students understand the complexities of advanced mathematics and arming them with the tools they need to succeed.
I always believe that with the right techniques and strategies, we, as math teachers, can help our students understand the material, build their confidence and excel in their A-level maths exams.
How Do You Tutor A Level Math Effectively?
Tutoring A Level math is a great way to help students better understand complex mathematical concepts while teaching valuable problem-solving skills along the way.
And whether preparing resources beforehand or familiarizing yourself with the curriculum, many steps are involved in becoming an effective math tutor.
Before your first tutoring session, it is important that you prepare yourself by doing the following:
1- Help Your Students Set Up a Study Plan
Before you begin tutoring your student, it is important to create a studying plan that outlines the goals of the tutoring sessions.
The study plan should include specific topics that will be covered during each session as well as any materials or resources that will be used.
Creating a plan helps to ensure that each session is productive and efficient, making it easier for your student to make progress in their studies.
2- Be Your Students’ Guide
I discovered that one of the best ways to tutor mathematics is by guiding students through the solution process, not just showing them the solutions.
I encourage you to ask your students leading questions to direct them to discover the correct steps instead of doing problems for them.
If the student cannot get the correct answer and come to you for help, I suggest you look at what they have done and help them locate the mistake. And then, have your student solve a similar problem to ensure they have grasped the concept or method.
3- Discuss Essential Math Concepts With Your Students
I believe the best way to tutor students is to help them learn to become independent learners. In mathematics, discussing concepts rather than just processes or procedures is essential.
For example, the tutor should explain why following the “order of operations” rule, Parentheses Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction (PEMDAS) is essential rather than just showing the student how to do it. Understanding the concepts makes remembering the procedures and learning new material easier for students.
4- Familiarize Yourself With the Curriculum
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the curriculum before each session so that you can be well-prepared to provide guidance on topics such as algebraic formulas or trigonometric equations.
This way, you can answer any questions that arise during your tutoring session quickly and accurately.
5- Encourage Practice
Practice is essential when it comes to mastering mathematics concepts. Encourage your student to work through practice questions on their own, so they can gain familiarity with the type of questions they will encounter in their exams.
You can also provide them with additional practice materials, such as past exam papers or online resources, so they can continue practicing outside of the tutoring sessions.
6- Practice Examples
It is also beneficial if you practice solving examples beforehand so that, if necessary, you can demonstrate how certain problems should be solved in order to reinforce understanding and boost confidence in your student’s skill set.
Having a few practice examples ready before each session will make it easier for both of you to stay on track during the lesson.
7- Gather Resources
Gather all the resources you will need for your tutoring session and make sure that you bring them with you when meeting with your student.
These resources may include textbooks, digital materials, whiteboards, pens and markers, calculators, etc.
Be prepared with any digital material that can help ensure your student’s success in their studies.
8- Use Visuals
Visuals such as graphs, diagrams, and illustrations can help students better understand mathematical concepts and equations.
I believe providing visuals makes complex topics more accessible and easier to understand, which can help boost confidence levels too.
When using visuals in your tutoring sessions, be sure to explain what each element represents so your student has an understanding of how everything fits together.
9- Encourage Your Students to Attend Class
Generally, most students believe that tutoring classes are a substitute for attending their maths classes.
I suggest you encourage your students to attend classes, take notes, and ask questions so they can build a good relationship with their teacher or professor.
Students with difficulty in math must learn that tutoring classes are supplemental to classroom time.
10- Provide Feedback
Giving feedback throughout the tutoring process helps keep your student engaged and motivated while also providing them with valuable insights into their progress and areas for improvement.
Provide constructive criticism whenever possible rather than just telling them what they’ve done wrong; this will help them see where there may be gaps in their understanding or mistakes they could have avoided if they had taken a different approach or used different tactics.
11- Discuss Math Anxiety With Your Students
One of the reasons most students struggle with mathematics is anxiety. And when tutoring, I suggest you avoid using phrases such as, “this is easy.” because it may intimidate your students. Instead, I encourage you to say, “I know you can learn this; it will just take some practice.”
I also encourage you to get to know your students and learn about the student’s math background, challenges, and mainly what prevents them from succeeding in their maths classes.
Knowing your students well will help you find ways to keep them motivated and try their best. With hard work and dedication from both tutor and student, success is just around the corner.
Tutoring A level mathematics requires patience and dedication from both teacher and student, but I believe with the right techniques, it can be an enjoyable experience for both parties involved.
By creating a study plan, encouraging your student to practice, using visuals, and providing feedback throughout the process, you can ensure that every session is effective and efficient, which ultimately leads to greater success in exams.
As long as you are prepared for each session by reviewing essential concepts and having all materials ready ahead of time, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed at helping your student master A level mathematics.
With these tips in mind, you now have everything you need to start tutoring A level mathematics effectively.