Signs You Should Find A Tutor

By Ashley Paskill on April 19, 2019

While college is a time to socialize and start thinking about your career, the most important aspect is academics. For many students, it is inevitable that things will become difficult and they need to seek assistance from a tutor. However, it can be difficult to tell if you need a tutor or not. It is important to do well in your classes, even if they are not related to your major. There is no shame in asking for help as many students need assistance at one point or another. Knowing when to get help is half the battle.

When you do decide to see a tutor, see if your college or university has tutors. These services are often free and are right on campus. If you try this and it does not work for you, there are several other options, including online tutoring. Tutors are often willing to work with you to help you afford their services if your finances are tight.

You are reading this article

If you are reading this article, you are likely struggling and may be considering getting a tutor. Even if you are unsure still, having a feeling that you might need some academic assistance is usually a good sign that you should get a tutor. Trust your instincts. If you are not struggling, going to a tutor can make sure you are on the right track and can give you a fresh pair of eyes. Seeking out a tutor before a problem arises can help you avoid unnecessary stress.

You do not necessarily need to be struggling to see a tutor, however. If you know a class is going to be particularly tough based on reviews of the class, it is better to start off strong with help than to wait until it is too late to save your grade. Even if you excel in a specific subject, seeing a tutor can help you dive even further and can help you get a different perspective.

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You work hard and yield no results

We are told that if we work hard, it will pay off. However, sometimes, you may feel like you are working to the max in a class and yet you are not seeing any kind of improvement. If you are not seeing any results from your hard work and you feel stuck, it may be time for you to get a tutor. A tutor will be able to help you see where you are getting stuck and can help you see things in a fresh light. They will give you strategies that you can use to help digest the material so that you work smarter, not harder. Knowing how your professor’s exams are will help you focus on what is important so your tutor can help you figure this out.

Your motivation is gone and you no longer like school

If you are in college, chances are you have always liked school and are passionate about learning. However, if you are struggling in a class, this love of school can decrease dramatically in a short amount of time. This can make things worse, as you may not want to do any of your work, which will make you fall behind even more. If you are experiencing a sense of dread when going to a class or doing work for that class on your own, it may be time to see a tutor to help break the fog.

Having a tutor will help you have someone to support you and hold you accountable when all you want to do is give up. They will give you advice on how to study so that you can be confident that you know what you are doing. Your tutor is knowledgeable about helping students in their given subject, but they were a student at one time, or they are a student. They can help you deal with the stress of struggling in a class because they have been there. This will remind you that you will get through it and that you are not alone in your struggles. Sometimes, knowing that someone else went through a tough class and passed can inspire you, especially if they can help you as you work your way through.

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Infographic by Ashley Paskill

You may attend every class, take notes, and do all of the work required outside of class and still feel totally lost. When you go over your notes or sit down to do your assignments, nothing seems to make any sense, although you paid attention and took thorough notes. This can be very discouraging. Going to a tutor will help you figure out what you may have missed or help you focus on key points, which will help you focus on the most important elements in a subject.

If you do not grasp the key points, the examples that are mentioned in the chapters in your textbook or that are mentioned in class will make no sense to you. They will mean nothing since you do not know the basic concepts. The tutor can point these out to you, but they can also help you to know how to figure this out on your own. Many textbooks have a lot of information within the chapters, and it can be difficult to figure out what information is key.

You will be taking a class that you know you will likely struggle with

If you have to take classes in a subject that you have struggled with in the past, it is a good idea to get ahead of the difficulty by getting a tutor right off the bat. This will ensure that you can conquer problems before the problem arises.

Also, this will eliminate stress for you since you will have a support system to help you out when things get tough. Getting a head start will give you a chance to ask questions early on and to make sure your grade does not suffer. Even if you already know the basics, the tutor can help you review so that you have a firm foundation for learning new information, especially if the courses you are taking build off each other. Even if your classes within the subject do not relate to each other besides them being in the same subject group, it is still a good idea to get a tutor so that you can get tips for learning the material and go at it with fresh eyes.

You have tried asking for help, but nothing has helped

Sometimes, when you’re struggling with a class, you ask friends or classmates for help. They may be able to help on occasion, but they have lives of their own and may not always be able to help. Going to a tutor is a more reliable method for getting help since their job is to help. If you go to your school’s tutoring center, the tutors likely have a schedule for when tutors are in for a specific subject. If their schedule conflicts with yours, see if you can get their contact information and arrange for a session. You could also go to an off-campus tutoring center. This may cost money, but it is less expensive than having to retake a failed class.

Sometimes, teacher or TA office hours are not convenient for every student, and their schedules for an appointment outside of their office hours are not good times, it can seem impossible to get help. Most tutoring centers have a variety of tutors at any given moment, or they have schedules for when tutors for certain subjects are in. These schedules may fit your schedule better than your professor’s office hours.

You are not grasping the material at all

There are times that you feel like you are just not grasping the information at all, no matter how many questions you ask or how much you pay attention in class. You may form study groups or watch videos online. No matter how much effort you put into understanding the material, there may come a time when nothing works. Getting a tutor will give you a fresh perspective on the material. The tutor will be able to phrase it in a way that might help you understand the material better and will help you figure out what is not clicking for you.

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You have an exam coming up and are not feeling prepared

Even if you understand the material overall, some chapters can be more difficult than others. Feeling completely unprepared for an exam is a discouraging feeling, and not knowing where to begin with studying can be overwhelming. A tutor can help you find out what aspects of the material you are having the most problems with and can help you overcome what you are stuck on. They can give you practice questions or problems to help you make sure that you are more prepared. As long as you get a tutor with enough time, you will be able to do well on the exam. However, if you wait until a day or two before the exam to see a tutor, it is likely too late.

You do not like your TA or professor

If you do not like your professor for any reason, it can be tough to pay attention or understand what is going on. Whether you do not get along with them or you do not like their teaching style, not liking a professor can interfere with your ability to succeed. Seeing a tutor will allow you to get a different perspective on the subject matter, which is especially helpful if you do not like your professor’s teaching style. If you go to your college or university’s tutoring center, you may even have a tutor that is familiar with the teacher you have so they can help you focus on what the professor deems the most important information. They will also know their exam style, which will help you know how to be as prepared as possible.

You are falling behind in your work

Whether you have circumstances that have you focused on things beyond school or your professor is giving you a lot to do and you do not fully understand it, it can be easy to fall behind if you are feeling overwhelmed by everything. A tutor might be able to help you with your assignments, especially if you are struggling with the material. They may also be able to help you create a game plan for moving forward and dealing with at least the challenge of your schoolwork. They might not be able to fix everything, but having someone who understands that schoolwork can be challenging when life gets overwhelming is comforting.

You struggle with taking exams

It is frustrating when you are completely prepared for an exam and you know all of the material and then freeze up as soon as the exam is in front of you. Many students struggle from test anxiety, which can make it seem like you never studied the material at all because you forget everything. Some college tutoring centers have tutors that specifically help students who have this issue. They can walk you through tips to help you when these things occur and can help you make sure you are familiar with the material.

You struggle with textbook reading

While many professors focus solely on the information taught in class, some professors pull questions from the lectures and the textbook. This can cause major stress for students who struggle with textbook reading. Tutors can help you figure out how to best approach the textbook and can help you pinpoint what you specifically struggle with when it comes to textbook reading.

It can be hard to figure out whether or not you should see a tutor, but if any of these circumstances apply to you, it is worth seeing if a tutor can help. When you do see a tutor, come prepared with specific questions so the tutor can know how to best help you.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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