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Mr Chen's anecdotes.


The mid-year exams (or WA2) just ended.

Most of you would have attended the Parent-Teacher-Meet. Some of you may have left happy. While others might have to kneel at the altar to repent. For those who have done well, keep it up and congratulations.

For those who have room for improvement, you might be wondering if you need help. Some might consider asking their older siblings to help for a start. While others might have tried that and failed and considered if they need tuition. Tuition enrolment can be a difficult decision to make simply because it concerns money. It is an investment. Hence, in this article, a checklist would be presented to help you decide if engaging a tutor is a good idea for you.

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Did I genuinely try?

We have to be honest with ourselves on this.

Look through and think back to your exam preparation period. Reflect on what you did. Was it just flipping through your textbook? Was it just memorizing lines off the page? Or did you actually attempt questions?

Firstly, your effort is commendable albeit your methodology may have been questionable. Generally putting in effort in primary and secondary school would yield some results. You should not be failing. Primary and secondary school syllabus are generally easier to comprehend on your own and raw grinding would get you a C minimally. For example, secondary school math algebra is usually rather mechanical and simply requires sheer practice.

However, if you have practiced, consulted friends and teachers whenever you encounter a problem in your work, and you're still failing, it is a sign that you may need to take a different approach.

A private tutor offers more than customized guidance. Aside from catering to your needs and tackling your specific weakness, a competent tutor would also design a plan for you to maximize your chances of academic success. We will examine and discuss what you have been doing previously for exam preparation. Hence, if you tried and failed, it's time for you to consider engaging a tutor.

Is my academic environment conducive?

My teacher is useless! He can't teach!

My class is so noisy. I can't hear anything, much less, learn something in class!

The teacher is going too fast and I can't catch up.

The above are some of the most common comments I've heard from my student. Your failure may not entirely be your fault. (But it's still your fault. Really.)

Some students are dealt a bad hand in terms of the class and teachers they are allocated to. You genuinely have the desire to learn and you are giving your best. However, the environment makes it more arduous than it should be for you. These elements are usually out of your control and you can only try to make the best out of a bad situation.

Furthermore, each student is a unique individual. We have different needs for our academic achievements. Some students thrive in a group setting with familiar faces whereas others require undivided attention in order to learn. You would need to reflect and decide what works best for you.

Ultimately, tuition comes in different forms. With us at VANTAGE TUTOR, we offer private tuition at your residence. We also offer group tuition, capped at 3 students, at our home classroom. Students are encouraged to form their own group tuition with familiar faces in order to create a level of comfort while maintaining a sufficiently high level of customized teaching.

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Can I afford it?

There is one key difference between a school teacher and a tutor - the cost.

In school, you hardly ever get to pick your subject teacher or class. You are assigned.

However, for tuition, you have your pick from a wide selection of tutors. The tuition industry is a free market. It is a service-oriented industry and only the best tutors are able to thrive and remain in the industry. The bad and the lousy get weed out eventually with a gradual reduction in student count.

As such, popular tutors can be expensive and unaffordable to some. The best math tutor who is still willing to do private tuition could cost as high as $100/hr. Whereas the best physics tutor might only provide group tuition and not private tuition at all.

Tuition is an investment. Investment does not always yield returns. Therefore, it is only wise to deliberate over the budget you are willing and able to afford before committing to tuition.

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Tuition is not a must but definitely a boon

Tuition has been treated as a panacea by the general population in Singapore. When a student doesn't do well, few actually reflect deep enough to decide if tuition is indeed the solution. However, at the same time, there are also people who reject the idea of tuition completely. They think they just haven't tried and if they did, they would have graduated as the Valedictorian of the University of Cambridge at the tender age of 5.

Ultimately, tuition works best when it is not forced upon. To us at VANTAGE TUTOR, the students and us, we are a team. We are mentors to guide them through while being by their side in this academic journey. We always share a good laugh. We celebrate our victories together and we grieve over our failures together.

We, at VANTAGE TUTOR, are known to help students achieve significant improvements in Math and Science subjects. In the most recent mid-year exams (2022), we have seen significant success in helping our sec 2 math students achieve high A1 (>80%).

Registration is now open for new enrolment!

Contact us and we can deliberate together how to best move forward with your child's academic journey.

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