Getting a Head-Start Towards University Education

PSLE is over! Better still, your child has been accepted into the school of your choice. And so the demands and worries pertaining to secondary school life begin. This is where your child will learn skills and academia to prepare them for Junior College, Polytechnic or some other vocational institute.

The highly competitive and demanding education system here almost necessitates the use of tutors for secondary school-going children in Singapore. The tutoring trends in recent years reinforce the focus on demand for quality tuition for ‘O’ level students. Here in Singapore, finding a good teacher/tutor is not a simple task. Our schools are amongst the most demanding academia in the world; with good reason. But excelling in such a competitive environment requires that extra effort from the student, effort which may push students to give up, or to dislike learning entirely.

A recent article in the Straits Times pointed out that almost 98% of secondary school students have indulged in some form of tuition help.

Is Secondary School tutoring necessary?

To many, having tuition in secondary school is imperative because of the complexity of the subject matter. While a parent may be able to still assist a child in primary school, the average parent is not that well-versed quadratic equations or summary writing, skills required to get a competent student through secondary school. A tutor helps in being able to understand and handle the high degree of difficulty that some of the secondary school subjects can contain.

As students embark on this important phase of their academic life, our professional MOE tutors help empower them with comprehensive tuition classes that cover a range of academic subjects and required skills. Moreover, our teachers are also familiar with the syllabus updates and have access to examination papers from the various top schools.

In the academic year 2014, our student results and testimonials showed that the tutors not only delivered improved results in exams but also managed to imbue broad-based developmental skills such as memory techniques and exam taking strategies. In math and science subjects, our tutors focus specifically on introducing skills and methods for problem solving, which we hope will develop motivation towards learning and help students attain a quest for excellence. Rather than simply delivering information and materials to the students, our professional MOE tutors also use visual presentations and explanations that stimulate a rapid understanding of the basic issues and focus upon strategies that lead to independent learners. In short, the tutors had provided a comprehensive educational foundation based on assessment criteria of the Cambridge O-Level papers.

Stresses of Secondary School

As your child advances to Secondary school, additional subjects are incorporated into the syllabus. Subjects such as the Humanities (Geography, History and Literature), Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Mathematics (Elementary and Additional) are broken up into specialization areas. The language subjects also increase in complexity.

For instance, MOE has removed the narrative essay question from Section C of Paper 1, and replaced it with argumentative or discursive topics. Perhaps in anticipation of preparing students for the General Paper in Junior College. Students who are academically slower might not react well to the increased workload, the culture shock and might not be able to cope with the avalanche of information being thrown at them.

How Do The Teachers Help?

Most parents find that home tuition helps your children go over class material at a more understandable pace, and in the comfort of your child’s own home. The child is able to sit down, to relax, and to slowly decipher strengths and weaknesses of their learning habits. Once the tutor has an understanding of the child’s potential and capabilities, then the tutor will create a study plan for your child and offer assistance in their weaker areas.

Also, teachers in school might not be able to answer to all of your child’s questions due to a lack of time as well as numerous questions from other students. A home tutor is able to fully address all of the questions. The type of questions asked also helps the tutor to deduce what area of the subject the child is misconceptualizing, and to better assist the child in that area.

Our professional tutors are all Singaporeans, they have been educated in Singapore, they have graduated from the local universities, and they understand the education system. Tutors are able to provide your child with significant cues and guidelines for particular subjects that others without home tuition would not receive. With the additional help, children with tuition tend to achieve better results in the ‘O’ levels. All these benefits are important in gearing your child towards their ‘O’ and ‘N’ level examinations, which determines the next school and course they will get into, and ultimately, their careers.

Bad grades often result in a choice of courses that may not fully tap on the potential of your children. For instance, if a child is very good at repairing things and wishes to become an engineer, but had to accept a literature major instead because of weak grades, it would severely limit the student’s motivation in university. Good grades simply allow for better career choices. Home tuition is not cheap, but could well amongst the best investment(s) for a parent.

“My daughter is from a neighbouring primary school. She was quite disappointed after the PSLE results were released as she didn’t manage to get into the school of her choice. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to her for the ‘O’ levels, so I sought the help of two tutors for her. So far, things have been going quite well. She is achieving better results compared to primary school, where she didn’t have tuition.”
― Mrs Janice Lim, Parent

How is Tutor+ Different?

We believe that students should be able to achieve their best shot at success. While some Tuition Centers are notorious for accepting only students from top schools or those in the GEP programme, and some other tutors only wish to accept students who are already proficient, we truly try to match our students with the tutor that will best help them. This may not mean matching a student to the most advanced tutor, or the most qualified tutor, but to the tutor that understands the student, and is able to device an effective studying plan for the student.

For students who are already doing well, but want to maintain their absolute best for the exams, we offer top-notch tutors who are able to conduct classes that are more advanced than the regular ‘O’ level syllabus. Our top teachers are from the top echelons of the education system in Singapore, and they will guide their students towards the realms of the summa cum laude. Our students are polled regularly for feedback, and a tutor is only able to come highly recommended if they are actually quite good at the subject matter and are advanced in their teaching methodology. These are the teachers you want if your child must get into GEP, the Integrated Programme at a top school or the actual Ivy League.

We believe in quality tutors. About half of our resident tutors are MOE-trained, and several have won awards in teaching. Our screening process is rigorous and stringent, we interview prospective candidates both on the phone and face-to-face. Other than the quality of the teachers, what sets Tutor+ apart from your run-of-the-mill centre is the fact that tutors follow an advanced curriculum specifically designed by a group of ex-MOE teachers specializing in the subject. Tutor+ believes in teaching kids the way they should be taught, by doing practice papers, making honest mistakes and learning from them.

Based on the stellar 2014 results, we believe our approach works well.

Tutoring Options

Featured as among the best Secondary School tuition agencies, Tutor+ provides teachers giving guidance in all secondary school subjects, including English, Chinese, Mathematics, Science, and other Mother Tongues. Parents can opt to hire separate teachers for individual subjects, or one common teacher for several subjects, depending on the requirements of their children.

Advancing from Primary School to secondary school, a child will have to face greater challenges and will have to be ready for a competitive environment. Our tutors will help children in coping with their subjects in various ways. We offer various types of tuition schedules — although most tuition assignments are based on a weekly two-hour session. We also offer a range of tutors with various fee ranges, so parents are able to look for good quality yet affordable tuition.

A message from our Secondary Tutors Division:

Our team brings to you a combined 16 years of Secondary tutoring experience, and we also have 5 tutors with teaching experiences in a SAP schools. As a NIE-trained teacher, I am constantly in touch with the changing syllabus. We are aware of how examinations are set and how the graders allocate points in the students’ answers.

Many of our teachers have trained and taught graduating classes at the ‘O’ levels for significant periods of time. Our experience affords us firsthand knowledge in the common mistakes students make, and how to deal with students who lack motivation. Several of our teachers have taught lower secondary levels school, and are familiar with the process of streaming. For lower secondary students, we are able to offer help and expertise to students and parents in this regard.

We have had many students over the past years. A significant proportion of our students are from IP schools such as Hwa Chong institution, Raffles Girls School, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Nanyang Girls’ High School and Dunman High School. Although our tutors are independently based, we generally seek to structure the lessons and classes conducted according to the learning style and ability of individual students. This is so that tuition classes can be designed to enable students to maximise their learning potential.

We understand the anxiety on the part of parents (some of us are parents too!), and our goal is to help students achieve their maximum academic potential through tuition. Our teachers are professional and competent. On their part, we hope students will not just learn passively but be engaged, ask questions, and master the subject matter. Ultimately, we hope for tuition to be able turn students into the intelligent, enthusiastic, individual that most children already are.