How to Select the Best Peer Tutor

By Brittany Loeffler on May 26, 2017

You are struggling in one of your classes and decide it is time to work with a tutor. A professional tutor can be too expensive for a college student on a budget, and your professor may not have the time to sit down with you each week to tutor you. So, what is your other option? Get a peer tutor.

A peer tutor may be easier to work with and can be cheaper than hiring a professional tutor, which can cost almost $30 an hour! There are some qualities that a peer tutor must have that a professional tutor or professor may not.

via Pixabay

Qualifications

By working with a peer tutor, you will not be working with someone who has extensive knowledge of the subject and maybe works in the field. Your peer tutor will most likely be a classmate or maybe even a friend.

Try to work with someone who has taken advanced classes in the subject. If you decide to work with a classmate who is on the same level as you, you will not receive the most beneficial experience because they are learning along with you. When working with someone who is in your class, it is better to work with them as a study buddy instead of a tutor.

If you need help finding someone on campus who is a year or two older, ask your professor for past students who excelled in their previous classes.

via Pixabay

Professionalism

Since you will be working with a peer tutor, their professionalism may be lacking compared to a tutor who has been trained in the subject. Though you may be working with a classmate or friend, you want to make sure that they stay professional, especially if you are paying them.

During tutoring sessions, make sure they stay on task and are helping you to understand the material you are struggling with. They should be concerned with your progress in the class and the exams you take. If they notice that your grade is not improving, then they need to take a different approach during your tutoring sessions.

via Pixabay

Teaching styles

Every student has a different learning style, which means that tutors need to accommodate that learning style. It’s important that your tutor research and become familiar with different teaching styles and techniques. If you are not gaining new knowledge or benefitting from your tutor, then they may not be the right person to tutor you.

If you feel that your peer tutor is not meeting your learning requirements, feel free to make suggestions. Since they are a peer tutor and do not tutor professionally, it is important to have concrete and open communication for how to better each other’s work.

via Pixabay

Same professor

If you find a peer tutor who has taken the same class you are struggling in and had the same teacher, you’ve hit the jackpot! Hopefully, they still have their notes from the class that they can review and go over with you. Each person has a different method of note taking, so when comparing notes from the same lesson, you may find something new that you did not notice before.

If your peer tutor has had the same professor, they will be familiar with that professor’s teaching style and what they focus on during lessons. This is not to say that you should copy the work that your peer tutor has completed but learn from their experience from taking the class and follow their tips.

via Pixabay

Reliability

A peer tutor is a student, just like you. They have a jammed-pack schedule and extracurricular activities. Make sure that your peer tutor is dependable and reliable and will keep your scheduled tutoring sessions. If you find that your peer tutor cancels your sessions unexpectedly or must cut them short because of assignments or prior commitments, they are not reliable.

As your tutor, even though they are also a student, they must keep the tutoring sessions professional. They have to be beneficial to you and your grade in the class in which you are struggling.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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