As parents, asking the right questions before hiring a private tutor in Singapore can make all the difference for the children’s education.

Tutoring has become a multibillion-dollar industry in Singapore. It offers parents an option for their children who are struggling to keep pace with Singapore’s high standard of education. However, the fear of many parents is how to choose the right tutor or tuition agency that will be the best fit for their children. While seemingly overwhelming, it’s all in asking the correct questions and analysing the answers to narrow down the choices to make sure the right tuition agency is selected in line with what the children exactly need.

How much does a private tutor in Singapore cost?

The cost of private tutoring will vary, mostly depending on where you live and the level of experience or qualification of the tutor. In Singapore, on average, a private tutor may charge from S$40 up to S$80 per hour. NIE-trained, moonlighting school teachers, and top university graduates will charge from S$55 to S$130 per hour. Agencies will always charge a fixed fee per hour or lesson, starting at around $50 per hour. Online tuition sessions may be offered at lower or adjusted rates based on what the agency normally charges for private tutoring.

What are the teaching methods?

Highly qualified and experienced tutors will be able to share their teaching methods and years of experience with parents. For those who are starting as tutors, they will normally show transparency and show their teaching methods to parents using a trial lesson or topic. However, parents should remember that there is no such thing as a “perfect” teaching method. Experienced tutors will adapt according to the student’s learning needs, preferences, and weaknesses. They will also work with parents to understand what works best for the child.

What are the tutor’s qualifications?

Naturally, experience plays a large part in tutoring. The more years of experience, the more reliable. Parents can easily check out parent and student testimonials. Then, a qualified tutor means that the instructor’s qualifications are matched with the subjects and grade level of the students. For instance, experienced engineers, maths teachers, and university maths majors normally are private tutors for maths subjects for secondary level students and higher. For tutoring children at the elementary level, ask to see credentials that the tutors are qualified for tutoring children.

How long is an average tutoring session?

Private tutoring is priced by the hour and lessons are handled in hourly blocks. With children in the elementary level, lessons may be shorter than one hour, but rates are still on an hourly basis or a per-lesson basis. The frequency of lessons will vary depending on the student, their needs or weaknesses, and whether they’re studying for exams or not.

What kind of results can parents expect to see?

Some parents get private tuition to help their children overcome failing grades. Some because their children will be taking a major exam. Other parents hire tutors to help with their children’s homework. Each student has different academic needs, so tutors will be responding to those needs. Tutors must be ready to show parents how and in what areas their child’s academic performance is improving. Obviously, a set target would be the gradual increase in the child’s grades in the tutored subject. Parents and tutors should have an initial discussion after the first session to set realistic and achievable goals for the child.

What is the policy for cancellations or makeup sessions?

Normally, a tuition agency will charge a client if a tutoring session is cancelled without a 24-hour notice. However, emergencies or sudden unexpected events are usually considered. Other agencies have detailed policies for rescheduling appointments. Make sure to ask and clarify with the tuition agency ahead of time.

Considering other factors in choosing a private tutor

In choosing a private tutor in Singapore for your children, always do your research when exploring a tuition agency’s website. Take a look at the awards received, if they have received positive media coverage, and delve into the parent and student testimonial pages. Take note of the tutoring track record and student improvement rates. If you are still left in a quandary about where to start, you can take a positive step and go directly to FamilyTutor.