is the person who comes to
to explain it"
Frequently Asked Questions
Is tuition the best option for me?
you want to improve in this subject, whether for a specific
qualification or not, there are lots of things you can do.
Many revision materials are available cheaply and even more can
be found for free on the internet. If you are in school or
college, your teachers will be able to help by going through problem
areas with you if they have time (most teachers will be more than happy
to help whenever they can), and many schools will offer
additional sessions for students who are struggling. If you are
determined to succeed, these will all be useful and should definitely
be made use of whether or not you end up getting a tutor. If you
aren't motivated enough to put in the work, tuition would be a waste of
time and money, so don't shell out unless you're certain you can make
the most of it. Cheaper alternatives to one-to-one tuition with a
maths teacher include tuition with a maths specialist who isn't a
teacher (many science/engineering/computing university students make
very competent tutors at much lower rates) or group sessions.
Tutoring centres exist that charge slightly less per hour than an
individual, but the payoff is that you'll be part of a group of maybe
half a dozen other students, so you can expect no more than 10
minutes of personal attention, and much less choice over which topics
to cover and at what pace. Again, for some students this may be
beneficial, but you shouldn't expect more than an extension of
classroom teaching, which is not the same as one-to-one tuition.
Does it have to be so expensive?
you've read the question above and decided one-to-one tuition is the
best choice for you, the next thing to decide is whether your needs
will be best met by a bright undergraduate, a non-teaching subject
specialist or a qualified teacher. I'm not going to tell you that
an hour with me is worth three with a second year Physics student,
because depending on the student and your individual needs, the Physics
student may be your best bet. One of the benefits of being taught
by a qualified full-time maths teacher is that they are not only
good at maths, but good at teaching maths; the two things don't always
go hand in hand! Another advantage is that we know the exams
you'll be taking. I have taught everything from Foundation GCSE
to A-level Further Maths and beyond, have worked as an examiner, and
know how best to prepare you for the questions you'll face. Any
scientist or engineer should know their maths, but if you need someone
who explains it for a living you want someone with teaching experience.
Prices for maths tuition typically range from £10 to £50 an hour.
If you decide you need a teacher, I'm afraid you're probably
going to be towards the higher end of that. I appreciate that
it's expensive, but given the value of mathematics and mathematical
qualifications, most people would agree it gives good value in the long
run. You are paying a premium for individual attention,
personalised lessons, immediate feedback and over a decade of teaching
and tutoring experience.
How do you structure sessions?
advantage of having one student per class is that the sessions can be
as structured or flexible as you require. Some students bring
their own plan of action, bring questions they want to work through and
stick to a rigid timeline. With others, we spend a bit of time
identifying target areas then work through concepts and questions
together. I will never leave you to work through questions alone
for 10 minutes - you are paying for an hour's one-to-one tuition and
you will get my full attention. Generally I'll go through example
questions with you, then while you are trying problems yourself I will
be helping you along, giving suggestions, correcting misconceptions and
making sure you understand what each problem requires. Depending
on your individual requirements, I can provide past exam questions, we
might use software like Excel or GeoGebra to get to grips with new
ideas, and since you're the only student we work at your own pace,
addressing problem areas as they arise instead of always rushing on to
the next thing.
How can I make the most of one-to-one tuition?
most important thing you can do is be motivated. These sessions
are expensive; for students who are determined to work they
are very good value for money, but for students who can't be bothered
they won't work miracles, and it would just be a waste of your money
and time. If you come with the right attitude it will make a huge
difference to how well you learn. In addition to this, spending
time in between sessions on your own is crucial. The most
efficient use of a tutor often involves many hours of individual study
for each hour of tuition. Make it once a fortnight if that helps,
but make the hour with me count. Bring questions you've tried and
failed during the previous week, have a clear idea of what your goals
or targets are, and discuss with me how you plan to achieve them.
Come equipped, make notes if that helps you, pester me for
resources I think will be beneficial and practise, practise, practise.
Maths is one of those subjects where you have to get things
wrong a lot to learn how to do it right. Develop your problem
solving skills and it won't just be maths you'll find them useful for.
What do the various maths qualifications entail?
There are a few details on the relevant tutoring pages for some, but broadly speaking:
Maths covers a wide range of material, roughly equally distributed
between Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics. Number includes
basic calculations, fractions and percentages, factors and primes,
estimation and rounding, proportion. Algebra includes writing
expressions, solving equations, applying rules of indices (powers),
rearranging formulae, manipulating expressions, quadratics, functions
and graphs. Geometry is the maths of shape and space, covering
coordinates, measures (eg volume, speed), triangles, angle rules, loci,
trigonometry and congruency. Statistics covers hypotheses,
averages and spread, types of graph, probability and sampling.
Further Maths Level 2 is harder than GCSE, but not as hard as A-level. More details available here.
Maths typically comprises four Core Maths modules and two applied
modules (Mechanics or Statistics). Core Maths further develops
algebra and trigonometry, introduces exponentials and logarithms and
begins differential calculus. Mechanics links well with Physics
and investigates mathematically concepts such as speed, acceleration,
forces, momentum and circular motion. Statistics builds on GCSE
work and introduces methods of extracting information from data
including the Normal and Binomial distributions, detailed analysis of
scatter diagrams and further methods of summarising data as well as
A-level Further Maths involves a
further 6 modules, mostly of a more advanced level than Maths (Further
Maths cannot be taken without also taking Maths, but the two count as
two complete A-levels). Some new topics are introduced and others
are investigated further, including complex numbers, differential
equations and numerical methods of approximation. Typically
additional applied maths modules are also taken, so instead of choosing
Mechanics or Statistics you will probably take both, and many will also
take a module in Decision Maths, which is somewhat different to the
other areas and includes an introduction to graph theory (eg Sat Nav
route calculation), programming algorithms (more abstract than an
actual computing qualification, though) and optimisation problems.
STEP stands for Sixth Term Examination Paper and is one of
the tests required by some top universities such as Oxford or
Cambridge. It typically doesn't require any additional knowledge
beyond the A-level courses, but are considerably more challenging since
they require you to tackle unfamiliar problems and determine the best
way of applying what you know to problems that you have never
Do you have any resources available?
glad you asked. I have developed hundreds of resources, mostly
for use in a classroom, but also often suitable for home study.
They can be found here: Mathematics
Online. For A-level students, A-level Resources
contains not only teaching resources but past papers, model solutions
and revision materials I've developed over the years.
I don't need tuition, but could you explain how to answer a maths question?
You want Ask An Expert;
a service I provide which is considerably cheaper than an hour's
tuition, and a lot more convenient than travelling. Email me a
maths problem and I'll not only solve it but provide you with a
detailed written solution along with all the notes and explanation you
require to properly understand how I solved it.
you have any other questions, or would like to discuss the best options
for your particular situation, please do get in touch: