Does the online math tutor know the specific subject?
There are many different areas of math for online math tutors to consider, so it is important to make sure they actually understand your topic of interest. This article will review some of the best questions to ask a tutor when you consider working with them. If the online math tutor excels at trigonometry, don’t just assume that they are an expert in calculus as well since these are two different things.
By focusing on a specific competency, you can increase the likelihood that you will be working with an online math tutor that is perfectly competent to help you with your needs. You can double check this by googling them, checking their LinkedIn profile, plain asking them, and reading the subjects that they have been approved to tutor for. Admins on tutoring websites have a vested interest in making sure that they can help you, so they will be most likely only to approve subjects that a tutor is actually qualified to assist with.
Have they done it before?
It is important to look for signs that the online math tutor that is trying to assist in an area of study that is reputable. More importantly, they should be able to demonstrate some experience as an online math tutor. If they are not experienced, then they should have a portfolio. This could show a certain amount of difficult equations solved or it could show a college thesis that they wrote related to calculus. The best tutors will show their reliability through proof and not just nice words. The key word here is experience. Can you see that the online math tutor is up front and honest with their ability?
Where did they study?
If you went to any trouble to get into a decent college, then you understand that not all colleges are equal. And it is the same for an online math tutor. Take time to investigate what the college is specializing in. Did the online math tutor attend humanities school or a STEM school? This can be helpful for measuring whether the online math tutor has the background and the standard quality by which to measure the success that will ultimately be passed onto you, the student. Also, you will benefit from considering the country that the tutor is from.
A country does not define a person, but the quality of education in a country goes a long way to determining tutor competency in math. For example, if you start looking for a cheap tutor, be careful when you find someone from Kenya or Pakistan. These are great and vibrant countries, but there is no Harvard of Kenya today. With global competition, however, you stand an excellent chance of finding the best tutor for your homework so that you can access help that is affordable.
What are their reviews?
Credibility is demonstrated by proof. I mentioned before that having a strong portfolio is important, but a portfolio can also be demonstrated with proof in showing reviews. Does the online math tutor have 5-star reviews? What do those reviews actually say about the online math tutor? Do they contain relevant detail or do they just read “nice job”? If an online math tutor really does a good job, there will be other students that go out of their way to praise them. And in a digital environment, a strong review is its own form of currency.
How long does it take them to message you?
None of us want to wait for an answer, we deserve quick service and support. But if you message an online math tutor and have to wait around for the answer, this can be a major turnoff. Online math tutors are everywhere, and it’s important to recognize that they face tremendous competition between themselves to help you. So if you are in a position where you are looking for help and someone seems to be ignoring you, it might be time to look elsewhere for help.
Do you like the tutor?
Stupid question right? Online math tutors are there to give you answers and show their work, so you had might as well make sure that the effort is worth your time. And if the online math tutor can make it fun too, this is all the better! So take the time to seek out the best online math tutor with the word “fun” being synonymous with “best.” Because you really do deserve the best when you start looking for a tutor.
A good online math tutor will ask you good questions. You should feel good about yourself and your abilities to grow and learn after working with them. They should be encouraging you and building your confidence. If you feel like you suck at math, your online math tutor should be your cheerleader and coach. In this way, an online math tutor can build you up and let you see the steps necessary to improve your skills to the next level.
Do they ask good questions?
Good online math tutors understand that they do NOT understand everything. Because they are not necessarily experts in your class or college course, there are going to be some specific gaps in what they understand about what you are currently experiencing in college. Look for online math tutors that show their insight by asking good questions about your homework. This allows them to demonstrate the most important word for every college student: reliability. A reliable online math tutor will ask good questions and demonstrate that they understand the problems you are facing. They will strive to fill in the gaps of the areas that they do not completely understand.
Are they making you smarter?
A good online math tutor is going to push you to get smarter. Everyone knows that it is very easy to get an education, but it is much harder to get real learning. Fortunately, you can get both at the same time if you are willing to work at it and improve yourself as you work with your tutor.
Some ways that online math tutors can make you smarter is when they show their work. Just giving a simple demonstration of the steps is not enough, a tutor should be willing and able to go into a lot of detail to make sure every point is clear. This can be done via chat messaging in real time, or it can be done using a whiteboard in real time with an online math tutor. But the most important aspect of approaching a goal to make you smarter is you.
Getting a great online math tutor is kind of like using Venmo when you are going out with your friends on a Friday evening. It’s really important that you are clear that you need them to pay for their pasta dish after the waiter insists on giving only one bill and you pay for everyone because you have the credit card. Because you know if you just sent them the Venmo without explaining to them what is going on, they would not be pleased.
We can call this Venmo etiquette, but the reality is that this depends on your ability to demonstrate initiative. And it is the same when you are trying to learn online with an online math tutor. When we are learning it is our jobs to say something if we are feeling confused or uncertain about the content that we are digesting. If the online math tutor is not asking good questions or assuming too much, it’s important to understand that no question is too simplistic or too dumb to approach. The tutor’s job is to understand your needs and adapt to them, not the other way around.
Are they improving your grades?
If you are in school, it’s important to take time to focus on the results and an online math tutor is no exception. No matter how many goosebumps or smiling emojis you might experience with an online math tutor (goosebumps might be a little weird), you should be a better student after you start working with your tutor than when you begin working with them. Otherwise, it is difficult to see the point of such an engagement.
There are apps and free tutoring options everywhere, so what is the point of studying with a human being if they can’t make your grades better? There has to be a combination of understanding where you are and meeting you there, but also pushing you just hard enough so that you can demonstrate real improvement in your grades. If your online math tutor can’t do this, it might be time to look elsewhere for assistance.
Do they have a solid bio?
A fantastic online math tutor will be entertaining. The best place to start with this is when you read their tutor bio. Are they funny? Are they cool? Can they demonstrate their credibility? Can they show off how smart they are? Do you feel like this person possesses the ability to help you with what you are struggling with simply by reading their bio?
If you didn’t just shout “YES!” at the screen, then it may be time to reconsider how you work with your online math tutor. The reality is that the best tutor understands where you are right now without you having to explain everything. And they should be entertaining educators. It’s impossible to learn from an online math tutor if you are asleep, so fight the good fight of being picky and make sure you get the best tutor that you possibly can.
Concluding thoughts for choosing
As you can see, there are many questions to consider when picking a good online math tutor. The most important thing is that you feel you can trust them to do a great job. The process can feel a little overwhelming at first, so it might be better to just find a tutor company that reviews its own online math tutors ahead of time. This will allow you to save some time instead of spending a lot of extra time reviewing an online math tutor to see if they are good enough to pull off the job.