How do I Choose the Best Physics Tutor?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2018
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There are many ways to choose a physics tutor and many different meanings to the term tutor. By physics tutor, students may mean an online tutor they never meet in real space, tutorial based programs on physics like Physics Tutor Excalibur®, or the good old fashioned person that comes to the house or meets a student at the library to help explain areas of difficulty. Most people refer to either the online tutor or the tutor in person, though clearly many people do find help from computer programs that teach physics.

Many would advise that the easiest course in looking for a physics tutor is by finding an “in-person” type, since technology can actually be a hindrance when trying to understand scientific concepts. It can also take more time if tutoring sessions are conducted in chat or email format. Where people find a tutor can also depend on what areas of the science they’re studying. Many people are best off searching local colleges first.


Even high school students may find this the best option, when looking for a physics tutor, but they might first check with their physics teacher or their guidance counselor to see if there are any tutors registered at the high school. Sometimes teachers offer private tutoring or group tutoring for free, and only the student can determine if group tutoring will be sufficient. Private help might be needed if the subject seems incomprehensible. Don’t forget that teachers are often willing to meet with students privately, though some do charge for this. The advantage to having paid private teacher tutoring is that teachers are usually most likely to know what type of testing is required on the subject and may be able to help students more prepare for tests.

High school students or their parents can also contact local junior colleges or colleges, and speak to the physics department. Physics teachers often know exactly which of their students to recommend as tutors, or the department may maintain a list of eligible tutors. If they don’t, people can also contact the tutorial department to determine if they have such a list. College students may follow the same path, though if they’re studying more advanced areas and need help, they may need to look for graduate students who have more skill in this area.

Once people receive a few names, they can start interviewing. They will want to know the degree of knowledge the person has in the field and they may want to test out tutoring ability by asking each person to explain some small issue in physics. Students should also inquire of each physics tutor what their level of tutoring experience is, and whether they use any particular format or theories when they tutor.

Eventually choosing a physics tutor is a matter of verifying qualifications and deciding if tutoring style meshes with learning style. It doesn’t always, and sometimes the most knowledgeable people aren’t the best tutors, and likewise some of the best tutors don’t always have the most experience. The best tutor in the world could be one that has only slightly more knowledge than the student, but is dedicated and excited about the teaching process, while being very good at explaining what he or she has already learned.

Another thing to bear in mind is that choosing a physics tutor doesn’t mean making a lifetime commitment. If after a few weeks or months of work with this tutor, knowledge of the subject (and/or grades) isn’t improving, it may be time to look for another tutor. Save the list of other tutors interviewed and perhaps contact one of them are a replacement.



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