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What Does a College Math Tutor Do?

College math tutors may be self-employed.
A math tutor may prepare someone for an exam.
A college math tutor provides one-on-one help for students struggling with math courses.
Article Details
  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A college math tutor provides extra homework help and study guidance outside of class. This type of one-on-one teaching is often beneficial for students who experience difficulty in university-level math courses, such as algebra or calculus. Some students find their required math courses challenging and a bit intimidating, particularly when they are returning to college after several years. A qualified college math tutor explains concepts and breaks down the steps of problems so that students are able to solve them on their own. Many students have the option of working with a live tutor in person or with an online tutor.

Some students consult a college math tutor prior to taking a math placement test required for enrollment in a college degree program. These types of tutoring sessions usually cover a broader range of topics than in a specific math course. A tutor helping with this kind of test preparation is familiar with the math subject matter typically taught in a high school curriculum. These topics usually include basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and precalculus. A good math tutor is able to provide effective review sessions in a timely manner so that his students are able to test out of remedial college math courses, saving them extra time and tuition expense.

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College-level math courses can often cover a good deal of material at a faster pace than many students experienced in high school. Large classes and various teaching duties often leave professors little time to provide extra study help to those who begin falling behind. An experienced college math tutor can fill in this gap and give students the necessary tools for solving multi-step problems with confidence. While good math tutors do not give their students the answers or encourage shortcuts, they do provide information about effective study habits and demonstrate methods for arriving at correct answers.

An online college math tutor is able to coach students who may be attending a college in another state, province, or even another country. Some online tutors have interactive websites that allow students to send them questions and examples of math problems that are giving them trouble. Others may provide live tutoring via video conferencing. An online math tutor may also work for a web-based tutoring company that matches them with struggling students. Becoming a math tutor for one of these companies sometimes requires passing a certification exam prior to helping students.

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