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Tutor Selection Part 3: 5 Types of tutoring that You should be Aware of

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Smartification Tutors

Before I begin, I like to share a story.

Mdm X came up to me one day and started lamenting how her child was ‘not smart’ and that she was falling behind in many subjects. “I tried tuition but she is just not improving. Do you know how many tuition teachers I have changed? I sent her to group tuition but it didn’t end up well. I sent her for private tuition but she doesn’t seem to be progressing. What should I do? Why is she so stupid?”

The poor child, a quiet girl of 11, was frustrated herself. Although she did not share her frustrations with her mother, it was obvious that she wasn’t sure why she wasn’t doing well either. For example, I observed that she kept hugging herself tightly as her mother spoke to me. Finally, I asked to take a look at her schoolbag and homework.

It was a mess. There were doodles everywhere. Dates were incomplete. Assignments were missing. Notes were incomplete. How can she handle her subjects when she can’t even handle her thoughts and organisation?

Eventually, I taught her how to organise her materials first before learning how to analyse patterns in the common ways information and questions of various subjects are posed by teachers. By then, her mother realised her folly of calling her daughter ‘stupid’ and had to eat her words when her daughter returned 3rd in class.

In Singapore, it seems there is only 1 type of tutoring option available: private or group tuition for a subject specific. Yet, tuition is really much more than that.



This is needed if your child is struggling with materials in their current grade. Constant teaching and practicing of specific skills allows your child to catch up to the level.

When is it needed:

When your child is falling behind with reading, math and writing for that particular level

Who provides it:

Private tutors, learning centres, educational therapists and online tutoring programs




Your child may just require more practice to meet his/her academic goals. However, he/she may need organization, time management and study skills to help him/her manage his workload

When is it needed:

When your child works at grade level but needs help to keep doing so. Good for kids with ADHDexecutive functioning issues or a tendency to be overwhelmed by changes in routine or workload.

Who provides it:

Private tutors and educational therapists




When your child requires a combination of remediation and maintenance tutoring, this tutoring option focuses both on trouble spots and on current work so that your child doesn’t fall further behind.

When is it needed:

When your child is struggling in specific skill areas (such as math or reading), but works at grade level in other areas.

Who provides it:

Tutors, learning centers, private tutors, online tutoring programs


Test Preparation  


Teaching skills and techniques for taking tests. Can be used for specific tests like the SAT, which involves learning content and the format of the test.

When is it needed:

When your child has test anxiety, doesn’t perform well on tests or has executive functioning issues.

Who provides it:

Learning centers, private tutors, online test-prep programs




Providing activities to enrich your child’s existing skills or knowledge in certain subjects or areas.

When is it needed:

When your child has special interests or areas of strength in which he wants to be challenged or learn more. May be a good afterschool option for gifted kids.

Who provides it:

Learning centers, private tutors, online tutoring programs



  1. “Tuition Ruined my Childhood”
  2. How to gauge if your child really needs a tutor
  3. 5 Types of tutoring available
  4. Types of Tutoring Options and their pros/ cons
  5. Types of Tutors in Singapore
  6. Factors to evaluate your Potential Tutor and Questions to Assess Them
  7. What Your Tutor needs to Know From You
  8. Types of Teaching Methods


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