Do all students need private tutoring?
The number of students getting private tutoring after school has been increasing in Hong Kong and many countries around the world. The demand for private tuition has also spread among students attending international schools. To pay or not to pay for a private tutor is a question that many parents are asking nowadays. The answer depends on whether your child belongs to one of the three groups of students below.
Students who seek private tuition generally fall into three groups. First, there are those who are falling behind in a particular subject and may be struggling in school. Lesson time is limited in most regular schools and teachers cannot always adjust the lesson pace to suit every learner. Private tuition can help this group of students as classes are tailored to individual needs and the small teacher-student ratio allows pupils to focus on areas of weakness. The smaller class size also gives timid individuals confidence to speak up and raise questions in order to clarify any doubts.
The second group of students are those who are already flourishing academically but want to improve even more to get top grades. In small groups or one-to-one tuition, the tutor can help students develop a specific subject further and explore topics of interest beyond the school curriculum. Tutoring can be particularly useful for IB and A-level students wanting to secure the grades they need to get into their top choice university. For this group, private tutoring can often help students turn a “B” grade into an “A”. While knowing the subject content is important, succeeding in an exam is also a matter of knowing the precise keywords and how to write your answers to gain marks. Studying with an experienced tutor, students can learn test-taking strategies and answering skills which are crucial for success.
The third group consists of students needing test preparation for standardized exams such as the SAT and ACT. Admissions exams are critical for getting into many elite universities and colleges in the US; and as competition for places is higher than ever, students will need an exceptional score to distinguish themselves from the pool of applicants. With test prep tuition, students can receive training in a specific approach, enabling them to become familiar with the test format, and refine test-taking techniques to maximize test score.
When enrolling in private tuition, it’s important to set objectives and clear goals. Although cramming just before the exams is not recommended, time-crunched students can often benefit from last minute tutoring. Pre-exam tutoring provides an opportunity to fine-tune exam and revision strategies in a short period of time. Private classes are also effective for improving language and essay writing skills, which can boost students’ overall academic capabilities.
Winter break is a good time to sign up for extra tuition. NTK Learning Center offers a range of winter courses and private groups catering to the IB, IGCSE, GCE AL and US test prep. Established in 1996, NTK has over 90 highly-qualified full time teachers and is known for their focus on quality teaching. Mr. T. K. Ng, Founder and Managing Director of NTK Academic Group, believes that “what makes a great teacher is an ability to resonate with students and identify each learner’s unique needs.”
NTK’s courses are taught by experienced tutors who are trained to teach and explain key concepts in a clear approach, helping students achieve target outcomes. As a result, students achieve outstanding exam performance each year.
Introducing Gary Chan, Principal (Mathematics, Science, Economics & Chinese)
Hello, I’m Gary. Having taught biology and science subjects at NTK for more than 12 years, I think one of the strengths of our team is that we can quickly identify a student’s weaknesses ― just within the first 15 minutes of our first lesson. Based on the weaknesses identified, we are able to provide the student with a strategic learning package consisting of tailored lessons, notes and drilling papers which guarantees improvement and success in exams. Our reputation comes primarily from our key strength, and this enables us to build mutual support and gain trust from our students.
Parents may wonder how we choose and train our teachers. In addition to rigorous on-the-job training, we start everything from recruitment. Our teacher selection is a very meticulous process, the criteria being that the teachers themselves are willing to learn, and that they are naturally sensitive to students’ needs. Teachers must be able to flexibly adjust their teaching plan to boost students’ performance in exams.
With over 21 years of frontline teaching experience and a passion in nurturing students, NTK’s teaching faculty is composed of subject specialists who are familiar with a range of curricula. Each teacher has diverse areas of expertise. At NTK, it is not uncommon for an IB math specialist to teach IGCSE, GCE AL or even AP and SAT math. For example, though calculus appears in all math curricula, teachers are still capable of making adjustments according to the specific requirements in the curriculum. In addition to daily teaching duties, we deliberately allocate free time for teachers to get themselves prepared for each and every curriculum. I would proudly say, at NTK, our goal is to help students achieve their full academic and personal potential, so they become confident and successful individuals.