private tutors

What to Look for in a Private Tutor?


It’s no secret that students depend heavily on private tutors to support them in learning a particular subject, assist them with homework or help them prepare for an exam. Private tutors can be highly influential in accessing different resources that may not be readily available students in school. But finding the right tutor for your child or for yourself can be the tough part. Here are a few of the most essential questions you must ask yourself before selecting a private tutor:

  1. Qualifications: The first part of the research in finding the perfect tutor is obviously qualifications. Ensure that the tutor you have selected has the right qualification in the right subject from a reputed institution. This should, more or less provide you with the information of the quality of the tutor’s knowledge of the particular subject.
  1. Previous Experiences: Find out where or who else the tutor has taught. Did a friend refer you to the tutor? If so, ask about their experience with that tutor. If there are students who are looking to provide tutoring classes, find out if they’ve recently attended similar examinations or classes. These student tutors can help other learners, as they have recent, first hand knowledge about the subject/exams.
  1. Syllabus: Speaking of examinations, find out what syllabi the tutor is acquainted with. Knowing this information can give you an idea of the amount of resource material and study material that the tutor may have. The tutor is also likely to have access to previous examination papers that the student can practice with, if the tutoring is exam based.
  1. Reviews: Do your research and find out how well reviewed the tutor is. Word of mouth is the best way to do so. Knowing personal experiences of other people who have attended classes with the same tutor will help you get the gist of how capable the tutor is. If this method is unavailable to you, then online reviews will help you. If it’s a website that provides information about all the available tutors, then the reviews are very likely to be trustworthy. There is always going to be one or two bad reviews but take the majority into account when assessing the tutor.
  2. Cost: Since tutors are in high demand these days, you’re likely to come across hiked up prices of the sessions. Before you sign up with one tutor find out the number of hours they take, the resources they have on them, the location where the tutoring will take place (if it’s too far don’t forget to calculate the extra cost of getting to and from the location) and compare it with all your other options. Make a pros and cons list before you finally settle for one.
  3. Connection: this step is often taken after you choose a tutor who you believe is right for you or for your child. When taking a lesson with a private tutor, comfort can be one of the most important aspects of a lesson. Some tutors can be excellent academically, but they do not know how to connect with their students, and that can affect the flow of a lesson and how you perceive information greatly. Always look for signs of compatibility, and make sure that the tutor is trying to personalize the experience according to your needs!

These steps are the basic ones you need to follow while looking for the perfect tutor who can aid and assist in the progress of your or your child’s learning. The best tutors encourage and enhance the students learning capability until they are employing their utmost potential. 

instatoot was launched with the goal of answering all these questions. You can chat with the tutor through the app before booking him/her to ask everything you need to know and discuss the areas you need support with. You can also view reviews and rating from other students, and search for tutors according to your budget and location, which solves the issue of transportation fees!


Click here to find out more about instatoot.


The Last Mile: How to Prepare for Your IB Exams

People often ask me how was I able to achieve a 42 IB diploma score, and having answered that question many times now, I can say it’s sometimes difficult to convince people that I haven’t done anything special or extra than what most students did through their IB journey. With May 2017 examinations being just around the corner, here are six tips for IB students putting their knowledge and skills to test in a few weeks.

1. Plan a schedule and be organized

Any IB student or graduate would tell you that the number 1 skill they’ve learnt throughout their journey is how to be organized, and how important it is. Being organized helps you see things clearly and puts everything into perspective, and enables you to meet deadlines effectively. Now that you have mastered this skill after submitting your internal assessments and essays, you should apply it to your exams schedule.

Plan a schedule that would give each subject its right amount of time, not every subject will require the same preparation, so know which subjects you need to focus on the most and which ones will require the most amount of time in your schedule.  Some people like to start preparing for the exams they have first, others like to start preparing for the exams they have at the end and finish off with the ones they have at the beginning, so know which type you are and apply it to a schedule that you won’t have to change frequently.

2. Apply the knowledge, practice practice and practice

Now is certainly not the time to study for every topic as if you’re studying it the first time! Trust yourself and trust that you have learnt the topics several times enough, for you to do a quick review covering all topics of the subjects and focusing only on the topics which you find yourself weak in. If you finished your Mock exams already, take the feedback from your tests and see which areas you still need to improve and focus on them.

Dedicate more time to solve exam papers, utilize the Question bank and make sure to solve every paper as if you’re solving it in your actual external exam, with time constraint and resources allowed to take in for that exam, like the subject guide or a calculator. Practicing solving exams makes you more familiar with the format of questions, especially that the IB exam style is usually the same, and makes you faster in solving which ensures that you have effective time management skills needed to finish a paper within a limited time.

3. Manage your time effectively, in and out of exams

Before exams, make sure to schedule small breaks in between your study blocks, as your mind cannot focus the whole time and you need to de-stress and clear your mind every couple of hours, to focus again and recall information. Set a time limit for your break, a ten-minute break every 90 minutes or 2 hours is effective and more than enough. Use it to do something that will re-energize you without leading you to procrastinate or waste your time, like exercising or a short walk, as you should go back to studying directly after your break without any excuses to putting studying off or thinking of how much is left.

During exams, it is also very important to try to relax the night before your exam, you might do a quick review or solve some questions, but make sure that you get enough sleep the night before, and that you have a good breakfast before you leave to your exam the next morning, as this will help you in concentrating efficiently.

4. Go offline while studying

I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to turn off your mobile phone, the TV, and any social networks that will distract you while studying. You might think that it won’t harm replying quickly to a WhatsApp group chat or checking your Instagram/Facebook account, but this will only lead you to waste hours that you could spend on effective non-distracted learning.

This should not mean that you should go offline until you’re done with your exams, just make sure that you log in once you’re done studying for the day or in your breaks. And remember, your TV series, programs and movies can wait, with today’s technology you can easily watch all programs as many times as you wish, once you’re done with your exams.

5. Take it one exam at a time

Give every exam paper its own share of focus, and do not dwell too much on an exam which you think you haven’t done well on. Although it’s very normal to feel upset when you don’t do well on one paper or one subject, this should not consume your time and effort, you will still have other exams that will need your full attention. Stay motivated and give it your best, after all the grade will not be fully allocated based on the external examinations only, you still have your internal assessments as well.

6. Enjoy the experience and learn something out of it

Exams time is definitely exhausting, both physically and mentally, but take this phase easily and enjoy it while you can, after all it is an experience and a phase of your life. Trust yourself and your capabilities, you’ve been doing exams for many years, and although these exams are decisive for the majority of students who are relying on their grades to get a University admission, they are not very different from any other exams that you’ve done previously. No matter what the result is, be proud of what you have achieved, for after all the goal of the IB program is to teach you for life, and not just for your external examinations.

Wishing all May 2018 candidates the best of luck in their upcoming IB examinations, and all the best for their future!


Written by Aseel N. – Grasshopper @instatoot

What It Was Like to Be an IB Student in Jordan

Ahh if only I could go back to being an IB student!

Of course those were not exactly my sentiments when I was doing IB, but isn’t it like that with everything else in life? You never actually appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

I knew I wanted to study in a Jordanian university when I was in high school, so everyone was like ‘but then why do IB if you’re staying here?’ I remember feeling unsure of the quality of education I was going to get in a Jordanian university, so I thought I might as well get the best education I can get while I was still in school.

When you’re an IB student, you become sure that what you’re doing is the most difficult thing in the world, and honestly for a 16 year old, IB is not exactly a walk in the park. I remember a page on Facebook
called IB Memes which was the coolest thing back then; it made us all feel connected somehow and we’d all send each other stuff from it all the time. But all jokes aside, being an IB student is really one of the best experiences any student can go through. It is so much more than just academics. It teaches students to be holistic and prepares them for their college experience in ways that no other program does. IB students go into university ready to take on whatever essays, reports or research papers that they have to. Not to mention the fact that they actually learn how to think critically about any information they receive and not just take things at face value. I remember one of my friends being in utter shock after finding out that IB students learned how to do that at school.

It makes me sad that we were not the ones to come up with such an incredible program (maybe in the future), but thankfully we have the opportunity to study this program in our schools that gives high quality education to our students so that maybe later on they would come up with systems that would trump
the IB system too!


Written by Raja’ U. – Guru @instatoot