If you’re a university student, you might think that there are better ways to spend your time and money than invest in private tutoring & mentoring. While it might be more appealing to focus on other university activities at the moment, it could really hurt your exam results in the long run.
Why university students need tutoring & mentoring
There is a wide misconception that only students in their A-levels and under require tutoring and mentoring. However, university students undergo more pressure than imagined and, therefore, also need adequate support from caring and skilled mentors to thrive. University level tutoring can help alleviate pressures and help students get ahead in their studies and beyond.
Our academic tutors follow up each of our university level tutoring sessions with a bespoke and in-depth feedback report. The following are extracts from a feedback report written by one of our academic tutors for an MA History student, Natalie, who required essay guidance. They demonstrate an accurate case-study and explain why university level tutoring is so important. We hope it will help students understand that university level tutoring helps and mentors them through their studies, and is an important investment with BIG returns.
During our first meeting, Natalie explained why she was looking for my help. She pointed out that after having spent some time away from academia, she had recently been suffering from writers block and her anxiety around her studies quickly became apparent. The task at hand was to deliver a 6,000 word essay over the next four days. Despite being daunted by what Natalie perceived was an impossible task, she outlined the topic she wanted to work on, emphasising that she had not done enough research and reading on the topic yet. Nevertheless, I was able to help her articulate an interesting argument and angle for the essay.
Furthermore, I identified that Natalie’s main issues are her self-doubt and criticism, which are big barriers to her success. They paralyse her work despite her academic brilliance and will be something to watch out for over the next sessions. Lastly, we wrote down what we wanted to achieve over the next few days and how much time we had for each task.
After probing Natalie through the main arguments, methodology and structure yesterday, I had sent her home with the task of writing a 500-word introduction. However, her writer’s block and anxiety had kept her from completing her work. So, in order to remain within our timeframe, I asked Natalie’s perspective on the topic and wrote everything down on an empty sheet. This way we finished drafting the introduction and even the first section of the essay. We approached all paragraphs one at a time and broke down the task into smaller ones, which really made a difference.
Natalie’s task had been to go home with the structured draft of each paragraph and type it up while rewording and rethinking the arguments. Simultaneously, I asked her to complete the next section of the essay, substantiating her points based on relevant literature. She had completed all her tasks and said she felt much more confident about her essay.
It was great to see that Natalie’s mood and self-confidence have significantly improved. The clear structure we implemented from the very beginning has proven the least anxiety-provoking and most effective way Natalie can write. Not only does it help her to overcome her writer’s block, but she has also explored interesting angles, which we teased out in our discussions. Furthermore, Natalie has become much more confident and assertive: She is now able to articulate her argument confidently, bridging the gap between her verbal argumentation and writing skills to improve her academic writing.
All in all, Natalie has gone from believing she was incapable of writing a 6,000 word essay in just a few days to achieving the task! She has included clear argumentation, an original angle and good evidence based on relevant literature. Her critical thinking and sharp analysis have prevailed over her initial anxieties, and I hope this experience with us is just the start of many other academic successes. As her tutor/mentor I have found it extremely rewarding to work with Natalie as her transformation has been truly remarkable.
Tailored academic support for university students
People often ask us why students need university tutoring and mentoring. To illustrate our answer, we are sharing with you the story of Abdullah. Abdullah is a part-time student at the University of London whom we successfully tutored last year. In his own words, Abdullah “was not performing well” in his assessments in his first year of university. In fact, he had received 30% in one of his modules and worried about his grades overall. However, our tailored academic support helped Abdullah learn key time management, organization, exam preparation and essay writing skills that pulled up his grades to 60% overall.
University students often wait to ask for academic support till it’s too late. Abdullah, however, realised early on that he needed to take action. So, he gave Über Tutors a call to get quality and tailored academic support.
Like everyone who seeks tutoring with us, we offered Abdullah a complimentary consultation to tailor a learning programme just to him. One of our Education Consultants met Abdullah to assess his progress so far, learn his weaknesses and determine his goals. We collate this information in an in-depth assessment form that we only share with the tutor we hand-select for each student. This way, the tutor has all the information they need to tutor and mentor the student, and help them live up to their full potential. The assessment form also includes whether students have any learning difficulties, which informs the tutor’s approach and teaching programme.
What university tutoring entails
Once we matched Abdullah with one of the trusted tutors on our team, his university tutoring could begin. It was clear that Abdullah was very intelligent and hard-working but felt lost in his university’s unstructured teaching and lack of support. Therefore, the focus was on equipping him with the study, exam and essay writing skills he hadn’t yet learned and instil in him the independence and confidence to excel going forward.
Tutoring took place at a place convenient for Abdullah and involved not only tutoring but also mentoring. Our caring approach to teaching creates an environment in which students feel comfortable to ask questions they might be afraid to ask their professors. It also creates an environment in which our university tutors can communicate honestly and transparently in a kind and caring manner as they tease out weaknesses and assess progress. Additionally, each tutoring session is followed up by a feedback report that details what the student achieved in each session and any assigned homework. They share this with both student and the responsible Education Consultants to ensure well-rounded support as we regularly check in with students to see how they are getting on.
Despite his initial shaky start at university, Abdullah received over 60% overall with the help of our university tutor. His tutor taught him important study techniques for both essays and exams as well as for researching and reading academic articles. Abdullah was incredibly grateful for “this great turnaround” as he learned key organisation skills and discipline to help him succeed going forward.
Why wait till you’re in too deep?
Whilst parents often organise tutoring months in advance, university students often leave university tutoring until it’s (almost) too late. We have previously explored the reasons for this in this popular blog post, reinforcing why university students need tutoring and mentoring too.
A typical university student
This particular student is in her Foundation Year at one of London’s leading universities, and hopes to study Economics there next year. She had been feeling quite anxious about achieving the required grades to pursue Economics as her grades averaged from high 2:2s to low 2:1s. She just couldn’t work out what she was doing wrong and felt like she was lacking the skills for independent and effective learning.
This student had heard of Über Tutors but was convinced she had to soldier through university alone. Unfortunately, this is a preconception many students have. We have written about this in more detail here to emphasise that university is not about riding solo. In fact, tutoring enriches studies and lays the foundations for independent learning. Additionally, the student in question also remembered her uncle who said that people who required tutoring were “stupid.” Her apprehension was reinforced by her university’s negative attitude towards university tutoring because they considered it a waste of money. Furthermore, they believed that tutors do the work for students rather than encourage them to find their own solutions.
Challenging negative perceptions
These preconceptions could not be further from the truth. Tutees are far from “stupid” and, instead, understand the value of doing well in education and the many doors that opens. It is, therefore, crucial to challenge false perceptions about tutoring as we have done in this blog post. Additionally, we are working hard to make tutoring and mentoring more accessible by offering subsidised rates to students from low income backgrounds, making quality tutoring more affordable.
Lastly, we always emphasise that our university tutoring strictly abides by universities’ plagiarism policies and we are not an essay or assignment writing service. Instead, we help students gain skills for independent learning and find their own solutions. In short, we take on an advisory role and mentoring students to live up their full potential.
To revisit our student’s story, she realised she had to do something when she continuously handed in assignments late and struggled to stay on top of her work load. Speaking about her troubles to her mother one day, her mother surprised her by emphasising that there was no shame in asking for help. She urged her daughter to learn from her mistakes and work one-on-one with an academic tutoring service like ours. This, she knew, would help her daughter lay the foundations for her Economics degree and gain important skills for the future.
This conversation with her mother was a complete game changer for our student. After her free in-person consultation, bespoke programme and matching with a tutor on our team, she has already gained invaluable skills. She already benefitted from a crash course in academic essay writing and effective note taking. Additionally, her tutor helped her draw up a calendar with important deadlines and on her last essay she received a First! This is the impact of university tutoring, and more students could benefit if they just got in touch and realised that asking for help should never be taboo.
How to become more motivated to study?
Motivation is not an incessant feeling. Some days you will feel it, and other days you won’t. Without a plan in mind, it’s difficult to achieve anything. Most worthwhile things in life won’t just fall into our laps. Our education, our careers and the quality of our relationships all take years to build, nurture and grow. They take hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, many of us forget that achieving our goals isn’t usually easy nor quick. It takes time and perseverance. Motivation is a feeling you need to continuously work on to maintain. It will come and go, there will be ups and downs, but if you want that stellar degree, dream job or incredible partner, you must maintain an underlying desire and drive to complete what you set out to do. So take note of the next 3 tips, and start applying them to your life. We guarantee you will get where you need to go!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Set a target. And just start. Don’t overthink it or you will begin to compile a list of all the ways things may go wrong. Whether it’s achieving top GCSE results, getting into an outstanding university, or finding the job of your dreams, no matter how far off your goal is, it’s never too soon to start. One small step at a time is all you need to eventually make it. Break it down. Starting small helps to get the ball rolling. Ask your friends for advice, contact the alumni office to meet someone who may help you network, set up a meeting with an education service to make sure you stay on top of your school work. All of these suggestions may not deliver immediate results, but within a few weeks, you will begin to see concrete opportunities arise, leading you closer to your goal.
If life is 10% what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it (Charles Swindoll), then it’s helpful to keep in mind that it’s up to you to keep going. And it’s up to you to stand back up when you fall. Failing is part of the process. You will fail your way to success. Not everything will be easy. Expect to do things that are annoying and difficult along the way. Managing expectations will help you not get too down when attempts don’t work. It’s never defeat. Just another lesson learned.
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me” — Carol Burnett.
Think why you are doing it. And remember that your destiny is up to you. What drives you? What gives your life meaning? Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Find ways to put up reminders around you (in your room? Bathroom mirror? Fridge?) to keep your goals and reasons for doing this fresh and clear. As the article The 5 Best Ways to Motivate Yourself puts it “A vision board is a collection of affirmations, pictures and quotes that you keep in a prominent place. You need to look at this board every day to continually remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing”. Your goals are for you and no one else.
But what if you’re already in a situation where you feel hopeless and are thinking about dropping out of the university? Read on.
Feel like dropping out of university? First, consider these options
Perhaps you never really wanted to go to university in the first place or began to feel like it was solitary hell. Either way, dropping out of university is a really hard decision and we want to make sure you are aware of all options before making that final call.
1. Remember that you are not alone
Before dropping out of university, remember that you are not alone. University students face much more pressure than many imagine, which is why we believe that mentoring at university level is so very important. In fact, nearly one in 10 students in the UK fail to complete their degree. This can be for a range of reasons, including deteriorating mental health, high living costs or academic pressure. Either way, consider these options before quitting higher education altogether.
2. Speak up and seek help
If you’re struggling at university, don’t try and ignore it. First, you will need to admit that you are not happy, which can be a very hard thing to do. Next, see what mental health and wellbeing services are available at your university or speak to a friend or family member. Your campus may even have its own Nightline branch, which is another option open to you. Whomever you choose to speak to, please talk to someone and seek advice before dropping out of university.
3. Transfer to a different university
One important thing to consider is whether it is university per se that is not working out or whether it is your particular university. In the latter case, think about transferring to a different university. This is also a chance to switch your degree if you feel like yours is not quite right. Moving to a different university can come with a complete change of scenery to the coast, busy city, closer to home or whatever it is that you need.
4. Take a year out
If you think you really just need a break from higher education, dropping out of university is not your only option. Instead, you can take medical leave or see whether your university can make provisions for you to take a year out and travel or work. This can give you the time and space to work on getting better and keeping the door to university open.
University level tutoring is for everyone
Despite many difficulties, few university students think university level tutoring is an option for them. However, many underestimate that starting university is a huge step. You may be moving out of your parents’ house and suddenly find yourself in charge of organising your own life. Your ‘teachers’ care less about whether you do your homework and your number of classes drastically declines as you have to learn independently. Additionally, you are confronted with new faces and friends, some of whom are friendly and others who are very competitive. This transition can feel overwhelming and lonely, especially if you think you can’t ask for help.
A big misconception about starting university is that the right to ask for extra help died with the end of college. As tutoring remains stigmatised, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many university students are reluctant to reach out for additional and personalised academic support.
Tutoring, however, must not only be the remit of the elite or of those on the verge of failing. In fact, many of the London university students we tutor already achieve good grades but want to go that extra mile. They choose our unique university level tutoring for its strategic advice and mentorship, feedback editorial and proofreading by our university tutors who make a difference to both learning and results. Additionally, we are an ethical service provider, so reaching as many students as possible is very important to us. We are, therefore, breaking down economic barriers and making university level tutoring more affordable with our subsidised rates. This way, many more students can benefit from the HUGE boost in grades, skills and confidence that our unique tuition has to offer.
To demonstrate what we mean, we’ve let two of our students tell you how they benefitted from our personalised university level tutoring:
“Über tutors has been key to giving me the extra confidence and skills to get ahead”
“Über tutors has provided me with a very high standard of university level tutoring I could not have received anywhere else. My tutor/mentor helped me organise my schedule for the year, set deadlines for me to hand in all my essays, and helped me to order my thoughts to achieve academic excellence.
I have learnt how to think critically, organise my workload and meet deadlines effectively in highly rewarding and informal sessions. Über tutors has been key to giving me the extra confidence and skills to get ahead in my degree in my third year when it mattered so much. Their service is for everyone in university, as it is the extra push that brings everything together. I have now received Firsts in all my courses and dissertation in my third year, gotten into 4 top UK universities for my Masters and even received a scholarship. I can’t thank you enough!” (Bianca, SOAS)
“Not only have I recieved a First but I also gained the confidence to start my Masters”
“I sincerely believe that finishing my dissertation was an impossible task without Simone’s help. Simone built my self-esteem with exceptional patience and made me carry on every time I was about to give up. He helped me write with more clarity whilst ensuring that only my own thought process was on the paper. I am very grateful for asking Über Tutors for help with my dissertation because not only have I recieved a First but I also gained the confidence to start my Masters next year.” (Golchehr, Goldsmiths University)
Get in touch
Our academic tutoring and mentoring provides you with an academic expert in your discipline to help you with your studies. If you have been struggling or just want to go the extra mile, to help you shine. Call 02030867311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to our education consultants who would be delighted to help!