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March 29, 2019

Singaporean parents are best known for being Kiasu, and would engage private tutors for their children to have a competitive edge over others. One huge question lingers for these parents though: 1-1 or Group Tuition?

Tuition in Singapore

Parents want the best for their children, be it buying the most nutritious food or providing them with the best environment for them to thrive in. The same goes for their education. We all know that Singaporean parents are best known for being Kiasu, and would engage private tutors for their children to have a competitive edge over others. But, how do we know what is right for our child? How do we know that investment in private tuition is actually productive and helping our children achieve their true potential?

This leads us to the Dilemma of the Century: 1-1 or Group Tuition?

Tuition, in general, can help supplement your child’s learning in school. Given the many commitments and distractions of today’s students such as CCAs, volunteerism and other social activities, tuition can provide the avenue for students to solidify their learning and bridge some of the gaps that have accumulated during school.

Group Tuition

This is the most widely subscribed type of tuition. It is extremely accessible, with generally lower fees than 1-1 tuition. While finding good tuition remains an uphill task given the increasing saturation of the tuition industry, group tuition remains as a good avenue for learning.

Pros

1. Better signals of quality

Finding a good tuition center is the most important task for joining group tuition. But, with the advent of the internet, this task has been made easier. Most tuition center has its own website, which usually provides testimonials, sample resources and teachers’ credentials. These can act as signals which can aid in the decision-making process when choosing group tuition.

2. Structured lessons

Tuition centers usually carry out lessons according to a carefully curated programme. They usually design their own lesson materials (Notes and Question Packs) and pace according to what is being covered in school. Some tuition centers even have separate classes for students from different schools.

3. Exposure to the Bell Curve

Group tuition entails interaction and exposure to their batch-mates taking the same O/A Levels. Interactions during classes as well as small quizzes can help students gauge where they stand amongst their peers

Cons

1. Less attention to each student

Of course, being in group tuition means that the teacher’s attention is divided amongst all of his/her students. Individual questions may not be entertained instantly during class (but they can be raised during breaks and after class). This may be especially of concern for students with weak foundation who may find themselves unable to keep pace with the ongoing lesson.

2. Popular Tutors have limited capacity.

Spaces run out fast for popular tutors, so parents or students need to act fast to avoid disappointment.

1-1 Tuition

The pricier option, but not necessarily the better one for every student. Private 1-1 tuition is usually carried out at the homes of the tutor/tutee, and are usually found through word-of-mouth amongst friends & family.

Pros

1. 100% Attention

1-1 tuition gives all the attention to the student in question. This is especially important for weaker students who tend to have questions throughout the lesson as they can immediately have their queries answered. Students can also learn at their own pace.

2. Assessment of Work

For 1-1 tuition, the student gets all the attention of the teacher. Therefore, the teacher also has more time to go through what the student has done and also assign homework for the student to assess his/her competency along the way. This may potentially have the student progress faster since the teacher can troubleshoot weak areas immediately and bridge concept gaps.

Cons

1. Variability of Quality

With 1-1 tutors, it’s usually hit or miss. As there are fewer signals for the quality of their tutoring other than word-of-mouth, students will have to go through the 1-1 lesson itself to have an idea of whether the tutor is suitable for his/her learning. This may not be feasible when the student is strapped for time nearing exam periods when he/she does not have time to test new tutors.

2. Learning at Students’ Pace Might Not be Beneficial

Home tutors who allow students to determine the learning pace might not come with a programme in mind or self-created materials as they would simply use the notes and question packs students have at that moment. However, addressing students’ conceptual queries cannot be the sole focus when the final examinations draw near. A good tutor must set clear objectives, learning schedule and expectations for students to clear a certain type of questions by a certain time.

About Julian Chemistry

If your child is looking for quality Chemistry tuition and is still unsure of whether to join a group or 1-1 tuition, why not attend a trial lesson with us? We provide group tuition, but in a style that captures the pros of 1-1 tuition, so you get the best of both worlds. Our materials, constantly refreshed with the latest trends, are carefully curated by Mr Julian Tan to equip students with the skills to excel in difficult school exams.

Our class size is approximately 20, but rest assured that your child will get the attention he/she needs in her work. Mr. Tan routinely walks down the aisles of the classroom when the class is assigned in-class work to answer queries by students. Mr. Tan collects thought-provoking assignments from students to mark so he can better assess students for their learning. He is also extremely willing to put in extra effort to help your child succeed, at no extra cost to you. After-class consultations and 24/7 WhatsApp consultations are avenues where your child can seek help, just like that of 1-1 tuition.

The Bottom Line

There is ultimately no one-size-fits-all approach in deciding which type of tuition is better, as it is ultimately dependent on your child. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Is your child an independent and motivated learner?
  • What is the personality of your child? Extrovert or Introvert?
  • What is the budget that you intend to spend on tuition?
  • What is the learning style of your child?
  • How much help does your child need?

Only after careful consideration of these factors can you make an informed decision as to which type of tuition is more suitable for your child. The Pros and Cons may not be definite for each child. For example, some students may prefer a pre-set pace of teaching as it motivates them to focus to follow the lesson, whereas some students may find it difficult to concentrate when they do not get to dictate the pace. Having 100% attention may also be a good or bad feature for different students, some may find it smothering as they feel pressured to make full use of the lesson, while others (especially weaker students) may require the attention to help them.

All in all, the choice is yours. Hope that this helps you make a more informed decision. Happy hunting and all the best for your child!