The Good Universities Guide

Page 61



Founder and Director of Über Tutors Ltd

my essays have only scored 50-65%. The only feedback I am given is that my writing is too descriptive”. Through a series of twohour, once-a-week, custom-fit teaching sessions, Bianca learned to think analytically, organise her workflow and manage her time. She ended up with all Firsts in her scholarly essays and she scored 85% on her Third Year dissertation.


Tania Khojasteh says personal tutors are vital for a student’s academic success


owadays a number of firms, including the one I founded, Über Tutors, offer tutoring services to university students. To outside observers this may seem unnecessary. After all, shouldn’t university students already be versed in how to study and organise themselves? It must be remembered that there is a world of difference between learning at A-Level and studying for a degree. In fact, I would argue that there’s

more of a need for tutoring during the undergraduate years, and even postgraduate studies, in order to build and maintain academic confidence in the face of the sometimes bewildering demands. Students need a framework for dealing with these demands, which is where a tutor comes in.


As a lecturer in law and politics, and private tutor for students from 10-18, I have seen at first-hand the gap between the skills gained at school and academic requirements at university. That is why I set up Über Tutors – we were one of the

first to offer university-level tutoring in all subjects and we’ve seen tremendous results in grades and confidence.

Extra help

An especially common need is for academic essay writing and research skills. Most students entering university come across 30-plus page scholarly writing for the first time and encounter complex ideas and arguments not addressed by A-Levels. And they will be expected to write a 2,000-4,000-word essay. However, the help on offer is usually minimal. For instance, a third-year history student called Bianca came to me saying: “For the past two years

ianca learned to think analytically, organise her work ow and manage her time. She ended up with all Firsts in her essays and she scored 85% on her Third Year dissertation

Learning to cope

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Of course, many have a handle on academic life but others need a coping mechanism. For instance, disciplines such as statistics or mathematics are very competitive, and if a student doesn’t have the right approach they might limp along with Cs and Ds, become depressed or, worse, drop out. Tutoring provides a methodology for staying on top of workload so students can approach coursework and exams with confidence.


A tutoring and mentoring service takes nothing away from independent studying expectations or academic skills development – it is complementary. Students are still required to work hard, and independently, but tutors offer the extra tools they need to climb the mountain that is higher education. One on one. Step by step. Strategically and with care and attention.