60% of exam success is based on confidence, and here's how to get it…
By Adam Muckle, President of The Tutors' Association
20 Sep

I have been tutoring for seven years, initially tutoring Latin and Classical Greek. Since 2012, families have approached me for general tuition for public schools examinations, particularly the Eton King's Scholarship in the arts subjects. Over this period, I have also learned more and more about the process and pressures that children - and parents -are going through, particularly at the application and pre-test stages. To assist with this, I draw on my own educational experience between the ages of ten and twelve. I had some physical challenges to overcome, as well as having mild special educational needs. It may sound counter-intuitive, but I draw on some of the negativity of that period to create something positive for my tutees.

A large part of my tuition is about instilling confidence and motivation, and fostering the capacity to conquer adversities and develop what I call ‘grit’.  A tutor is there to support and encourage as well as to test the child. That, combined with providing the learning skills that they need to study independently at their respective upper schools after Common Entrance, is what enables them to succeed. At the heart of this lies the ability to build rapport, so that you can focus in on areas of weakness and reconcile issues quickly without the child feeling undermined or discouraged. For me, the mark of success is to see children becoming able to study for themselves, and show confidence in what they are doing. Seeing others do well is the ultimate reward for me, and that is the reason I find tutoring so attractive. 

I am also President of The Tutors' Association (TTA), the only professional membership body for tutors in the UK. We seek to recognise and support tutors and tuition companies in the good work they are doing in UK education. TTA also stands for providing reassurance to parents that the tutor they have chosen is committed to their profession; has signed up to a code of conduct and professional standards; has been DBS checked, and operates ethically. We are also there to act as a single unified voice for the tutoring and supplementary education profession.

TTA’s partnership with Galore Park for our Conference this year is a natural fit with our commitment to helping tutors to be as well-armed as possible with relevant material, and so enable children to do their best. Galore Park’s revision and practice series for pre-tests, 11+ and 13+ explores the range of exam-testing used by Independent Schools, and has proved invaluable in helping children prepare for ISEB tests. Moreover, they enable tutees to continue their learning experience even when the tutor is not there. The new series of pre test, 11+ and 13+ books, particularly (in my experience) Verbal Reasoning, is a great way for children to test and expand their vocabulary and learning. They can familiarise themselves with the whole range of questions and curriculum content as well as getting specific help and assistance from their tutor. It is a great combination.

Adam Muckle, September 2016

Tags: 11+, 13+, Pre-test, Revision, TTA, Tutor

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