How to be an Effective Tutor Student.

Being tutored is an effective way to learn almost any subject. Whether it is to replace formal classroom learning or supplement the same, it allows you to obtain some learning that meets your individual goals and needs. A request to be tutored shows me that the student has some level of commitment to growth and education - even if it is being required by some other authority.

The areas in which I tutor center around Graphic Design software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Students have come to me from various backgrounds, some with basic knowledge but wish to get a handle of some aspects of the software and others are just getting started and want to make sense of what the programs can do. But the same principles will exist in any subject at hand.

When looking into being tutored, there are a few things that a student can do to make the lessons more effective.

1. Have a clear understanding of what it is you wish to learn. The clearer you are about what you desire to achieve, the more prepared your tutor can be to guide you. Having a vague perspective not only makes progress less measurable but you may be guided along paths that will serve little or no use.

2. Communicate well and early what your needs and expectations are. It is not just to have a clear understanding of what you wish to learn, it is important to know how to communicate that with your perspective tutor and with enough notification, it allows him/her to develop a lesson or a plan for your time together. It is okay if yo can't find the right words or know exactly what the goal should be - that is, in part, why you are getting ttutored but your perspective tutor and help you define and refine those goals.

3. Be flexible in your goals and expectations. You are a student and, presumably, your tutor has experience. Having had the experience and been down your path several times, your tutor may be able to see the bigger picture and suggest a slightly different direction. Trust your tutor. If they suggest that what you are looking for requires some advance understanding in other or related topics, then that may affect they the journey on which you are about to embark.

4. Come prepared. Be prepared with all materials and information that you will need during your session. This include a pen and paper for taking notes. Even if the subject, such as that ones I teach, are entirely computer based, you will want to make notes in wording that makes sense to YOU for reference after the tutoring session is completed.

5. Follow through. Just because you have had a tutoring session - as exciting and informative as it might have been - you will soon forget your new knowledge unless you can put it into practice immediately. Don't go home after your session and not visit the topic again for another week. Undoubtedly you will forget 80% of what you covered even if you took excellent notes. Set time aside every day for a week - whether it is 10 minutes or two hours to review and practice what you had just learned. You will not only retain more, but you will engrain it deeper and longer term. In addition, you will really notice a difference when you meet next with your tutor.

A tutor is your aid or an enabler. A tutor is not a replacement for YOU. You are the one that still needs to do your push-ups. Do everything you can to help the tutor help you and you will have a much more rewarding experience.

Happy Learning.


Ian S.

Patient and Knowledgeable Adobe Software Tutor/Instructor

200+ hours
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