The Little Bits Add Up: A Starting Studying Strategy

Here's a study tip I gave to a student just tonight. One of the issues that I see with students is that they only study for tests, starting the night before or so. As a tutor, I know that strategy rarely works well. When I ask the student why he/she doesn't study just a little bit every day, the response is generally the same: there's no point studying beforehand since I'll have forgotten it by the test.

That is why I have my own strategy. It's one to get students started with learning the importance of studying. For some, it might be enough on its own for the learning (or grades) that they desire; for the rest, it's at least a step in the right direction.

It's actually very simple. All I say is to take a minute or two per section that the student has learned thus far. Then, after doing a quick review, take five minutes or so to go back and hit the roughest section in more detail. It generally takes 15 minutes top to do, and it really helps to keep the ideas fresh. I further advise to do the studying during a set time that they already have. For example, I know many students who come home from school and grab a snack, which is a perfect time to study. By the time the student is done with the snack, the studying (for one subject) will likely be done or close to being done. Then, it's almost as if it took no time at all.

Now, like I said, this is just a foundational study skill. Later on, it's good to add to it, either more subjects, going more in-depth, or going ahead in the chapter to get a preview. Still, it's a great way to get a student to start studying daily who hasn't done so before, especially if you can find a time so that it feels like no time is lost.


Hi Brian,

I have tutored a girl twice who is in a Calculus class. I am not really familiar with the material she is working on and was going to refer you. I am not sure if I just give your name to her or if they have a specific procedure through WyzAnt. Do you know?

Hello Linda,

To be honest, I'm not really sure about how referrals on WyzAnt work. I would think that you could just let her know my profile/name. I don't think there's a specific procedure.

Either way, thanks for thinking of me as someone to refer to. :)


Hi Brian,
I am completely new to tutoring but want to have a successful business. Can you point me to some good "getting started" resources, not so much from the wyzant/business side of things, but rather teaching strategies/what a typical tutoring session looks like/etc?  Thanks!
Hello Jenni,
If you go into the forums, into the "Tips for Tutoring", I have three massive stickied posts about tutoring; they are a bit of a mix between doing well on WyzAnt and being a tutor in general, but there's likely a lot in there that can help you (especially the one about long-term success).


Brian S.

Certified, Full-Time Tutor of Most Subjects

5000+ hours
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