Hiring a Tutor
Many people don't like the idea of hiring a tutor because they are unsure of how the process works. Some people simply do not like admitting that they need help with something, so they just struggle through it instead. If you are willing to admit that you need help, you've won a big part of the battle. At that point, you can hire someone to provide some assistance who actually knows what they're doing. Much of the effort comes from simply putting in the hours of studying.
The first thing that you will need to do is locate a tutor. There are tutoring services that you could contract with, depending on where you are located. This is the simplest option, because all you need to do is call them and inform them of what you need help with. A tutor that specializes, or has experience, in that subject will be assigned, and that's all you have to do.
The other option is to search for an independent tutor. On many campuses, there are bulletin boards in common areas and in lobbies of dorms. Tutors often put their contact information on these bulletin boards. You can also check classified ads on Craigslist or in the newspaper to find people who are offering tutoring services. If possible, going through word-of-mouth referrals from friends and colleagues is a much more reliable way to go.
When you contact independent tutors, you will need to discuss how much they charge (per hour or per session), and how much help they can offer you. It is important to go over everything on the front end of the conversation. Tell them exactly what you need to accomplish and let them tell you if they can help you get there. For example, if you need meet official testing requirements for mathematical curriculum competency, let them know that now. Clearly stating your desired result will help prevent you and the tutor from wasting valuable time and money.
What to Expect
Once you make the decision and head to your first meeting, it's helpful to know what you're in for. Standard tutoring involves identifying specific problems and obstacles in a subject; it's not just another class session. You can really pinpoint certain issues that are troubling you. While this may be tedious, it is a vital step to the process.
For instance, in a calculus setting, you don't need to relearn everything that was taught in the lecture, but rather you can keep notes in class on what has really been difficult, and have the tutor teach you that particular topic. This is a great way to overcome specific issues without having the entire lesson plan hold you back.
Tutoring usually involves reviewing and going over problems and area of difficulty. Fortunately, you have someone assessing you one-on-one and you're free to ask questions, get feedback, and really dive into areas of difficulty with the benefits of having someone there every step of the way. No more 300 to 1 student-teacher ratios or distractions; only what you need.
It also helps to know beforehand what kinds of methods you learn the best with. Knowing if you need things explained to you ("audio" learning), or seeing things written out ("visual" learning) or simply doing the work yourself ("tactile" learning). You're paying good money for a tutor; might as well make sure it's the best fit, and you get your money's worth.
Summary and Benefits
Overall, hiring a tutor can be a great way to get the assistance that you need. Don't just allow yourself to struggle through a tough semester alone. Exams and assignments can be executed correctly the first time around, rather than needing remedial classes or pulling all-nighters. With additional one-on-one assistance, the time needed to fully learn a subject may be less than most think. Utilizing any helpful resources and being proactive in one's time in college will help save time and stress in the future. Investing time and effort to successfully complete college on the first time around will be more than worth it in the end. Who has the time to repeat a whole college curriculum?