What Defines a Good Tutor?

Posted by Rebecca Poulsen on Nov 6, 2020 12:47:06 PM
Rebecca Poulsen

Tutor helping student with homework

Providing students with the best education is of utmost importance, and that includes giving them access to stellar tutors.

We’re going to save you some time and hopefully help you avoid suggesting bad tutors to your students. We want to help you be on the lookout for the best kinds of tutors.

A great tutor doesn’t just give the answer.

Paper with math problems

No student is going to learn if the tutor gives them all the answers. What’s the point in that? An excellent tutor will help students figure out the problem by properly explaining the concepts to them.

An excellent tutor should help students through the problem but not hold their hand the entire time. If a tutor can wait to give the correct answer, the student may very well figure it out with the tutor's explanation.

Waits for the students to understand

A great tutor will be patient with their student and ensure they fully understand what’s going on before moving to the next topic.

Good tutors will ask questions like ‘does this make sense?’ or ‘do you have any questions about what I just talked about?’. If a tutor is observant of student behavior, they’ll pick up on subtle cues that the student is lost or not fully understanding the concepts. 

Has the student explain the concept back to them

Tutor meeting with a student

One of the best ways a tutor can gauge a student understands a concept is by having them teach it back to the tutor. If a student truly wants to solidify what they are learning, one of the best ways to do that is to explain the concept to someone. Doing this will show the tutor if the student fully grasps what is being taught and allows the students to have a better memory of what’s going on.

Encouraging and patient

Some students who go to tutoring may feel shame or embarrassment that they don’t understand certain concepts taught in class. Having a kind tutor that is understanding will help students feel at ease.

No one learns well in an environment where someone is impatient or rude, which is why it’s so crucial for tutors to be encouraging with their students. Encouragement and patience create an environment where students feel safe to ask questions or say ‘I don’t understand the topic you just explained.’

Uses alternative explanations

Tutor drawing explanation on whiteboard

When a student isn’t quite grasping what the tutor is saying, the tutor needs to figure out a different way of explaining.

Some students are visual learners and prefer to have things drawn out for them, while others like to have a step by step explanation. Either way, a great tutor should have the ability to change how they explain something so that every student can understand it regardless of their learning style. 

How PhotoStudy finds the best online tutors

Person working on a laptop

PhotoStudy goes through extensive vetting when it comes to finding the best tutors. PhotoStudy tutors go through a comprehensive series of tests to ensure that we are getting the best experts. Once the experts have sufficiently passed the tests, they can begin to receive questions from students.


To ensure the PhotoStudy experts are doing their best job, they will occasionally be audited by the PhotoStudy team. If it is found that the experts are making multiple mistakes when answering questions from students, they will be removed from the platform. At PhotoStudy, we want the best for your students, so we only provide the best online tutors!

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