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Guidelines on Finding a Good College Math Homework Tutor

Entering into your freshman year you may find that math homework in college is more difficult than in high school. While the material learned may be equivalent, the homework problems (and test problems too!) can be challenging. Here are guidelines on finding quality college math homework.

Visit the College’s Tutoring Department

  • Every college has a tutoring department on campus.  Tutors are comprised of students who have successfully completed the math course you are in and of professors who have scheduled time to tutor students.
  • Having a second teacher, so to speak, can be extremely helpful.  Different people offer different explanations, tips, and tricks that worked well for them.  They may for you too.

Student Tutors Versus Professor Tutors

There is definitely a difference between student tutors and professor tutors.  

Student Tutors

  • Student tutors are your peers, other students, who are experiencing the same challenges as you.  Student tutors have most likely taken the exact class you are in, and therefore, the class is fresh in their mind.  They often have tips and tricks they can show you that worked for them. 
  • I experienced this when I went to go find help for math in a genetics course.  I went to the tutoring department and within 10 minutes a fellow student showed me one of her “tricks.”  She was so helpful.  She knew exactly why I found the material difficult and showed me something easy that she had previously figured out.  I never had difficulty with completing that sort of problem again. 

Professor Tutors

  • Professor tutors are great. They know the material like the back of their hand for any level of mathematics. Different professors have different ways of explaining concepts.  While you may not follow your professor well on a specific math concept, you may be able to with that of another. 
  • Note that there are two types of professor tutors.  This is my special tip to you.  The first are those who get down to work and start explaining the material at hand and have you work through practice problems with them.  The second are those who try to force the learning to come from you.  They will give you every resource possible, other books and verbal coaching that is designed to get you thinking.  They want you to do the work. 
  • The second method is actually the best, because in the end, you will have a much better understanding of how to do the math homework. However, it can be frustrating, add extra pressure, and take more of your time. I heavily experienced this with a math professor, and oh my goodness, I wanted to pull my hair out of my head. He was great, and I appreciated what he was trying to do for me.  However, I had other homework to complete too, and I was under time constraints (which is an example of why you should always keep up with your classes!). 
  • So, choose a professor who best suits you.

You are asked to demonstrate that you can apply the lessons to the homework versus simply following identical examples in the text.  Therefore, finding quality help in math is important and should be done at the onset of having difficulty in completing those assignments.