The Reliance of JC Students on Tuition in Singapore
An estimated 80% of Junior College (JC) students hire tuition for 1 or more subjects from either JC Home Tuition or Tuition Centres. This information is obtained based on our market research and interactions with Current MOE Teachers as a Home Tuition Agency. Why is there such a pressing need for tuition at the JC level? The answer is clear, it is known that the A-Levels Examination is the final and most challenging milestone for JC Students before entering University. With the entire course being only 2 years, and with a much more demanding curriculum compared to the O Levels, many students often enter Junior Colleges only to be shocked at the sudden increase of academic pressure, and find themselves behind their peers and struggling to keep up. On top of the academic pressure, they also have to cope with the other aspects of Junior College such as CCA commitment, school and social activities. It is hence inevitable that JC students often turn to tuition as the main form of additional help to push up their grades and prepare for the A-Levels Examination.
Making The Choice – JC Home Tuition or Tuition Centres?
There are 2 main kinds of tuition options available for JC Students, these are namely engaging a home tutor, or enrolling at a tuition centre. This section will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
JC Tuition Centres:
JC Tuition Centres are often set up by reputable tutors who could be Ex-MOE Teachers, who are NIE Trained, or Full-Time Tutors who have developed their own set of result-proven pedagogy. These tutors are extremely experienced, and the classes are often conducted in group settings of 2-20 students from different schools, with a fixed structure and curriculum. To supplement the curriculum prepared, these centres also often provide original and well-curated notes created by their own in-house team, and often a compilation on the best features from each school’s notes. The points mentioned above summarizes the advantages which a tuition centre is able to offer students.
On the flip-side, the well-organized structure of the programme also allows for little flexibility in terms of personal help. For example, if a student has trouble with a specific topic/concept, it is difficult for the student to consult the tutor in a group setting and receive personal attention. Furthermore, weaker students may find difficulty coping with the pace of the class and may end up struggling, hence making the tuition ineffective. The timing whereby which a student joins the tuition class is also an important factor, as joining a tuition class too late would mean that several topics/chapters may have already been covered previously, leaving the student little chance to have revision or help on a particular topic which was covered early.
JC Home Tuition:
JC Home Tuition comprises of freelance home tutors over a wide range of different categories. Students and Parents have to flexibility to decide whether they would like to engage a Part-Time Tutor, Full-Time Tutor or Ex/Current MOE Teachers based on their qualifications as well budget. Home Tuition is often conducted in a 1-to-1 setting, whereby students are able to receive direct personal help on the topics/concepts which they are struggling with. Lessons are also much more customizable to cater to the student’s pace, and tutors are also able to provide materials which are targetted to help students improve on their weak areas.
As such, engaging a JC Home Tutor provides a more flexible and well-rounded approach towards preparations for the A-Levels. An important point to note would be that JC Home Tutors also often dedicate extra time-slots for students who may require last-minute help as the date draws closer to the A-Level Examinations. The last-minute revision could often be a make or break factor for a particular student’s results in the final examination. This flexibility is something which Tuition Centres are unable to offer due to the group nature of the classes, and the lack of direct communication between tutor and student outside lessons.
Which type of JC Home Tutor should I Choose?
If you have decided that you would prefer to engage a Home Tutor for your A-Levels Preparation, the next question would be what kind of Home Tutor should I engage then? As mentioned above, there are mainly 3 different kinds of JC Home Tutors: Part-Time Tutors, Full-Time Tutors and Current & Ex-MOE Teachers. Detailed information of these tutors type can be found at the following link, but here’s a summary of the main points:
Part-Time Tutors are mostly University Undergraduates. They offer their tuition services at with at least 1 to 2 years of teaching experience. Yes, these JC Home Tutors are relatively young! However, this allows them to bond and have a good rapport with the students. Most of these Part-Time Tutors also completed their A-Levels recently. Thus making them very familiar with the syllabus and perfect to teach Junior College students preparing for their A-Levels.
Full-Time Tutors are Professional JC Home Tutors who provide tuition on a full-time basis. These tutors are University Graduates and they are highly experienced with the MOE syllabus for Junior College students. These tutors have at least 5 years of experience teaching Junior College students and preparing them for A-Levels. They have the highest commitment level amongst the 3 different kinds of tutors making them a fantastic choice.
Current and Ex-MOE Teachers:
Current and Ex-MOE Teachers are MOE and NIE Trained Teachers who are trained with the proper skillsets and pedagogy for teaching the A-Levels Curriculum. Having taught at or currently teaching at Junior Colleges, they are the most qualified tutors able to tackle all the student’s queries based on the MOE syllabus. They have in-depth knowledge about the A-Level Marking Scheme, and hence the answers which A-Level Examiners are looking for in exam scripts. Some of these teachers are also experienced in school and national exam marking. With all the knowledge and experience they are able to bring to you, it is no surprise that the command the highest rate out of the 3 categories.
Making The Choice:
The type of JC Home Tutor you pick should be able to fit your budget as well as give you the most optimal tuition experience. Other factors are important as well, such as your current level of academic grades and understanding. If you are currently scoring quite well around the A to B range, and purely require revision, and someone to help answer your occasional questions, we would recommend that engaging a Part-Time Tutors would be sufficient for your requirements. However, if you require thorough help with the subject and have multiple gaps in understanding, we would definitely recommend engaging a Full-Time Tutor or Current/Ex-MOE Teacher as they are more experienced and often can provide additional materials for the specific subjects whether H1 or H2. Time is also an extremely important consideration in this aspect. If you are close to your JC 1 Promotional Exams, JC 2 Prelims or even the final A-Level Examination itself, and you need urgent help, we would highly recommend you to engage either a Full-Time Tutor or Current/Ex-MOE Teacher as they would be your best bet in improving your results in a short time.
Determining the Style of Tuition:
Choosing the right type of tutor is one-half of the equation. It is also important to determine from the onset on the way lessons should be conducted to obtain effective learning and maximum results from the home tuition session. Once again, this really depends on your current level and your personal preferences. You should always discuss with your JC Home Tutor to determine whether the tuition sessions should be more student-driven (eg. consultative sessions), or teacher-driven (eg. crash courses).
If you are a student who generally has a good understanding of the syllabus, and just a few understanding gaps to close regarding certain challenging concepts/topics, we would suggest that you adopt a more consultative approach towards the session. What this means essentially is that you would prepare a list of questions before each tuition session for the tutor to go through. The questions will be answered in-depth during the session, and further questions/materials will be prepared to consolidate your understanding on the weak areas.
However, if you are a student who has struggled throughout Junior College with the subject, and has never compared scored past a C for class tests or examinations before, we would strongly encourage you to adopt a more teacher-driven approach towards the lesson. There might be multiple core concepts which require revisiting, before moving on more advanced topics. In this case, tutors would usually perform their own assessment of your current understanding, identify the learning gaps for you, and prescribe the necessary course of action to help you improve. In the case that time is running out and you are close to your examinations, home tutors may also conduct a crash course to help you understand the curriculum in the fastest way possible.
Starting Lessons with your JC Home Tutor Early
A very common mistake for JC students is that they start tuition very close to A-Levels or their JC 1 Promotional Examinations. This is often a problem as the Junior College syllabus is very content-heavy and challenging. To score well, students often have to build their basics from the start before being able to progress. Hence, we would strongly recommend you to start lessons with your JC Home Tutor as early as possible. From the tutor’s viewpoint, it is also very challenging to help students perform miracles by giving their students a crash course a couple of weeks before their examinations, expecting to make a huge improvement.
Another great reason to start tuition early would be linked with the availabilities of tutors. Naturally, the more established and reputable JC Home Tutors and Tuition Centres often have more vacancies available at the start or middle of the year as compared to the end of the year. This is a natural phenomenon as existing students often take up more slots for revision closer to the major examinations, leaving little vacancies left for these top tutors to have any form of new student intake. Hence, we would highly recommend parents and students to plan ahead of time to secure the best educators in the industry.
In Conclusion, the importance of selecting the right type of tuition for your A-Levels Preparation cannot be understated. Aside from selecting the right type of tutor, it is also important to start as early as possible to achieve maximum results. The A-Levels can be considered as the single most important factor in determining whether a student is able to enter his or her dream university and course. This in turn plays a large part in defining the career choices and prospects available, hence indeed the consequences of a student’s A-Levels results could be far-fetching into his or her future.
Here are MindFlex Home Tuition, we strive to provide top-quality JC Home Tuition for all different subjects. A list of tutor profiles will be provided by us based on your specifications and budget. To get in touch with us, simply fill up our simple form at this link, or contact our friendly team here for more information!