Three years ago, I topped Penrith High School’s accelerated Yr 10 Maths course. A year later, I began failing…I had started doing 3 Unit Maths. The change was so unexpected! What was once simple Yr 10 algebra transformed itself into hardcore functions and trigonometry. I couldn’t handle it. My notebook became filled with ridiculous scribbles and caricatures of my bald teacher instead of the complicated formulas on the whiteboard. The worst thing was, the boys at Penrith started beating me in every test where as once it was completely the other way around. “How were they managing so well?” I had asked myself, and so I began eavesdropping on their conversations in class.
“My St Mary’s tutor just stole some James Ruse past papers for me” boasted one guy. “My Blacktown tutor has written a bazillion textbooks!” boasted another. They seemed so deeply infatuated with these ‘tutors’! Was that the secret formula? Tutor + student = love + success? Surely it wasn’t that simple. But there was only one way to find out. I spoke to mum about it and as fate would have it, a friend at her work had a brother who specialised in tutoring for 3 and 4 Unit Maths. I had heard that he was a high status Commerce manager for the government and when I met him, it was Maths at first sight.
It was hard adjusting to a private tutor (especially one as strict as mine was), because every mistake you made was noted and every thought process was observed- and I was very intimidated. But somehow, the pressure helped. I began to pay more attention to the work I was doing in school, I even did extra homework so that I didn’t come across as lazy to my tutor… And then it happened. My first 90+% in a 3 Unit exam. The ridiculous $50 an hour had paid off, and I grew fonder of my tutor.
I had understood and accepted the fact that HSC Maths was difficult to tackle on my own, that I needed more explanations and more time to learn, and my tutor had given me just that. Through tutoring me, he was able to answer my questions with more time than my school teacher ever had, and was there to carefully review my papers and note where I needed improvement. He even encouraged me to take on 4 Unit Maths with full belief in my potential. He was like a gym instructor, helping me lift the weights of polynomials and simple harmonic motion. And when it was time to say goodbye after 2 years of tutoring, he left me with the best parting gifts- an E4 in 3 Unit and a Band 6 in 4 Unit. I couldn’t have asked for more.
I’m now doing architecture at the University of Sydney and guess what? Tutors are EVERYWHERE there. Every course has tutorials which are small classes run by a tutor who becomes your guardian angel to the subject you’re doing. This pretty much implies that having a tutor in high school will bring you that much closer to a successful university life…And at S4S, we have the best student tutors from Penrith, St Marys, Blacktown, and Seven Hills to bring you all the help you need to succeed in the HSC and in University.
So get on board the tutor train now.
-Shuang (S4S Coaching)