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MyTutor GCSE and A Level tutoring review thread: see what our MN testers think NOW CLOSED

(52 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 25-Apr-17 12:03:08

We recently asked members of the MN panel to try the MyTutor online tutoring service - all testers had a child aged 13-18 who were preparing for GCSE or A Level exams - they were given credits for two free lessons.

Here’s what MyTutor have to say: "Our exceptional tutors deliver engaging, one-to-one lessons online, so you can support your child from the comfort of your own home. Join thousands of parents helping their children reach better tutors, improve their classroom confidence and get the grades they deserve".

More info here: www.mytutor.co.uk

Testers - please share the below

Age of child and stage of GCSE/ A Level courses
Which subject / area your child used MyTutor for
How did you find the process of choosing your tutor?
How was the tutor themselves?
What did your child say about the process and the tutoring?
Had you/ your child used any kind of tutor before and if so, how does this compare to previous experience?
Would you recommend MyTutor to other parents?
Would you use MyTutor again?
Any other comments?

All those selected who give the required feedback and review will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 John Lewis voucher.

thanks and good luck
MNHQ

farangatang Tue 25-Apr-17 14:12:57

I have a 15 year old daughter in Year 10. She is undertaking end-of-Year exams soon and final exams next year. She requested some support in Chemistry.
The process of choosing a tutor is easy - you can filter on the website by subject and level. The 'mytutor' staff also contact you when you register to ask how they can help. Communication is quick and easy.
If you put a request out in the 'marketplace', several tutors contact you directly. Or you can see the tutors available for each subject and stage, their photo and information about their current university course and A-Level results. Any ratings by previous tutors/parents are also available. Several tutors offer multiple subject support.
There is a free 15 minute consultation available with any tutors you wish. You book these via tabs in the website or suggested links sent by tutors. My daughter and I spoke to three - all seemed friendly and competent so it was a personal choice rather than lack of faith which caused us to go with one.
The tutor she chose was excellent and after the first session her first comment was 'Can I book another tutorial?'. Online tutoring suits us as we live abroad and the time difference suits both ourselves and the tutor.
There is a 'lesson space' where the tutor can work examples and two picture windows so you can see each other speaking. My daughter was able to interact with the tutor almost as if they had been in the same room and she was encouraged to submit questions beforehand to help the tutor prepare for a tailored session.
My daughter has had some personal Maths tutoring in the past and this online experience compared very favourably indeed (at a fraction of the cost!). If you have reliable fast internet and a decent laptop or desktop you shouldn't have any technical issues.
I would recommend the website and we will be continuing with tutoring as long as needed - the support in completing any 'gaps' in her knowledge from lessons which are too fast-paced in school is invaluable.
I was initially sceptical of how useful (or practical) this online tutoring set up would be but I am convinced of its merits. I suppose a lot does depend on which tutor you choose, but from the people who seem to be 'on offer', it seems unlikely you will get someone incompetent!
I am really pleased to have discovered MyTutor.

My daughter is in Year 12 and has her first Fifteen minute meeting tonight. I will feedback properly later with the info as requested but just wanted to say how impressed I am with My Tutor.
I have just this minute received a phone call from Customer Services asking if we were ok and if we had any questions. It's rare to have this level of interaction and so far I am very happy. To be cont....

towelpintpeanuts Tue 25-Apr-17 16:30:22

We are just getting our tutor sorted: I need to work though the tutors who have applied and get us a shortlist to chat to. I'll update when I get through the sessions, but can you let me know when you need feedback by, MNHQ? It may take us a while to fit things in as I have a busy week this week, so don't think that will be sorted until early next week.

Looking forward to it, I'm impressed by the tutors so far :-)

MrsGotobed Tue 25-Apr-17 17:48:34

Age of child and stage of GCSE/ A Level courses - 17yrs old, A levels

Which subject / area your child used MyTutor for - Biology

How did you find the process of choosing your tutor? It was easy to find tutors for specific levels and subjects. You could also read their bio to see what uni they're at and course they are doing, subjects they offer and little about themselves. I left it to DD to decide who she wanted to approach as she could select someone she felt comfortable with.

How was the tutor themselves? DD found her easy to listen to and talk to . She was friendly, knowledgeable and organised. I think DD liked the fact that she was not that much older than her - she could relate to her.

What did your child say about the process and the tutoring? Overall DD found the process of finding and booking a tutor easy, she particularly liked the 15 minute meeting option to get a feel for the tutor and have the opportunity to chat about what ares she would like to cover and to plan the sessions. She liked the fact that the session is recorded so you can go back over it but did say it would be good to have a fast-forward option when viewing again should you want to skip to a certain point.
There were a couple of minor technical problems during the sessions but these were quickly resolved -minor blips where images didn't come up when they should but soon appeared.

Had you/ your child used any kind of tutor before and if so, how does this compare to previous experience? Not used any tutor before

Would you recommend MyTutor to other parents? Yes I would

Would you use MyTutor again? Yes we probably would if the DC wanted to go over specific areas of a subject prior to GCSEs/A level exams

Any other comments? I liked the fact that, as a parent, you can let your child take the lead in finding a tutor and booking the sessions but you are kept informed of all communications and bookings along the way. I felt it was a valuable experience for DD to take the initiative (obviously not all parents would do it this way but if you want to, you can take a step back whilst keeping track of it along the way)
I did find personally that customer service was a little OTT (I received quite a few phone calls ) but appreciate that MyTutor obviously want to be reassured that parents and pupils are happy. This is just my personal opinion though as I'm not keen on unsolicited phone calls, an email may have been better or I could have just used the live chat option on the website if I'd had a problem.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this.

MeDented Tue 25-Apr-17 21:32:51

My daughter is in 4th year in Scotland and about to undertake her Nat 5 exams. The MyTutor website has been a little more tricky for us to navigate as there are no options for the Scottish exams. I received a phone call to see how we were getting along and they were extremely helpful and helped me to put a request out for tutors specifically experienced with the Scottish exams. My daughter is looking for help in Biology. I will report back once we have got a response to this and selected a tutor etc. So far we are very impressed with the level of service and support.

Belo Wed 26-Apr-17 18:17:56

I compiled a short list of tutors over the weekend. I now want to go through them with my daughter but I can't find them in my account. Does anybody else know how to retrieve a saved shortlist?

Belo Wed 26-Apr-17 18:24:59

And the website keeps freezing and 'timing-out' on me. I guess this is the peak time of day. Has anybody else had this problem? All other websites seem to be working fine.

ThornyBird Thu 27-Apr-17 21:34:29

Still setting ours up, hoping to get either the first chat or actual tutorial this weekend so will feedback properly then.

MeDented Thu 27-Apr-17 21:48:31

Can I ask how long I should wait for replies from tutors? I sent in a request for a Biology tutor experienced with the Scottish NT5 exam. I have had only one reply from somebody with no experience. My daughter's exam is very soon so there isn't much time.

ohforfoxsake Thu 27-Apr-17 21:55:22

Still a work in progress here (need 15yo DS to sit down with me). This weekend.

CheeryCherry Fri 28-Apr-17 09:32:45

We are still in the process of arranging the 15 minute chat with a couple of tutors for A level Philosophy...hoping the deadline for this feedback isn't too soon? Had trouble connecting for a chat on Tuesday - I believe there were system problems - so rearranged for tonight.

gazzalw Fri 28-Apr-17 15:32:41

Marking place as we are some way off DS (16), GCSEs, doing his first session (although it is booked). He wants to do the two Maths ones as close to his GCSEs as possible. So we will be back but it may not be for another four weeks. Is that okay...?

doyouthinkso Fri 28-Apr-17 18:25:54

I would be cautious of how much curriculum change there has been in the past 12 months and still ongoing.

None of these students will have sat the current specifications nor understand the changes to the question styles and mark schemes. Do make sure that student tutors are giving accurate information if it is related to exams and 'past paper' style questions.

simbobs Fri 28-Apr-17 19:38:18

My DS is 16 and doing GCSE this summer and we decided on using the free tutorials for Maths. The process of choosing a tutor could be fairly long-winded as there are so many to choose from (400+ for Maths alone), though there are some filters. All are university students with subject-specific knowledge and varying degrees of tutoring experience, both inside and outside of My Tutor. We made a shortlist and had the short meeting with just 2 of them. There is quite a lot of difference in the availability of the various candidates so it is worth looking at this on their profile when you are choosing. In the end we chose one who was actually training to be a Maths teacher. We have only had one session so far.

My DS says he is happy with the tutor, liked him and found him helpful. For his second session he will choose something really tricky to tackle! I backed off and let him work with the tutor on his own so I cannot really comment myself, but when I peered in they seemed to be busy in the interactive classroom.

We tried a tutor once before but DS really didn't like her and her availability did not really suit us. I looked at other tutoring agencies but many of them in our area seem to want us to go to the tutor and that does not suit me at all. I think that if you find the right tutor with My Tutor it is much better. The student can tailor the session to suit their own needs.

I would recommend My Tutor to other parents. I am not sure yet whether we will carry on, not because I lack faith in the product but because my DS's school is running a series of Maths workshops after school and these have much the same objective. I would certainly turn to them again if there were areas on which he wanted to concentrate during revision.

We did experience some technical problems at the outset and had to reschedule the session. You really do need fast broadband, headphones and a webcam. We found that my ds could hear the tutor but couldn't be heard in turn. We are not sure why this was. So far we have used only one of the sessions and hope it will be ok next time. Typing instead does not seem to be a problem. The support team at My Tutor called us to make sure that we were happy with everything and were very invested in making sure that we got the most out of the sessions.

Maladicta Sat 29-Apr-17 11:08:09

Dd is 17, we're using the tutor for some very specific A-level German grammar work.

Procedure was very easy. Finding the tutor didn't take long.

One thing we found was that looking at the profiles, a lot of the tutors had obviously taken the language to A-level but were now doing other courses. We wanted someone who had knowledge beyond that level. I'd suggest that's something to watch for.

The interface worked well - we haven't needed to use a headset which has helped.

Dd knew exactly what she wanted to cover in the sessions so talking through this with the tutor in the 15 minute meeting set the agenda straightaway. He detailed what he'd do in the session, established what materials dd would like to use, took the name of her main textbook so he could make sure it was at least at that level. All in all we were very impressed.

Her first tutorial was on Thursday. The tutor emailed some materials through in advance which were extremely well-prepared. Dd really enjoyed the session and it absolutely fulfilled her brief - she's come away from it understanding something which had eluded her for ages.

Once the trial is finished, we will keep using the tutor for short bursts as needed and I think he'll
be invaluable when it comes to revision.

So it's been a great success for us. I'd advise just checking the level to which the tutor has studied the subject, especially at A-level. It seems to offer a flexibility which traditional tutoring can't - generally they'll want a longer commitment which we didn't need.

I plan to use MyTutor for my son's GCSE revision next year as well so this has been very worthwhile as I don't think I would have been aware of it.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Sat 29-Apr-17 21:46:11

I'm an English teacher and an examiner - the former for more than 15 years and the latter for 5+. When I've done private tutoring it's been based on bang up to date knowledge of the spec and how it's marked. With respect, would you expect that from a uni student?

hmmwhatatodo Sun 30-Apr-17 14:05:25

I was so happy to have been chosen for this product test. I am still waiting for tutors to get back to me unfortunately so haven't got all the info needed to answer the questions. I was hoping to have had at least one of the sessions by now!

When is the deadline??

MrsGotobed Sun 30-Apr-17 20:11:41

How long ago did you message the tutors because we found they responded really quickly?

Lotstodo Mon 01-May-17 20:45:01

My 17 year old daughter is doing Philosophy A level, which is proving to be quite a complicated subject! We received replies from various tutors so far and will update when we have got further down the line.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-May-17 12:40:28

hi - thanks for the feedback so far - Doyouthinkso + JenniferYellowHat1980 MyTutor say "thanks for your comment. We do train our tutors in syllabus updates as part of their onboarding process. All tutors have access to comprehensive resources about syllabus changes and adjustments to marking schemes. You can learn more here: www.mytutor.co.uk/blog/category/mytutor-for-tutors/tutor-resources/"

towelpintpeanuts Wed 03-May-17 21:38:57

We've got a couple of meet the tutor sessions scheduling in this weekend, so hopefully getting there. I've been impressed with how quickly everything happens from their end: any delays are definitely my issue!

OCSockOrphanage Thu 04-May-17 14:45:20

We used MyTutor a lot last year for AS Maths, during a period when school's maths department was struggling to find teachers. We ended up with two lads (both reading physics) who had complementary strengths and it was immensely helpful. We never hit it off with a physics tutor though. They were also very useful to me in providing impartial opinions about changing school and repeating the year, which was what happened in the end. MyTutor were efficient at refunding pre-bought credit when we stopped using their services and their technical help was very good too. Overall, I was delighted with them and am happy to recommend, though we have not participated in the recent tie up above.

simbobs Thu 04-May-17 17:28:26

I just wanted to come back with a little more feedback now that DS has had his second session. He is best described as a bright but reluctant student. I am so impressed with the tutor that we have found for maths on MyTutor and I think it helps that he is training to be a teacher in the subject, rather than just being a student. My DS actually wants more sessions so I have just topped up my wallet and envisage continuing until the exams. This is not only cheaper than hiring a traditional tutor, but I think it less intimidating for a teenager to connect with a subject specialist online (their natural milieu) rather than sitting with them in a room. I may also use again next year when he starts A levels.

ThornyBird Thu 04-May-17 23:10:13

After much procrastination from dc1, we finally 'met' 2 tutors tonight. She was so impressed with both of them, she has booked a tutorial with each for this weekend! I will feedback fully after the second session.

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