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Do I need tuition [Answers to question]

    I am sure many JC students will ask the question to themselves sometime during the 2 years,”do I need tuition?

    Do I need tuition? Accessing expertise

    Notice how professional athletes always have a coach. In fact some of the coaches are as famous as the athletes.

    For example, legendary swimmer Michael Phelps has Bob Bowman as his coach during his record breaking years.

    do i need tuition

    Why is that?

    This is because a coach will notice if the game is off for the athletes as well as help make small adjustments so as to bring the performance to the next level.

    Likewise, an academic tutor can bring drastic improvements in performance for their tutees.

    The benefit is that you are leveraging on the years of experience a tutor has so that you can speed ahead of the competition.

    Even though you are perfectly fine doing academic work independently, time unfortunately is not on your side.

    I have written about how the Singaporean A levels is one of the hardest versions around.

    Furthermore, you only have less than 2 years to cover the entire syllabus.

    Finally, teachers force students to participate in CCAs and I talk about how this is not desirable for students.

    All these conspire to work against you in your goals for A levels reducing chances of university admission offers.

    Do I need tuition? Isn’t my school teacher enough?

    The A levels exams is high stakes, but you may not have the luxury of a great teacher or school as I point to in an earlier blogpost.

    Frequently, the teachers are newly promoted from junior schools, new to the program or even fresh graduates.

    As such, they mostly come without any direct experience in guiding their students towards academic excellence.

    Not only that, because of the numerous responsibilities the teachers in school do not have the time to track individual performance.

    They are not able to give individual feedback so that students can learn from their own mistakes and progress.

    Imagine an average swim coach barking orders for his swimmers to swim faster.

    Swimmers are lost not because they aren’t aware they are slow. But because they are not sure which part of their swim is hindering their speed.

    For some it can be ineffective hand pulling, or not having rhythmic kicking, and yet others incorrect body positions.

    Achieving subject mastery

    Do you remember your past when you are interpreting things in a certain way only for someone to come in and provide a completely different perspective?

    If you are working on your own, you will likely be thinking things only in a certain way as a result of your experiences.

    There is nothing wrong with that but it is very narrow and not sufficient to achieve subject mastery.

    And in order to gain subject mastery, then you have to practice much, think deeply as well as make connections across topics.

    In my H2 Biology tuition, I make sure students gain all 3 from me.

    I liken this process to the concept of anti-aging for example.

    Many approach the concept at a surface level with some going under the knife in addition to other medical procedures to look younger.

    Whilst they do appear to be younger on the outside it doesn’t reflect what is going on inside the body.

    To slow down the effects of aging, cells and organs beneath the skin are equally if not more important.

    So anti-aging efforts should not only target the exterior but the insides too.

    For example, if the liver is not working optimally, then the detoxifying function is sub-optimal. This then reduces the bodily function since toxins accumulate and interfere with biochemical reactions within cells.

    This may in fact speed up biological aging contrary to what a person seeks to achieve in the first place.

    So why aren’t the person who is seeking to slow down aging looking at the root of the problem?

    Perhaps it is because that’s what he/she knows to do based on his/her life experience to date.

    And that precisely is my point!

    I cannot afford tuition

    Some students think that by saving money off tuition they may be doing a service to their parents.

    Let me bring up another example to show you that this thought can be a case of ‘penny wise pound foolish‘.

    Consider that by hiring a coach to achieve mastery and then going on to do well opening up opportunities to earn money.

    This is what describes Roger Federer worth about USD94 million as of June 2019.

    And how important his coach is to bringing him out of a performance slump.

    And according to this article a professional tennis coach gets USD1000/week according to this article.

    Therefore one can work out the returns on investment with the figures above.

    Likewise, if a student does really well in the exams. This can subsequently open up scholarship opportunities local or overseas, access to highly competitive courses, even potential parents hiring him/her to coach their kids!

    Want the money for tuition? How about selling the brand new thousand dollar iPhone or not buying it in the first place.


    So I hope I have given you at the very least another perspective answering your question, ‘Do I need tuition?‘.

    Before I end let me refer you to what world renowned surgeon Atul Gawande have to say on the same topic for he too even hired a coach to observe him in surgery so that he can break through his performance plateau.

    Most importantly I hope you find exam success in the near future.

    At this point you must be thinking, why ain’t selling me his tuition services?

    Well, I only hope to enlighten you and am currently not taking in any new students right now as I only have limited bandwidth. In the meantime you can peruse my materials or sign up for my newsletter to read more instead.

    Read my other posts