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Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll find answers to common questions about tutoring and our procedures here. If you’re still looking for answers, feel free to get in touch!

Apex Tutoring FAQ

Questions about our tutoring services

Are lessons one-on-one or group classes?

Our service is one-on-one, which means each student gets to work directly with their personal tutor for the booked time. Tutoring is tailored to each individual student’s needs, and the student gets their tutor’s undivided attention. If requested, we can do group lessons, such as for two uni students in the same course or for small groups learning a language together, but it is otherwise not recommended.

Is your service face-to-face or online?

We primarily offer in-person tutoring at our centres in Berkeley Vale and Wyong, however we are able provide lessons online via video conferencing platforms like Zoom. We find that in-person lessons provide the best environment for communication between tutor and student, however we are capable of providing an excellent tutoring experience online, as well.

Do you come to the student’s home?

We do not travel to your home to provide our tutoring services. We tutor solely at our locations in Berkeley Vale and Wyong on the Central Coast of New South Wales. This allows us to keep our rates affordable, fit many more students into our schedule each day, and provide an environment conducive to learning which is free from distractions and with access to our large array of learning resources.

Are you a tutoring agency?

We are not an agency who sets up anyone who wants to be a tutor with clients. We are a local, small business who have been providing tutoring services on the Central Coast for over seven years. We work with a small group of tutors who we personally hire and train to ensure that they are well-qualified, are versed in their subject specialities, possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and have a passion for teaching and tutoring.

Questions about bookings and students

What is the optimal length for a tutoring session?

We provide sessions that are 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes in length. We can also book multiple, shorter sessions weekly if you want to spread tutoring time out over the week. You can also book longer lessons, if desired. The best choice depends on the student, as well as your budget. It’s best to consider the following factors:

  • Attention span of the student – Very young students or students with shorter attention spans may do best with 30 to 45 minute sessions. If they need more time weekly to catch up or cover multiple subject areas, consider booking two 30-minute sessions on different days of the week.
  • How behind the student is for their age – Students who need a small to moderate amount of assistance to catch up or keep up with class are typically okay with 30- to 45-minute sessions weekly. Students who are far behind their year level may need closer to 60 minutes weekly, which can be on one day or split over multiple days of the week.
  • How many subjects with which the student needs assistance – Primary and high school students who need help with multiple subjects, such as English and Mathematics, typically need 45 to 60 minutes weekly in order to have enough time to cover both. HSC students covering multiple subjects may need a 45-minute to 60-minute session per subject in order to properly cover each.
  • Your budget – Shorter sessions cost less and may fit into your budget better. Keep in mind that there is a discount for booking more time weekly. See our rates for more information.
Can adults get tutoring?

Adults of any age can benefit from having a personal tutor. We have assisted many adult students in their goals to reskill, return to university, or prepare for tests related to employment. You don’t even need to be enrolled in a course or have a specific plan in mind beside improving your literacy or numeracy. We have helped many adults who were looking to improve their reading, writing, or maths skills, whether it was to simply enrich their life, improve their job performance. We have many resources to pull from and can create a custom plan to help you achieve your goals.

Can very young children get tutoring?

We do tutor children as young as Kindergarten age. If you are concerned about your young child’s progress in school, consider having them work with one of our specialised primary school tutors. We always aim to place K-2 students with our most experienced tutors who have a degree in primary education or are near completing their degree. Having a skilled tutor to work one-on-one with them can do a lot to help them to get back on track.

Can you work with students who are on the autistic spectrum?

We do have experience working with children with ASD. While we don’t provide therapy services for ASD, we find that children with ASD appreciate and can benefit from having a tutor to work one-on-one with them on their school work.

Can you work with students with attention deficit or learning difficulties?

We work with many students with ADHD and various learning disabilities, including dyslexia. While we are not specialists in learning disabilities nor provide therapy services for them, we do find that these students can benefit academically, gain confidence, and have reduced anxiety from having a tutor who works with them one-on-one.

Questions about payments and policies

How do I pay for tutoring sessions?

When you request a booking, you will be asked to sign our payment contract and save your card on file (via our secure payment processor Square) in order to confirm and hold your booking. Saving your card on file guarantees your first, ongoing, and/or casual bookings for as long as it they are available (subject to tutor availability). Payments are charged automatically to your card of choice on the morning of the first booking of the week at the agreed upon rate.

If you do not wish to have payments charged automatically or if the automatic payment does not process, you can pay by direct deposit, cash, or by tapping your card. A payment processing fee of $2 applies for non-automatic payments.

Do you have a enrolment fee or term fee?

We do not have any sign-up, enrolment, or term costs. You can see our fee structure on our rates page.

Do I need to pay a term in advance?

We do not charge in advance. When you book ongoing weekly or fortnightly tutoring, you will be charged on a weekly basis on the first day of the regularly scheduled session(s). We have a 14-day cancellation policy for ongoing weekly or fortnightly tutoring.

Is there a cancellation fee and how do a cancel ongoing tutoring?

If you wish to cancel an ongoing weekly or fortnightly tutoring session, you just need to give us notice 14 days in advance. If you wish to cancel a casual (one-off) booking, you just need to give us 24-hour notice.

Do I need to pay for missed or cancelled lessons?

When the student is unable to attend their regularly scheduled session, the session must still be paid for, however you may be eligible to reschedule or for a make-up session according to our attendance policy (outlined below).

  • If you give at least four hours’ notice, you may reschedule the session to another day or time within seven days of the originally scheduled session, subject to availability.
  • If you give at least 24 hours’ notice, you may reschedule the session, as above, or receive a make-up session which can be scheduled within 12 weeks of the originally scheduled session, subject to availability and the make-up session limit.
  • There is a limit to the number of make-up sessions you may have credited to your account at any time. The limit is equivalent to two make-up sessions per individual ongoing booking you have. If you reach the limit the following options apply:
    • You must schedule and use one of the make-up sessions before another can be credited to your account.
    • Otherwise, if you have given at least 24 hours’ notice, you may reschedule the session to another day or time within seven days of the originally scheduled session, subject to availability.

Questions about your first tutoring session

What should I bring to the first session?

Technically, you don’t need to bring anything to the first session, as we have all the supplies and resources needed. However, we do recommend bringing the following to your first session, if you have them:

  • Most recent school report, latest NAPLAN results, or latest PAT assessment results. (Feel free to email these to us ahead of time.)
  • Recent tests, exams, or assignments which show the student’s level or understanding.
  • Relevant class textbook and/or class notes.
  • Current assignments or homework that show us what the student is currently working on or with which the student would like assistance.
  • Laptop, if it contains class resources or classwork.
What should I bring to tutoring every week?

We recommend bringing the following to every session, if possible:

  • Relevant class textbook and/or class notes.
  • A pencil or pen and notebook.
  • Current assignments or homework.
  • Maths students in high school or university: The calculator the student is accustomed to using. (We do have calculators for students to borrow if they forget theirs.)
Will you do an assessment for the student?

Most parents want to know how our tutors will assess the student and if there is any relevant information that needs to be provided prior to the first tutoring session. As experienced tutors, we don’t technically require much information prior to the first session besides the student’s year in school and what subject(s) they need tutoring in. However, as our tutoring is one-on-one and tailored to each individual student, the more information we have by the start of the first session, the more quickly we are able to start working with the student in the areas they need help.

Informal Assessment

At Apex Tutoring, our first session or two serves as both an informal assessment and first tutoring sessions. As we work one-on-one with our students, we can relatively quickly gauge where a student is at and where we can start working with them.

We get this information from a mix of the following:

  • Any information provided by the parent on the enrolment form, as well as when we meet you at the start of the first session.
  • School reports, NAPLAN results, and PAT assessment results, if you are able to provide them.
  • Conversing with the student to find out how they feel about various subjects and asking them what they need help with.
  • Watching closely to the first exercises or tasks the student attempts to see how they approach them.

Formal Assessment

We also have more formal assessments available. Most of the assessments can be done online, which means the student can complete them at home, before or after their first session, or in their tutoring sessions along with their tutor. Some components may only be done with the tutor, such as an assessment of reading fluency.

We can gain the most information by having the student work through the assessment alongside their tutor. This is because we can see how the student is approaching questions, where mistakes may be coming from, and how the student is feeling as they progress through the task. However, if the student completes the assessment outside of tutoring time, we are able to use the results, as well as feedback from the student, to jump right into areas the student needs the most help with.

Just be aware that we recommend against administering a formal assessment in the following cases:

  • The student is anxious about their school performance or experiences test anxiety.
  • The student has low self-esteem in regards to their academic ability.
  • The student is resistant to the idea of tutoring.

If any of the above may be true, do not have the student do a formal assessment. Our informal assessment process will provide the best start to tutoring for the student. If you are confident that the above points do not apply, then you can obtain a formal assessment for the student by requesting one via administration or the tutor.

What can I expect to get out of academic tutoring?

We promise to do our best to fit our one-on-one tutoring sessions to your needs and keep it at a comfortable pace for you. If you ever feel like your tutor is going too fast or too slow with a concept, or if you would like your tutor to re-explain something, just let them know! We do not mind repeating something, trying to explain it in a different way, or changing the pace, as our goal is to meet your needs and help you achieve your academic goals.

In general, we find students start to see improvements within a few months of beginning tutoring. This can vary depending on a few factors, such as the degree to which the student is behind, whether the student has anxiety, and their individual learning style. The student’s motivation and dedication outside of tutoring can also play a big part. We will often recommend getting further practice at home on the concepts we cover and provide worksheets or online practice. Students who follow through during the week, even if it’s just doing a few minutes of study a few times a week, typically see much faster results in their level of understanding and their marks.

As there are so many factors that contribute to a student’s marks and results can take many weeks of consistent tutoring, we cannot guarantee results in the form of school marks. However, as it is our mission to assist and support our students academically, we do aim to do our best to help our students improve their school marks.

What if I don’t think tutoring is suiting my needs?

First of all, good communication is important to get the best results from tutoring. That’s why you will get a summary of every tutoring session each week. We also value your feedback, so don’t hesitate to keep in touch with your tutor, keep them up to date with the student’s progress in school, and bring up any concerns. If you feel that the focus of the tutoring sessions are not quite what you would like, let us know!

We also know that every student is different and may not get on as easily with every tutor. If you think the student’s tutor isn’t quite the right fit, let administration know and we’d be happy to try the student with a new tutor. We also find for some students changing the time or day of the tutoring can sometimes help some students who may experience trouble concentrating depending on the time or day of the week.

If you still feel tutoring is not for you, we have a cooling off period on our contract which allows you to cancel ongoing tutoring within one week of the first session, and after this our cancellation policy is just two weeks. Just let us know you’d like to stop, and you can cancel hassle-free.

How will I join an online tutoring session?

Prior to your first online session, admin will send you a sign-up link for our online tutoring platform. Make sure you sign up within 24 hours, as well as confirm your email address.

Just prior to your online session, make sure you have your computer on and ready to go before the lesson starts. Your tutor will send you an invite via phone and/or email prior to the session. This will include a clickable link to join the meeting directly in your browser. If you have any questions or technical issues, please let us know right away!

Ready to book in?

Get in touch by clicking the button below to enquire about bookings or even just ask a question about our tutoring services. Or click below find out more about our tutoring team!