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8 Myths And Misconceptions About Private Tuition Debunked!

On 19 May 2020, MOE announced that Primary school, secondary school and Pre-University students will return to school in 2 phases starting from 2 June 2020:  Arrangements for Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning at the End of Circuit Breaker 

[ Phase 1 ]

For the first few weeks of Term 3 starting on 2 June, Pri 6, Sec 4 & 5 (a.k.a. the graduating cohorts) will be allowed to go to school from Monday to Friday.

Other levels cohorts will rotate weekly between Home-Based Learning (HBL) and going to school for lessons. For MI and JCs, only half of their students to be back in school at any one time.

[ Phase 2 ] 

All students will return to school from Mondays to Fridays.

Whilst it seems that things are returning back to normal, parents have also been asking around for private tutors to start with online tutoring now and convert to face-to-face tuition once home visitations are allowed.

Here are some misconceptions about private tuition that we hope to clarify during this period of ‘new normal’


Myth 1 - Private Tutors are not as effective as school teachers.


Did you know that there are my current and ex-MOE teachers who also double up as private tutors?

Even if you do not engage them, non-MOE teachers bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge which they can share with your child in a 1-to-1 setting.

A private tutor can focus his/her attention on your child to tackle specific areas of weakness or a topic that your child cannot overcome. Including providing materials/exam papers/worksheets that is accumulated over the years of teaching


Myth 2 - Tuition is meant for students getting lousy grades


Since 2010, we have helped more than 40,000 parents and students find a tutor.

Out of these, 38% are students with above average scores (PSLE B score and above, O level B3 and above, A level B/A grade).

Thus, private tuition is not merely salvaging poor scoring students, it is also about maintaining the existing grade or pushing for the distinction.

Tutoring is also about developing the right mindset and attitude of the child towards learning, both for test scores and the essence of life.

Learning is a lifelong experience, and this should be imbued into a child from young.


Myth 3 - I can’t change my tutor during the first month!


Private tuition is…private! It is a private arrangement between 2 willing parties, where one provides a tuition service in exchange for monetary rewards.

At any time, either party can cease the service for any reason. So you can stop the tuition if you do not find the tuition suitable and pay for any lessons done.

Beware of any tutors who tell you otherwise!




Myth 4 - Tuition adds on to my child’s workload


It is true that students nowadays have so many CCAs and tuition centres to attend, music lessons, sports classes like swimming or badminton, their available time slots are very precious and limited.

On top of that, getting private tutors adding on to their workload is a concern that many parents would have.

On the flip side, tutors can assist the child to solve questions in homework that he/she has got stuck in, or teach certain heuristics or mnemonics to speed up the learning process.

This would free up more time for your child to enjoy other things after completing the homework.


Myth 5 - Private Tuition is too expensive and not worth it


Home tuition rates go by different tiers depending on the experience and qualifications of the tutor.

Whilst there are exorbitant rates charged by top-school teachers, many are actually affordable! Whether it’s worth it or not depends on how much you value your child’s future.

We all know that the top-paying jobs often require high skill-set brought about by a set of qualifications. The other way to get rich is if you are an entrepreneur and your business does very well. Or you strike lottery.

Check out our latest tuition rates here to find one within your budget.


Myth 6 - Good tuition is expensive


The Chinese have a saying: 一分钱一分货

Translated: You get what you pay for.

Following from the previous myth, tuition rates vary between the different types of tutors.

Not everyone can afford to get the top-notch school teachers, but this doesn’t mean the fulltime tutor or undergraduate cannot deliver results!

In our experience, 70%-80% of our matchings are with non-NIE trained teachers every year. Most have excellent reviews and engaged tutors until the final exam.


Myth 7 - I have to pay in advance


Private tuition works differently from tuition centres who often collects the fees at the beginning of the month.

Our Terms & Conditions is to pay only upon completion at the end of the 4th or 8th lesson, or pay-per-lesson depending on each arrangement.

A very small minority of tutors ask to be paid in advance, and this will depend on the parent’s comfort level.

If the tutor has been teaching for a long time, some parents are okay with paying in advance.


Myth 8 - Tuition is only needed when the final exam is near.

Fact: A lot of parents and students wait til the last 2 months before panicking and engage a tutor to do crash courses or intensive revisions. While this can help salvage some marks, it is not recommended.

Last-minute revisions place immense stress on the child and the results are often disappointing. We advocate having tuition at the start of the year should you find your results to be dismal.

Build a good foundation now so that your child can work towards greater success at later part of the year because that is where the difficult topics are.



We hope that by dispelling the 8 myths, parents can have a good understanding of what private tuition entails and the benefits it brings to your child.

Here are several other articles that gives more information:





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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.