Many students could get a whole lot more out of their tutor than they do.  So what can you do to maximize your time with a tutor?

  1. Bring questions.  The more specific your questions the better.  With specific questions, the tutor will be able to answer your question directly.  Also, knowing exactly what you don't understand, helps you reinforce what you understand and gives the tutor a better understanding of what you are stuggling with.  If you don't have a specific question, try and explain what concept or chapter section you are having a hard time understanding.
  2. Bring everything you would normally take to class.  This means bring your textbook, your notes, your syllabus, any handouts or study materials, graded assignments, a calculator, and something to write with (for science and math it is best to have a pencil and eraser).  These items help the tutor help you understand how to use your resources.  A good tutor will try and work themselves out of a job by teaching you how to answer your own questions, anything less and the tutor just wants your money.
  3. Yourself.  This may seem obvious but specifically I mean keep your head in the game when you are there.  Don't expect the tutor to be helpful if you are texting during your meeting (I've seen actually this).  Also, make sure you are awake, sometimes during a long day its hard to stay conscious.  If its a bad time don't schedule it then.  If you are tired or not feeling well you may want to reschedule with your tutor for a day when you will be better able to listen.
  4. Try to figure it out first.  You will understand the material so much better if you struggle with it on your own.  Your tutor can show you what to do but it doesn't sink in if you don't "make it your own" by tackling it yourself.  This will also help you to make a list of specific questions (see #1).  You can show the tutor what you have tried and it will help both of you work together.
  5. Afterwards, make sure you can do it without help.  After a tutor has helped you figure out a certain concept or a certain type of problem come back to the same topic in a day or two.  This will be the real test of whether or not you've learned it.  If not, don't be afraid to ask your tutor to go over it again and this time be specific about where you get lost.
These are just a few tips to help you maximize your time with your tutor.  Every subject has its own quirks so you may want to ask your tutor if there is anything you could do before you meet.