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Anxiety: the real reason you fail exams

July 9, 2018

What is the definition of anxiety?

There are a number of definitions of anxiety. The primary one is…

It’s the anticipation of a future (or sometimes a past) threat. Fear is incorporated in that definition, but this is usually regarded as a real threat to survival, rather than a perceived threat.
High stress levels can result in muscle tension, poor sleep patterns, cautious behaviours and/or avoidant behaviours. These maladaptive behaviours include failing to attend events, usually cancelling last minute and avoiding specific social situations, like giving speeches. But, it also incorporates other mental disorders, including OCD, social phobias and panic disorders.
Due to poor definitions and sometimes even diagnosis. It’s pretty clear that a huge amount of people, at some time in their life, will suffer from anxiety. It can be born out of a daily hassle or an upsetting issue, like workplace stress, family arguments or daily commutes. Anxiety affects, more or less, everyone. But how people cope with it differs immensely.

Are there specific examples of examrelated-anxiety?

A key example is exams stress. There is a clear correlation between state anxiety (mental worry) and exams. Usually, as exams draw nearer, anxiety levels can rise to detrimental levels. Lotz and Sparfeldt found that State Test Anxiety showed an overall increase and peaked shortly before exams.” They also found that “Trait worry and emotional stress correlated substantially with State Test Anxiety.” (Lotz and Sparfeldt 2017)
So, in the lead up to exams, students’ State Anxiety (unpleasant emotional arousal and stress, cognitive based (thought processes)) and Trait Anxiety (individual difference and biological predispositions) rise. Individuals with naturally high levels of trait anxiety, and those who are ‘worriers’ are already more prone to high levels of State anxiety. Hormones can also play a part. It’s suggested that females experience higher levels of trait anxiety than males. This corresponds to girls reporting higher levels of stress in exams.

Does school life fuel anxiety in children?

Not wanting to go to school is a common morning ritual, but there’s a difference between not enjoying school and fearing going to school. Communication with children is the only real way to know and to help. With culture and society expecting more from children and even nursery kids, there is a rise in anxiety-related issues. At this age, it’s extremely hard to help, as sometimes, communication skills are still growing and changing. Intervention at this age is not really advisable or wanted by parents – they just want their kids to be happy.
But with new exams, the 4+ for example, and the issue with stretched staffing in schools, identifying and helping children with this is really hard. On the other end of the scale, it’s well documented that university students struggle with pressure, stress and anxiety. The rise in these cases, you’d assume, is isolation (universities have a very much ‘get on with it’ approach in their support) coupled with exam stress. This is leading to an increased state of numerous anxieties, and it’s becoming commonplace at university.

Another issue, which is giving rise to anxiety, is the school environment.

A school is a fantastic breeding ground for stress. Exam stress, pressure from teachers, social conformity, bullying and ridiculously high expectations on students all lead to one thing. The issue is that no one is doing anything to help. Children are on their own, and when they are on their own, they are on their phones. As discussed by Simon Sinek, we know that phones and specific apps are addictive. This addiction is not even being treated. If kids do have the skills to help alleviate their stress and recognise their anxieties, they don’t use them. Their addiction– the smart phone, the cause of a lot of anxieties– is easy to access and to be influenced by. If you can’t leave your phone alone for 2 minutes, that’s an addiction. Addictions lead to dependence, and dependency leads to worry and stress.
Schools don’t focus on individuals, they focus on cohorts– “90% of our students gain A-B at A-level.” Schools are exam factories, focusing on the masses, not the individual. As far as social support and stress interventions are concerned, schools are failing. It’s important to note that I’m not, as one myself, blaming teachers. Their jobs are full-on, and they won’t have time to help individuals. Schools should implement tutoring sessions, to help specific children, to help them deal with their anxieties, rather than assuming that either the stress will dissipate, or ‘everyone is in the same boat during exams’.

So, does small group and one-on-one tutoring  work?

One-on-one mentoring is proven to work. It’s proven to alleviate stress and reduce arousal and also boost motivation and confidence. In 2015, Cliff Boutelle found that focusing on personality factors and traits between mentor-mentee relationships helps to reduce anxiety and stress. We’re back to traits again. To reduce anxiety, stress and depression we need to look at people’s traits– how they operate, how they think and how they work. Yes, it takes time and effort. But it’s worth it long term, as you have students who aren’t stressed and perform well.

What does other research show us about anxiety?

Research and studies into anxiety in early life have been associated with long-term adverse outcomes and negative effects in adult life. These adverse outcomes include substance abuse, depression, abnormalities in brain function and personality disorders and dysfunctions. And more often than not, poor intra and inter personal relationships.
‘Dependency was also a big factor; high anxiety leads to nicotine, drugs and alcohol abuse’ Alexander McFarlane et al. Other studies have shown that gastrointestinal problems and sleep disturbances were significantly related to stressors, Ashley E. Nixon et al. Nixon also found that ‘it’s important to examine physical symptoms, as they are related to a wide range of job stressors.’
Psychological stress and anxiety can lead to physiological illness, both acute and chronic. Kiecolt-Glazer found that in a number of medical students, natural killer cells (white blood cells) were significantly reduced. What was interesting, is that these NK cells were reduced more severely just before their finals, compared to two weeks before and a week after their exams. This shows that while stress causes high anxiety in the short term, it’s also a long-term health worry, and can result in immune-suppression.

What about people’s own experiences?

More recently, Megan Nolan discussed the rise in her worries and fears from her own experiences, and subsequent application to students taking exams this year. She recalled the time when ‘my chest simply stopped letting me push it out so that air could flow in.’ This is scary. It’s now estimated that there has been a 70% increase in anxiety and depression in teenagers over the past 25 years. That is alarming – and as far as I’m concerned, it’s not something that anyone really talks about. Obesity and diet are covered by the press every day, very few mention arousal, stress or depression. Specifically compared to the volume of new cases and diagnosis.
A student I taught discussed more with me, his teacher, than his parents, peers or friends. I think he saw it as a form of weakness. He thought it was just him who it affected. Nonsense, it affects everyone – in its own way. Anxiety is bad, it’s inhibiting, it’s painful, but it’s not lonely, you’re not on your own! Some people habitually bite their nails, twitch, or look from the corner of their eyes during conversation. Some people get a dry mouth and others can only look at the future pessimistically. But that’s ok, we’re all different. What we need are coping strategies.

How can I reduce my anxiety levels?

There are a few ways to reduce it. First, you need to look at somatic and cognitive anxiety management techniques. Somatic techniques include deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. These are usually non-specific techniques and can be used in a number of anxiety-provoking situations. Whereas, cognitive techniques are more specific, like anxiety in a social situation. You need to recognise your anxiety– the feeling of dread and sickness when preparing for a social situation, or an interview, or an exam.
You can use specific techniques for coping and these are anxiety controlling skills. These skills include positive self-talk, rational thinking and imagery. They do require time, effort and often a mentor to support you. However, they are lifelong skills that will help reduce anxiety, stress and fear.

Are there any other techniques?

Two other non-invasive techniques are meditation and mindfulness. Meditation has been adopted in many countries, although these are usually countries which are less focused on exams. A school in San Francisco, however, ran a meditation programme and found an improvement in pupil’s behaviours, work ethic and happiness. Years later, the school now has some of the best attendance rates in the city. Reduced anxiety and stress leads to improved mental health and cognitive function. Mindfulness has also been used, but it’s been criticised as it can result in some children becoming more anxious as they’re focusing on their specific stress.
Tutor House is looking for people – students, parents and teachers to share their experience of anxiety. How it affected/affects their everyday life? And how you beat or are coping with anxiety?
5 of the best ways to make money as a Tutor

May 23, 2018

How to make money tutoring, the top 5 best ways:

To make money as a tutor usually depends on a number of things. Your experience as a tutor, how long you’ve been tutoring, are the lessons face-face or online, and also what level the tutoring is for. (A-level maths tutoring is usually more than primary)
Let’s look at 5 ways to make money as a tutor…

1. Private tutoring – in person – usually travelling to the student’s home

Using our website parents and students can find you, message you and book in lessons with you. You can set your own rate for tutoring, ranging from £20-100 per hour. Some Tutors only want to teach for 2-5 hours per week, so whilst you can’t make a living from that, it’s still a great way to make money. Most tutors charge £40 per hour. Of course if you do 20 hours per week, like a number of our private tutor do, you can earn a lot more. Some tutors that work for Tutor House make over £3000 per month, whilst that would only be for 8-9 months of the year- that is still great cash.

2. Online tutoring from your home or a cafe

This is a growing area- usually tutors charge slightly less online. But this all works out in the end, you don’t have to pay for travel costs and you don’t lose the time travelling. Travelling to the student is usually dead time. Online tutoring is very popular because it allows you to share files, share more than just a book with students, look up ad hoc problems, answer questions and also leave lots of homework for students. Online tutoring is an easy and flexible way to make money.

3. Upload your teaching resources

This is another area, where as a Tutor, with daytime availability, you can share and upload resources for all subjects and levels. This makes a huge amount of sense. You have the resources for all classes and lessons, so you may as well share your resources online. Sharing is caring. You only make a small amount per downloaded resources- usually £2-£5- but if 100 people download your resources you’re making decent money. Watch this space- Tutor House is building a resource platform as we speak…

4. Residential tutoring placements abroad and in the UK

We offer customers residential placements- where tutors travel with families abroad. Tutors travel with the family whilst they move around the globe, or tutors travel with the family on holiday. That may be for just a week, but quite often it’s for a month of residential tutoring. Tutors live in with the family and work with the children on a daily basis. Usually this is for 30 hours tutoring per week. All accommodation, travel and food is paid for. Tutors can earn £800+ per week. For current jobs- click here.

5. Teaching and tutoring abroad, especially in China

Teaching abroad for a year is a growing field. There is a big demand to teach in China. Tutoring and teaching in China is growing so fast due to a number of reasons:
China’s changed- China is a great place to live now. It’s a great place to explore, to eat and to understand. It’s not all about big cities and pollution, China has some amazing countryside. Many schools are also moving there. We work with a nursery based in a tea plantation! Lovely.
The pay- the rate of pay is much higher than in the UK and Europe. You can earn between £22,000-£30,000 per year of teaching as a standard teacher with only a few years of experience. All you need is a degree. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but considering schools pay for your accommodation and food and sometimes even flights- this is serious money! It’s £50,000 per year when all added up, and that’s big.
It’s a new experience- for some people, Dubai is the new place to teach. Yes, it’s more westernised, but it’s in the desert. Imagine living in a tea plantation! Teaching in China is very popular for young groups of people who want to teach and explore the world. Flights from China to Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines are cheap and easy.
We have a number of teaching jobs in China. Read more about China teaching jobs here.
Email is to find out more- info@tutorhouse.co.uk.
Teach in China – how to find English teaching jobs in China?

Ever wanted to teach in China?

Of course you have, we all have. Teaching in general helps to broaden horizons, but teaching in a foreign land opens doors and opportunities like never before.
People want to travel. In fact, most people want to “live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.” It’s important to grab these opportunities and enjoy. Teaching in China is a growing, popular experience. You’d never get the same experience anywhere else in the world. We’ve worked with a number of schools over the years in China. We’ve placed English teachers in Shanghai, we’ve even placed nursery teachers in a school in a tea plantation! Teaching in China has a number of benefits and 3 of those teaching benefits are outlined below:

1. Travel and teach in china

Most of the teachers and tutors we place in China go there to both teach and to travel. Every weekend you’re free to explore, and you also have holidays to travel even further. Teachers take short flights to Japan for the weekend, and travel around Thailand for weeks. (Flights are only 2-3 hours direct to Japan). Being based in China allows you to explore all of Asia. Teach in China, and travel all over Asia- perfect.


2. The rate of pay in much higher in China

The average rate of pay for teachers in China- teachers who have a degree in their subject and only 1-3 years of teaching experience- is £23,000-£29,000. This is much more than in the UK, and what’s more is that it’s just your pocket money! All of your accommodation and food is paid for! Some schools will even pay for your flights, and if you want- Chinese lessons!
So all in all you’re looking at a salary of about £50,000. More and more people are working in China for a few years, saving a huge amount and then returning to the UK, rich!


3. Something different- teaching in China is just that

You may not speak Chinese, you may not like Chinese food and you may not like long flights. But when your Chinese lessons are paid for, you can buy English food (fish and chips) and the flights are paid for- why wouldn’t you teach in China? China is not the same as Dubai (another popular supply teaching destination). It’s not as westernised, but it beats Dubai! If you’ve been, you know it is bloody boiling. China has culture, China has amazing countryside, China has amazing tea. There are some lovely places in China, and if you are placed in cities, 9 out of 10 times, it’s only a 15 minute drive into amazing countryside, rolling hills and nature- sounds like Devon!
Tutor House currently has 8 jobs to fill in China as of June 2018. Drop us an email to find out more- info@tutorhouse.co.uk.
What to do in London this half term?

April 27, 2018

How to keep busy over May half term

With the May half-term fast approaching, keeping the kids – and yourself – occupied for a whole week can seem daunting. But fear not, we’ve compiled a list of wonderful activities for the kids, and the whole family, that you can be doing over the bank holiday break.

Get dramatic

Upstage Lab, the programme that focuses on developing children’s social skills through drama and performing arts, is running its cultural exploration camp.

This May half term holiday, Upstage Lab will be exploring all things amazing across London in a spring camp that will see students visit museums, theatres, cinemas and more. With an eye to exploring what art really is; the group will visit Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House – to name but a few locations.

The five-day tour is available for students aged from 7-17 and priced at an unbelievable £189 for the whole week. What’s more we’ve teamed up with Upstage Lab and you can use the discount code TUTORHOUSE when purchasing tickets, receiving a £15 discount.

For more information, see here. 

Get going

With excellent transport links from central London, there’s no reason you can’t venture a little further out of the city to explore some breathtaking historical landmarks.

Hatfield House is one of these landmarks, only opening now for its 2018 season, the estate is home to the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family. It boasts gorgeous Jacobean craftsmanship and fabulous gardens.

With the royal wedding upcoming, there isn’t a better time to travel to Windsor. With the May half term holiday marking the end to the wedding celebrations, the town will still be buzzing. Windsor has great shops and restaurants, as well as stunning parks, for the whole family to enjoy.

If you really feel like travelling further afield – we recommend heading to Stonehenge for the day. You can drive, take the train or book yourself into an organised tour. The pre-historic monument in Wiltshire is one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. *p.s don’t forget Lego Land!

Get revising

Of course, if you’ve got exams upcoming, we recommend that you prioritise revision. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! We’re running revision courses, intensive day classes and last minute private tutoring sessions, just to get you ready for those exams! With exam season round the corner, you can maximise your time with a trusted tutor – who will be able to work through past papers with you and ensure you feel prepared before the big day.

Best brain foods for better exam results

Brain foods for exams, the top foods, and drinks, outlined here

Exam season is fast approaching, and the pressure to combat long nights of cramming or days detained to a seat in the library may be comforted by the idea of Walkers crisps and IRN-BRUs as brain food. Preparing for exams does not mean your nutrition has to suffer. In fact, the healthier the food you consume during your study sessions, the higher the marks you earn will be. We’ve taken notes of our own from our previous recommendations for exam brain foods and have discovered a few delicious and nutritious options to aid your studying.

1) Eggs

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it comes as no surprise that this wholesome product makes the top of our list. They’re a sure-fire way to start your energy levels off on a high, as well as keep you full and focused longer than carbs and sugars would. Packed with Vitamin D, B6 and B12, the vital nutrients will assist in memory-packed prep days. Brain food central!

2) Avocados

The apple of every health-crazed phenomenon’s eye, this fruit is one of the best when it comes to exam performance and keeping blood sugar levels in tact. Avocados improve cognitive function, particularly memory and concentration. The monosaturated fats that make up this fruit also allow for healthy blood flow, which further assists in memorisation and alertness during those long hours of studying.

3) Olive Oil

Known as one of the simplest cooking ingredients to incorporate into any stove-top meal, olive oil contains powerful antioxidants that improve your ability to memorise and retain new information. The catch: its recommended you swallow a spoonful of the stuff at room temperature or even refrigerated olive oil to get the most out of your oil. When heated, olive oil decomposes, losing those essential nutrients needed for brain power. It might be a tough spoon to swallow, but your brain will thank you for it.

4) Salmon

Calling all seafood-lovers, this one’s sure to help you ace your exams while being an easier one to swallow. Salmon is one of the most nutritious brain healthy foods that run on omega-3 fatty acids to keep your attention going strong. These acids make up two-thirds of your brain, which is why adding this fish into your study diet will boost focus levels.

5) Walnuts

When it comes to nuts and seeds, walnuts take the cake for optimising brain health. They contain a type of omega-3 fatty acid that complements the brain’s make-up, making them a beneficial snacking choice. Walnuts also have twice as many of these essential antioxidants in comparison to the remaining nuts and seeds family, and will improve your studying abilities the most.

6) Tea

Ok it’s not brain food, but with just the right amount of caffeine, tea will enhance brain power when it comes to memorisation, focus and even improving your mood. Incorporating 2-3 cups per day during exam preparation will improve overall blood flow, and help create a steady work ethic. Keep in mind: freshly brewed tea is the way to go–or even tea bags–to maintain the antioxidants.

Looking for some further exam preparation help? At Tutor House, we have experienced tutors for every subject and all levels.

How to pass the creative writing section of the English Language GCSE

April 26, 2018

How to pass the creative writing section of the English Language GCSE

The creative writing component of the English Language GCSE can leave most students petrified. Having not practiced writing creatively since a much younger age, the dive into creative writing, especially when students are hounded to write academically, can be a challenge.

Often the English Language creative writing component will be phrased as so:

Write a story about a time you felt overwhelmed.


Write a story inspired by the picture below


All of the above instructions are relatively vague. For students who are used to being told what to do, and for the English Literature component, asked to explore only a very specific area of the text – the idea of writing free reign is enough of an overwhelming story.

However, students shouldn’t be scared. English is nothing but the study of stories – and while you may feel left in the proverbial dark, actually stories are weaved into your every day life. From posts on social media, to newspaper articles and the texts you study for English Literature. So, there’s nothing daunting. You can weave a narrative just as succinctly and easily.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Read anything and everything

Well, start with novels. When you turn 16, there’s no novel too detailed for you to explore and while I’m not saying you should start off reading War and Peace, you should be reading literature that excites and interests you. Whether it’s The Hunger Games, 1984 or Pride and Prejudice ­– all of these texts are filled with exciting stories for you to think about. Ask yourself: how does the author create suspense? What about the character is intriguing to you? For example, in The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen sacrifices herself for her sister – while she acts bravely, the author still indicates that she is frightened and overwhelmed. There is an internal conflict here that makes the character fascinating.

  • Be varied in your vocabulary

Words like “nice” and “said” are a bun with no burger, relish or cheese… bland! So, take a look at the example below so you can see for yourself why:

“Good to see you,” she said.

“Likewise,” John said.

Now take a look at the same examples with the “said” removed and some more detail added.

Lucy finished walking her bike up the hill. Drenched and exhausted, she extended a sweaty arm. “Good to see you,” she panted.

            “Likewise,” replied John, who shook her outstretched hand lightly and then proceeded to wipe the remains on his tweed trousers.

See the difference?

  • The five senses rule

When writing creatively, especially when you are being asked to write in the first person, you can describe the immediate area drawing on your five senses; taste, touch, sight, sound and smell.

If in the English GCSE exam, you were presented with a picture of a crowded market place and asked to write a story revolving it, you could open with the following (bonus points if you can spot any literary techniques):

The food market was a buzzing hive; its occupants busying themselves with the buying and selling of sweet smelling delicacies sourced from Toulouse to Timbaktu. I caught a whiff of Jasmine on the wind and was delighted to find a pastel painting of Turkish Delight, coated with a light dusting.

“You like?” cried the seller, ignoring the three other customers in the queue and trying to entice me in. I waved an apologetic hand and squeezed my way deeper into the market.

I was trying to remember to the words for ‘excuse me’, but had forgotten the teachings of the busboy at the hotel. The noise built into crescendos at every stand, with gossip, commands and bartering taking place in a rich dialect I couldn’t comprehend. Each and every direction I turned, I was jagged with an elbow or forced to fake-interest in a stall in which I had none. I was becoming overwhelmed, so I stole into a small crevice on the side of the market to seek respite.

Obviously, you will need to write more than this. But try to make your language as rich and engaging as possible.

  • Make sure to reread your work

Your creative writing component will be judged on spelling, grammar and punctuation, so make sure that you read your work once you’re done to iron out any potential mistakes.


If you want a little bit more help, Tutor House offers world-class English GCSE tutors. To find out more, or to book your tutor today, call 020 9500 320.

exam stationary pencils
5 tips to help you sleep better before exams

April 23, 2018

Finding it hard to sleep before an exam? You’re not alone


Students across the country often struggle to get a good night’s rest before the big day. Don’t panic, take a deep breath and read some of our useful tips that will help you doze off before exams.

1) Don’t cram study

You heard us. Don’t study the day before your exams. At this point, if you don’t know the material, you don’t have much hope. All you will do is get anxious if you stumble across something you don’t know, which will seriously serve to keep you up at night. If you want to, do some light subject reading before bed, but no timed tests to stress you out.

2) Eat a healthy dinner

You may have seen our blog about the best brain foods to eat before your exams? If you haven’t, we can surmise that you should be eating a healthy dinner before your exams. Put down the McDonalds and pick up the McBroccoli. You should be eating a balanced meal that’s low on sugar and caffeine – so you’ll be able to sleep easier. We know the struggle is real, but you have to say “no” to pudding.

3) Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is all the rage. (Although ‘rage’ may not be the right word.) Mindfulness is a mix of breathing exercises and meditation that, when used before exams, can help you stay calm and focused. There are a number of techniques you can learn to centre yourself. With anxieties gone, you should be able to get to sleep quicker and have a restless night.

4) Turn off your phone sheep’le

Shock horror, but it’s a well-known fact that smartphone screens stop your brain from producing melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep). So switch it off, put it in another room and lock the door so that you’re not tempted to spend the night before your exams scrolling Instagram rather than getting rested.

5) Don’t worry

If you’ve tried all of the above and you still are struggling to get a good night’s sleep… then don’t worry! One night’s sleep won’t hurt your exam prospects. You’ve still studied hard and worked towards success and a few lost hours won’t limit your chances of success. So just dive right in.

If it’s not the night before your exam and you still want to revise, then get a tutor. At Tutor House, we have experienced tutors for every subject and all levels. Call us on 020 3950 0320 or email info@tutorhouse.co.uk to find out more.

Revision Brain Food
The 10 best brain foods to eat when revising

April 9, 2018

The 10 best brain foods to eat when revising

Let’s face it, when revising for important exams sometimes pupils need all the help they can get. Putting the time and effort into revising is extremely important, and private tuition offered by Tutor house will give students the best chance to achieve their optimum results in the forthcoming summer exams. Do not forget how important is your nutrition program during revision and exams time.

However it’s not all about the revision. It’s about looking after your body and mind as well. Eating the right kind of foods can significantly improve energy levels, concentration and brain power. Just as eating well day to day can prevent many diseases, there has been a great deal of evidence from health professionals that certain foods can give your brain a boost. This means you are more likely to be able to not only concentrate better, but also feel more energised, enthusiastic and have the ability to better retain information too!

So what are these super foods that we should eat when revising? The top ten ‘super brain’ foods to keep you alert and ready to process information are listed below.

1. Apples

We have all heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ well now it seems these easily accessible fruits are also fantastic for keeping your brain in tip top shape as well. Apples contain quercetin (particularly in the skins), which is an antioxidant which protects the brain cells against free radicals. This is important as free radicals can damage the outer lining of neurone around the brain and therefore cognitive function.

2. Blueberries

These lovely little berries don’t just taste great, they are a powerful fruit jam packed with antioxidants and goodness too. Research has shown that eating one cup of blueberries every day can have a significant impact on your ability to learn and your memory. There are loads of ways to eat berries, put them in porridge or cereals for a breakfast boost or make them into smoothies for a healthy and delicious drink

3. Broccoli

Perhaps not everyone’s favourite, broccoli is well worth eating as it’s high in vitamin K which has been shown to improve the brains ability to process information as well as having a powerful effect on your cognitive function. Broccoli can be made into soups, pan fried into stir fry’s or simply boiled as a side dish.

4. Oily Fish

The natural fats occurring in some fish are known as the ‘good fats.’ Scientifically proven to prevent the brain from aging, having plenty of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines as part of your diet is definitely a wise move. Fatty fish such as these contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA and NPA which are wonderful brain boosting supplements to help with concentration and improve memory function.

5. Tomatoes

The humble tomato is another example of a fruit that is packed with nutrition and the antioxidant lycopene which strengthens cells helping them to remain unaffected by toxins. Tomatoes are great in salads, roasted in the oven, or simply as a healthy snack on their own.

6. Nuts and Seeds

Another handy snack, nuts and seeds are fantastic to boost energy levels as they release energy slowly and steadily over a period of time. Like fish they are also a brilliant source of ‘good fats’ and vitamin E which has been proven to enhance your ability to make decisions. There is a huge variety of nuts to choose from, so easy to find some to enjoy. Just remember that despite being powerfully good for you, nuts do contain very high levels of fat and calories so remember to eat them in moderation!

7. Whole grains

Whole grains are an important source of energy, and keeping energy levels up during revision is imperative. They provide a steady source of energy which is released slowly making them very effective. You can find them in cereals, brown rice and pasta, and brown granary bread.

8. Sage

Who knew that this little herb could do so much? Studies have shown that sage can improve memory so simply sprinkle it on other foods for a quick and easy brain boost!

9. Lean Meats

Lean meats are an excellent source of protein, go for organic free range chicken and you’ll also be stocking up on all important vitamins B3 and B6 which help convert carbohydrates into glucose which is great for energy levels. B3 is also excellent for reducing stress levels making them a wise choice of brain food for revision. Lean meats also contain Selenium which is great for boosting the immune system.

10. Chocolate

Saving the best until last, the good news is that chocolate has many great health benefits. Studies have shown that not only can chocolate reduce your blood pressure, but it also keeps your brain alert and focussed and can prevent memory loss. The reason? The presence of polyphenols in cocoa increases blood flow to the brain.


There are a great many foods that make excellent choices as the best brain food for revision. Tutor House offer private tuition for students studying at any level. Tutor House also run revision courses which are perfect for students who work better in a group setting, or simply get distracted working alone. Providing structured learning environments, a robust revision schedule and eating these fantastic brain foods are sure to put students in the best possible shape and frame of mind to do well in their summer exams.

Why A Level & GCSE Short Retake Courses are a must!

April 4, 2018

Well there are a number of reasons for intensive A Level & GCSE Short Retake Courses

The main reason is that you can simply focus on a problem area with a private tutor one on one. There is no-one else present, which can lead to distractions and time wasting.

Tutors work closely with you, identifying weaker areas, focusing on them and working through them with you. In addition tutors work through past papers and provide you with individual model answers and key exam phases and key words.

The course is intense, but the key is to focus on exam papers and how to answer questions.

A Short Retake Course – these courses are seriously intense, so you have to hit the ground running. You’ll have to sit exams every week and revise every day, it’s hard but worth it in the long run.

You can undertake these short ‘crammer‘ style courses over a 4 or 8-month period. Colleges and tutoring companies can support you. Private tuition is of course a very good option. Private tutoring always achieves the best results. Financially it makes sense as well. I would suggest at least 20 hours private tuition before your exams, perhaps even book block sessions every week. Make sure tutors are CRB checked and have tutoring experience!

Make sure you highlight modules/units that you didn’t do too well in; you may not need to re-sit every unit again! ☺ Also, take the time to work out your UMS score, which can be found on your results certificate.

You can Learn more about Short retake courses at Tutor House or simply contact us by mail  support@tutorhouse.co.uk   or call us on 0203 9500 320

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