Our Resources

Need to know something? We've got you!

The importance of Striving for Excellence

June 8, 2015

The importance of striving for excellence

Whether or not you wish to obtain that A grade in your GCSE Maths exam or that A* in A Level English, striving for excellence is a habit that can be applied to all facets of your life.

Ensuring that all work you produce is of your highest possible standard will instil long term traits such as discipline, hard work and focus which are transferable qualities applicable to all areas of your life from exam success to running a marathon.

Striving for excellence is a skill which can be cultivated and a mindset which can be fostered. Performing to your optimum level leads to a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment which naturally leads to a ‘feel good’ feeling.

Modern day Biology suggests that when we perform to our optimum capacity natural ‘feel good’ feelings are released and to continue experiencing such feelings we will continue to operate at our own levels of excellence. The neurotransmitter Dopamine is said to motivate us ‘to take action toward goals, desires, and needs’. Furthermore, it also gives us pleasure once we have accomplished what we have set out to do. The release of such neurotransmitters can lead to a domino effect motivating us to work towards more goals helping us to realise our dreams.

Therefore we can assume that by cultivating an attitude of excellence and hard work we will also be more joyful, happier and not to mention successful.

At Tutor House we aim to encourage students to always strive for their best in all life endeavours as we understand the importance of giving each task their very best which inevitably leads to a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.

Tuition Fees and Student Loans
What is a Tuition Fee / Student Loan?

May 29, 2015

What is a Tuition Fee / Student Loan?

The Tuition Fee Loan, also known as a student loan, is what many students chose to apply for to help them cover the cost of going to university. It is non-income assessed and it is there to help many students in the UK, whether they are studying full or part-time, who would otherwise struggle with tuition fees. Any full or part-time students from the UK and EU can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.

Apply for a tuition fee loan here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance

Different Types of Tuition Fee Loans for University Students

Different courses cost different amounts for their tuition, which can depend on a number of factors such as the country of study, and the university or college you will be receiving tuition from. Universities can charge whatever they like for courses depending on the maximum rate set by the government, which is currently set at £9,000 per academic year.

If a course has tougher requirements, is more competitive and popular, and the university or college has an admirable academic reputation you may find tuition fees are more expensive.

Once you have successfully applied for a student loan:

Students who apply and are successful will receive the first instalment of their tuition fee loan once the University has notified the relevant body that the student has started at their institution. Instead of the money being handed over to the students themselves, this is then transferred to the University or colleague who will use the money to cover the costs of tuition. If the loan does not cover the cost of tuition the student will be required to find other means to completely cover their costs.

Upon graduating university students are required to repay their tuition fee loads and these are also subject to interest.

Full-time tuition fee loans vs. Part-time tuition fee loans

Students who are going into full-time University of college education can receive up to a maximum of £9,000. If the student is studying full-time at a private university of college this figure is £6,000. Part-time students can receive a maximum amount of £6,750 and part-time students who chose to study at a private university or college can receive up to £4,500.

How to Apply for a Student Loan in the UK

Full-Time Students:

The easiest way to apply for a student loan if you are a new student from England is via the Student Finance England’s website. You need to set up an account with them online, and will then be able to complete the online application form including details of your households income.

Once you have filled out the details you will need to sign and return the loan declaration. Be aware you may need to send in proof of identity as well. The loan declaration should be with you within 6 weeks of completing the online form.

If you are a continuing student from England you should already have an account set up. In that case you can simply log in and apply online.

Part-Time Students:

Part-time students, and students from the rest of the UK have to go through a slightly different, yet still straightforward process to apply.

Students Applying from the EU:

New students from within the EU are not able to apply for a tuition fee loan online, however will be able to download the application pack and send it, and then wait for the letter which will let you know whether your application has been successful, and how much you can expect to receive. EU students that are continuing their courses will be sent the forms automatically.

Other types of loans for students:

Students can apply for different types of loans to help them cover the costs of continuing their education. Another popular loan is the Maintenance loan, which unlike the Tuition Fee Loan, is paid directly into student’s bank accounts to help them with general living costs while studying.

If you are living at home you can still apply for a Maintenance Loan of up to £4,565. If you are living away from home, but still outside the capital you can apply for a loan of up to £5,740 and if you are living within London, up to £8,009.

For Full-time UK students there is also a possibility of applying for a Maintenance Grant to help with your living costs. The Grant is one, which you don’t have to pay back, however you should be aware that it would have a knock on effect on the amount you will be eligible to receive from the Maintenance Loan.

There is an online student finance calculator to estimate your Maintenance Grant and Loans.

Paying back your student and tuition fee loans:

Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans are repayable to the bank after you have finished studying. Even if you do not complete your course you still need to pay back any money you borrowed. There are several factors that play a part in when and how much you will need to pay back depending on which repayment plan you are on.

For English and Welsh students who started before the 1st September 2012 you only need to start repaying your Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan when you are in employment and earning over £17,335 (this amount is subject to change).

When you start repaying your loan and what you pay depend on which repayment plan you’re on.

English and Welsh students who started on or after 1 September 2012 only start repaying when their annual salary is £21,000 and above.

If you are self-employed you will need to keep your own records to work out your student loan repayments, otherwise this will automatically be deducted from your pay and show up on your payslip each month.

Is a student loan right for you?

With university fees seemingly ever on the increase it can be a difficult decision when thinking about how to finance further education. Many parents and students automatically decide to apply for a student loan to cover their costs, however is that the best thing to do? If you can afford to pay out in one lump some is that better?

Student loans have had little praise in recent press however they are still very good deals when you compare how they work to normal loan types from the bank. You don’t have to worry about repaying the loan while your child remains at the university or college, and students have until the next April after they finish their studies before they will be asked to start repaying –even then that is only if they meet the criteria by earning over a certain amount (£21,000 as of September 2012) so if they aren’t yet earning a great deal, or haven’t secured a job you or they won’t need to pay back a penny.

Repayments are actually worked out fairly and are proportionate to the individual’s income (9% of their pre-tax earnings) so they should never be asked to pay out more than they can afford.

As with most loans students are expected to pay interest on them. While studying they are charged the rate of inflation + 3%.

After this any interest is again calculated in relation to income. Those earning under £21,000 = rate of inflation. Those earning £21,000-£41,000 will be charged the rate of inflation + between 0-3% depending on their income, and those on salaries of £41,000 will have an interest rate on their loan of inflation + 3%.

Other forms of borrowing generally have far higher interest rates and so the student loan is actually a comparatively good deal, involving no credit checks or hidden nasty surprises that could get them into financial difficulties.

Of course however, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ way to go when it comes to dealing with student finances. Many people who can pay student fees off in one go chose to do so for stability, budgeting and peace of mind. Not taking out a student loan and simply paying the fees then and there also means there will be no impact on the student’s future earnings and they won’t have to start their career in thousands of pounds worth of debt.  Using you savings to pay for your child’s university education may be tempting, especially since interest of savings accounts is particularly low. However doing this will mean whatever interest you could have earned would be lost and you will have less disposable income.

There are plenty of useful websites, which have advice on tuition fee and maintenance loans. For further information on where to get help and advice take a look at the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/loans-and-grants

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/finance-and-support

Preparing for university can be tricky and financial worries are commonplace. While student tuition fee and maintenance loads might not be the route down which every student will do, they are useful to ease the pressure of paying for university courses and living costs so your child can focus on getting the most out of their education.

For further advice get in touch with Tutor house as we will be able to answer any Pre-University application questions you may have.

pros-cons-online-tutoring
Good Luck with your Exams this summer!

April 25, 2015

Good Luck with your Exams this summer!

In the run up to the Exam period, a lot of you will be putting in the extra hours to secure yourself the best possible grades. Whether you are preparing for GCSE, A-Level or Pre-U exams, the period before your examinations is going to be crucial to key revision and exam success. All your hard work over the last year will be concluded off with final examinations. Rest assure, no matter the results as long as you have put in the hard work and done your very best you can be proud of yourself!

More often than none, students will become anxious and nervous in the lead up to sitting exams, however it is imperative to stay calm and focused to ensure that you are able to perform to your optimum standard. Students often let nerves get the better of them and in such instances are unable to think clearly and subsequently do not receive the marks they deserve. We advise when this happens to take a few long and deep breaths in order to calm the nervous system and to allow vital oxygen to enter the body leading to a clearer mind.

Furthermore, key organisation is of paramount importance. Ensure that you have a clear idea of your examination timetable. For example, if you have a GCSE Maths exam in the morning followed by a GCSE English exam in the afternoon by having a good idea of your exam schedule you can plan your revision timetable in accordance. We advise that you print off a copy of your exam timetable and post it in your room or near your area of study. This will help you to formulate a revision schedule around your examination timetable.

Lastly, we all have differing styles of making notes which work according to the individual. However on the night before the exam or hours before, we suggest making a concise set of notes on a set of flashcards. It doesn’t matter which subject you are revising for, flashcards can help you revise for all subjects from A Level Government and politics to A Level Physics. Flashcards are not only a brilliant way to study prior to sitting the exam, but it’s also useful to refer back to when travelling, waiting for appointments or reviewing over a cup of coffee.

Tutor House wishes all students the very very best of luck with their examinations!

Easter revision timetable
How to organise your Revision timetable this Easter

February 26, 2015

How to organise your Revision timetable this Easter

Easter revision is such an important aspect of one’s own preparation towards exams. The key to exam success lies in effective preparation and planning. Therefore it is vital that you devise a revision schedule which will allow you optimum chances of success in exams. How each student revises is individual and unique however Tutor House has come up with a few key pointers to help you:

1. Begin by tackling your trickiest topic.

Quite often, the stress of revising for a particular subject spills over and affects the attitude one adopts in revising for all subjects. Therefore, to eliminate this added pressure and gain confidence begin your revision by tackling your trickiest subject. Make a list within the subject of all topics which you need to go over and perhaps organise a study day with a friend to go through all the listed topic areas. Or you can sign up for a revision course. This Easter, Tutor House will be running Easter courses across a range of subjects, levels and boards.

2. Attempt lots of past paper questions.

There is really no substitute then the preparatory benefits obtained whilst attempting lots of past paper questions. As all students will come across, past examination questions are similar and so by completing a variety of questions you will become more familiar with the style of questions asked, how to think about questions and different ways of understanding a subject matter. You will not only feel more confident and prepared, but it is a great way of addressing and identifying any holes in your knowledge.

3. Make concise notes.

There are many techniques of note taking with each student adopting a style which suits them. However the real benefit of having notes is to be able to review them in your spare time, before going to bed or on waking , the night before the exam and be able to talk through each point in your head in further detail. This will enhance your ability to recall information which will help you immensely during the exam. Nearing the exams, Tutor House will be running ‘Study Skills’ days aiming to help students from note taking to techniques used to help students commit information to memory.

Remember the key to exam success lies in effective preparation. It is worth taking some time out and thinking about your revision approach and timetable before delving in.

Revision Timetable planning
How to formulate a winning revision schedule

February 1, 2015

How to formulate a winning revision schedule

With the festive period over and the return back to School, it is full steam ahead in the lead up to exams which are only months away. So why not give yourself the best possible chance of success and devise a winning revision schedule. Tutor House has put together a few points to help you formulate your perfect timetable:

  1. Make a timetable either on an excel spreadsheet or manually draw one including your class schedule, extra curricula activities and other such commitments.
  2. Identify where in your timetable you have spare time.
  3. Now take a look at your subjects, how many exams you will have for each subject and which subjects require your attention the most.
  4. Depending on how best you revise, you may like to start working through each syllabus or you may prefer to move straight onto exam papers to help you identify your weak areas.
  5. It is important to make your revision timetable realistic and not overload all your spare time with revision, factoring in time for much needed relaxation and restoration.

For more information on how best to formulate a winning revision schedule, please contact Tutor House by sending an email to info@tutorhouse.co.uk.

 

benefits-importance-private-tuition
Free 2015 A-Level Results Day Advice

January 29, 2015

Free 2015 A-Level Results Day Advice

From 10th – 18th August 2015 we’re offering FREE A-Level results day advice for all students in the UK!

The infamous ‘results day’, scheduled for Thursday 13th August 2015, is imminent as students across the UK once more await the final result of two years of dedication, commitment and rigorous study.

We are offering free A-Level results day advice between 10th – 17th August 2015 from our team of highly professional education consultants, so should you have any queries or need a some reassurance, do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be prepared to support you on the day.Call us on 020 773 435 55

Need help knowing with what to do next?

We are offering free tailored advice to all students on the following queries:

  • What to do once you have received your A-Level results
  • What to do if you didn’t get your desired exam results
  • What pre-graduate students can do next
  • The University clearing process
  • Exam retake options
  • Gap year and careers advice
  • Private tuition opportunities
  • Personal statement and CV writing tips

At Tutor House, we strive to assist all students, globally, on results day, whether you’re studying A- Levels, Pre- U or the International Baccalaureate (IB), abroad or here in the UK, to ensure you make the right decision.

If you have met all required grades but have had a slight change of mind…

A-Level Results day has arrived and you have successfully attained all desired grades across your subjects and consequently been accepted to study your chosen degree programme at your desired university.

In this case, congratulations!

However, it is not uncommon have a sudden epiphany and decide that you have not made an informed decision regarding the degree course or University you have chosen to commit the next, at least, three years to.

Some universities will allow you to switch courses within the University and across different programmes, while other universities will accept a transfer after a year of study at the University you originally enrolled to, provided that you achieve the necessary grades. In any case, get in touch with your University as soon as possible!

Nonetheless, you may then decide that you are not ready to commit to higher education just yet and would like to take time out to travel the world or volunteer abroad- an opportunity that you may not be able to take again in the future! It is crucial that you choose the right path and make the best decision for yourself. Take your time to gather your thoughts.

This is decision time!

If you have not met your required grades…

On the other hand, you may not have obtained the grades required for the university of your choice- but do not panic! Universities are high- level educational institutions and are often considerate and understanding of various circumstances. If you have missed your place only marginally then it may be worth pursuing a remark or explaining the situation to the faculty admissions centre- they may be willing to overlook your grades if they feel that your academic and extracurricular background are worth merit.

Alternatively, you can enrol on a course that is still available on the day that results are published through a platform called ‘Clearing’ via UCAS. Clearing can be a stressful process so if you feel that you may not obtain your desired grades then prepare for the competitiveness of courses on clearing.

Universities will want to know why they should accept you onto their degree programme in the place of any other candidate so be prepared to answer their questions, which could include:

  • What were your final A- Level results?
  • What were you predicted grades and why were you unable to attain those grades?
  • Why do you want to study this particular course at this institution? Why is this course suited to your interests and achievements to this date?
  • What will you bring to their university and the wider community?

We can help you!

However, if the different available options listed above are not viable in your situation, Tutor House will be able to offer you alternatives and support you in the process. With Tutor House, you can re-sit individual units or take on and complete an entire A- Level subject, without any previous background work, through focused, structured and tailored, bespoke one-to-one tuition with our team of high- achieving educational professionals, for the academic year.

The benefits of one-to-one tuition are exhaustive, and we have seen many young adults achieve their potential through this means.

A-level 2015 reforms studying
A-Level Reforms – Changing for the better?

December 9, 2014

A-Level Reforms – Changing for the better?

Michael Gove’s proposed A-level reforms are due to be introduced into the teaching curriculum in 2015. However, there has been little evidence to prove that the change in the teaching and examination methods will provide any added benefit for pupils. In fact many influential voices have joined the A-level debate. Particularly those from Schools and Universities who have argued the contrary, that these reforms are short-sighted and could severely harm pupil’s education, their learning and chances of getting into top Universities.

A-levels have been the standard qualification pupils need to obtain for access to higher education since the 1950’s. In the past 20 years however, there has been a crisis of confidence in these examinations. With more and more students dropping out of school prior to taking their A-levels, in conjunction with those that sit their A-Level examinations are failing to meet necessary grades for entry into higher education.

The A-level reform timeline

The reforms in 2000, and the introduction of the AS saw a move away from the traditional examination methods and a wider range of subjects introduced to revive the qualification and make it more accessible to a wider cohort of students. However, evidence of grade inflation as well as talk of  ‘modular mayhem’ meant that many institutions found the AS system somewhat lacking. The less intensive academic structure of the AS level meant that students were perhaps less prepared for the demands of university courses, and even the A2 level, with many failing AS Level. Schools clamoured for an alternative and as a result of this the Cambridge Pre-U examinations were introduced, in 2008.

Traditional A-level structure?

However Michael Gove’s 2015 A level reform proposals now suggest a revision back to the traditional A level structure, a two year course offering robust and in depth knowledge of the chosen subject. This is to be offered alongside the AS level which will be taught in the first year and will be co-teachable, taught alongside the A-level course. The first year will cover the same content as the two year A-level, however choosing this option now no longer allows students to use their first year results as a contribution to count towards the full A-level qualification.

While Gove’s reasons for this are understandable, and are clearly an attempt to move towards a more robust qualification which is appropriate for different cohorts of students, there are severe issues which have made academic institutions very nervous. Disruption for both students and teachers will be unavoidable. Schools will have to come up with revised, and undoubtedly complicated teaching schedules with resources and teachers catering for both the AS and A level. The assessment system will now be changed with a single examination at the end of the two year period for A levels, but an assessment for AS at the end of the first year which will be a standalone result. Gove’s argument that a return to the linear two-year A level system will provide a narrower, more focused purpose is negated by the fact that co-teachability will work directly against that. Insufficient teaching resources could also be an issue across many establishments with lack of books and papers budgting constraints, resulting in Schools and pubils being put at an immediate disadvantage.. The fact that the A level reforms are only currently being adopted across England could also mean that pupils will be treated unfavorably compared to those in the rest of the country when competing for top university places.

The likelihood is that due to the proposed new structure, many Schools will now drop the AS level option altogether, therefore entirely reverting back to the ‘one size fits all’ system. Students will also therefore feel the added pressure of the single examination being the determining factor as to whether they will get in to their desired university, or higher education course, and this could work against them, particularly those who are less academically able.

Why is the A-level reform beneficial?

Perhaps the only positive that may come from the proposed A-level reform is that the return to the structured two year course should see a better standard of knowledge and understanding instilled within pupils, leaving them arguably better prepared for continuing into higher education. However this may only be applicable to the more academically gifted with others having their chances of reaching their full potential unavoidably damaged by the new structure. The reforms seem to have overlooked the fact that it has already been proven that a single system and assessment method simply does not work across a group of students with different interests, and abilities. Furthermore, the obvious resistance from those who now have to deliver the reforms at ground level really does speak for itself.

Contact Tutor House for education advice or for a free private tuition consultation.

Tips on Time Management during this festive season

Tips on Time Management during this festive season

This time of year is a favorite for many people packed with lots of recreational activities, social meetings and much needed relaxing. It is no wonder why this festive season is so looked forward to each year.

With time off during this period it is also an ideal time to finish off assignments and gain a head start in revising for upcoming exams. So how do you make your time productive and make the most out of your break?

Tutor House has put together a few handy tips to help you with effective time management skills:

1. Set a Goal

Make a realistic list of goals you would like to achieve during your time off. This can be as small as finally conquering that chapter in Maths you haven’t quite got your head around or taking a subject and beginning your revision for your upcoming exams.

2. Have a Timetable

By having a rough timetable you will naturally allocate time and energy to achieving your set goals whereas you may have otherwise filled it with alternative activities.

3. Have ‘all rounded’ days

Many students will tend to dedicate a few days to finalising their homework, assignments and revision. But it may be an idea to have an hour or two each day of studying and thereafter go on to reward yourself with a fun packed activity with family and friends.

For further information and advice on how best to utilise your time without compromising your time for enjoyment and relaxing contact Tutor House’s team of educational consultants by sending an email to info@tutorhouse.co.uk.

 

Studying with Friends

Studying with Friends

Friends can sometimes be our best teachers and they can explain and articulate topics in a way which is relevant and makes sense. So why not try leaning on friends more often for help with assignments and revision. Finding the right friend to study with can often be tricky. We all have friends who we know that no matter what pressures we are under we will never be able to study with them. So how do you know which friend you can study with?

Firstly, it is important to ensure that you are at the same level. If for example, one of you is in the top set for Science and the other is in the middle set then you will both have different topics and levels to reach.

Secondly, are your attitudes towards academia similar? Through sharing similar views and opinions regarding learning you can be sure that your friend will take your study sessions as seriously as you.

Thirdly, do you share similar study habits? For example, if you can only concentrate for an hour before needing a short break, however your friend is able to study for a longer duration before requiring a break then you may find there to be a mismatch in routines which will ultimately disrupt how productive your sessions will be.

To discuss this topic further please contact Tutor House by emailing us – info@tutorhouse.co.uk.

Find better tutors, find learning easier
Achieving more starts here. Find, message and book our trusted tutors with just a few clicks.