As a tutor, I've sometimes been confronted with new students contacting me for last-minute tutoring - even less a week before the final Year 12 exam!
Far more common is students who are searching for one or two lessons to quickly focus on a specific area they struggle with. Whilst short-term tutoring is sometimes quite successful, especially for strong students with a small weakness in one area, it can be frustrating for both parties if the student's overall improvement is not drastic. Of course, I will always help you to the best of my ability, even if it is last minute. But the rewards you reap from tutoring are correlated to the amount of time you give yourself to improve.
The most regular subject I tutor is English. If someone books me for one lesson, I can read over and make suggestions for essays, discuss ideas from a specific text, or perhaps help them develop a time plan for the exam. However, these are short-term solutions, very specific to certain situations. What I love about tutoring is my ability to help students develop skills which will last beyond schooling! When I work with a student over a longer period of time, we can target areas like sentence structure, grammar, written fluency, how to analyse texts and time management: in other words, preparing you not only for English in Year 12, but reinforcing skills that are important throughout life.
In first lessons with my new students, I like to spend some time getting to know them, their interests, their learning style, their targeted areas for improvement and their strengths. This is a really valuable part of long-term tutoring, and it allows me to tailor lessons very specifically to the student, which will result in the best possible outcomes!
If tossing up between short-term and long-term tutoring, always think hard about your aims. What do you want from tutoring?
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