Does My Teen Need a Higher Maths Tutor?

By David Miedzybrodzki
Updated on 9 Dec 2022 Published on 22 Nov 2022
29 Feb 2024

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Past papers are often the best way to revise for your maths exam.

Across Scotland, students are starting to prepare for their prelims - and many parents are starting to particularly worry about how ready their kids will be for their SQA Higher maths exam. In this article, we are going to help you decide if you need a maths tutor for your child.

At novatutors we have seen a surge of parents coming to us to get higher maths tutoring. Often, they have one of two major concerns. The first is that the parent thinks their child is falling behind their peers in the classroom and is perhaps not managing to keep on top of everything their maths teacher is throwing at them. For these students, we have found that having someone give them the time to sit down and talk through the material makes a world of a difference. So, our first advice would be that you should ask your child to see if their school teacher offers extra maths support at lunchtimes/after school. 

Another great tip is for your child to arrange to study with a group and then practise explaining how to answer maths questions to their friends - take it in turns pretending to be a teacher! This way your child forces themselves to think all the way through topics - to a deeper level than they would if they were just reading textbooks or answering questions in silence. (Even if this may sound lame to a teenager, urge them to have a go - it really works!)

A second major reason we have parents coming to us to find a higher maths tutor is that they understand the content reasonably well but need an extra hand to push them over the finish line and reach their desired grade (often for that university application!). For these students who may be hovering the A/B boundary there is one thing that we ALWAYS say: just do past papers. For Higher maths, in particular, there is no better way to revise for prelims or the final exam than to sit down and solve past paper questions. Getting a friendly push into doing past papers early, either on a students’ own or with a tutor to guide them, has a HUGE influence on performance in prelims. This is because students are practising the exact same questions that are going to be asked of them and they are not wasting time stuck in a (often quite dull) textbook. I'll attach the link to the SQA higher exam papers at the bottom of this article.

Not every student needs a tutor. But for many, it can make the difference between falling just short or getting their desired grade. For the higher maths prelim (which is normally sat around winter time), getting a strong result can give students the momentum they need to smash the final exam!

If you are looking for a Higher maths tutor in Edinburgh, a national 5 maths tutor in Glasgow, or a tutor for anything else, anywhere in Scotland, then you can book a call back from a member of the novatutors Tutor Expert Team via the form on our home page!

Happy learnin'

Link to SQA Higher maths past papers & answers: