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Pros And Cons: One-On-One Tutoring Or Class Tutoring?

Are you confused about the differences between one-on-one tutoring and class tutoring? Well, in this article we will break it down for you and go through the pros and cons of both!

We know how difficult it can be deciding on the best tutoring solution for your child. There are just so many options! Do you send them to one-on-one tutoring, or a small class tutoring?

In this article, we will go through the pros and cons of both to help you understand which one best fits your child’s learning preferences!


Table of contents:


So, what the difference between one-on-one tutoring class tutoring?

The simplest explanation is that:

  • One-on-one tutoring: Your child works with one tutor. There are no other students.
  • Class tutoring: Your child learns with peers in a classroom setting.


How do I decide which tutoring type is best for my child?

Both have their benefits and cons for different types of students.

Consequently, it is crucial that you examine your child’s learning habits and goals before you choose the right type of tutoring for them.

These include your child’s:

  • Learning preferences
    • eg. visual, aural, hands-on, group-work, discussions, examples and analogies, repetition etc.
  • Level/proficiency
    • eg. struggling, low-average, average, high achiever etc.
  • Goals
    • eg. target weaknesses, revise topics, learn new content, advance themselves etc.
  • Learning speed
    • eg. fast learner, average learner, slow learner etc.
  • Motivation to study/learn 
    • eg. keen learner, unmotivated, keen until they don’t understand things etc.
  • Personality
    • eg. shy, quiet, loud, easily distracted etc.

It’s important that you take some time to understand your child as a learner. Too often, many parents fall into the trap of holding their child to an unrealistic standard. This is detrimental to the child’s learning because their learning style is not targeted.

So, to get a better grasp of your child’s learning style, you should talk to their teachers, spend time doing homework together, and have a discussion about their preferences.

Now, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both one-on-one and classroom tutoring.



One-on-one tutoring

One-on-one tutoring allows your child to receive individualised help from a tutor.

It is beneficial for students who:

  • Need individualised help with certain subjects/topic
  • Are slow learners
  • Are already advanced, and seeking to further challenge themselves
  • Are easily distracted and demotivated in a classroom setting
  • Are searching for niche help (eg. NAPLAN, ICAS competition etc.)

However, one-on-one tutoring is not limited to these types of students!

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of one-on-one tutoring to see if it’s a good fit for your child.


One-on-one pros

1. Target specific individual needs

One-on-one tutoring is useful for any student who is seeking individualised help!

This includes targeting your child’s weaker subjects, or advancing your child faster than the class’ pace.

Since the tutor doesn’t need to accommodate other students, the student learns at their own pace.

This may help students who are shy feel more confident to ask questions!


2. Your child learns at their own pace

Since the tutor doesn’t need to accommodate for other students, your child learns at their own pace.

The tutor is able to slow down when your child is struggling to understand a topic.

They can spend a few weeks on one topic to ensure that your child fully grasp the concept.

This is often not offered for class tutoring because the class needs to follow their structured timetable. Think about it. You don’t want your child’s class to stop progressing to the next topic because one student is struggling.

If your child is an advanced and fast learner, then one-on-one tutoring gives may offer them space to grow and challenge themselves, because they don’t have to wait for the rest of the class to catch-up.


3. The learning is tailored to your child’s learning style

In one-on-one tutoring, your tutor gets to know your child and their learning style.

This means that each lesson can be tailored to your child’s preferences.

For instance, if your child is more of a visual learner, your tutor can prepare visual diagrams, photographs, and videos for your child.

If your child is a hands-on learner, your tutor can bring counting cubes and die for Maths, or leaves and acorns for Science.


4. Your child can receive specialised preparation closer to exams/assessments

Every student will have exams on different dates. So, it’s unrealistic to expect a class to stray from their timetable to help your child revise for their exam tomorrow.

So, this is where one-on-one tutoring comes in! One-on-one tutoring gives your child specialised preparation.

Your tutors know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, learning habits, and personality.

So, they can prepare appropriate revision lessons for your child!

They can focus on their weaker subjects, proofread and edit work, help your child brainstorm ideas, and provide time to complete past papers.



One-on-one cons

1. Builds dependency on the tutor

One-on-one tutoring helps your child build a strong connection with their tutor. In doing this, students often lose the motivation to do the work by themselves.

This can be particularly detrimental if your child becomes too attached to the tutor or the tutor’s teaching style.

Tutors leave, and some only teach specific grades.

So, your child may reject their new tutor because they’re not the same person. They might even reject their school teacher because it doesn’t match their tutor’s teaching style.

Or worse, they don’t feel the need to self-learn anymore.

Your child might not know how to do assessments by themselves because they’re so used to having the additional help. Or, your child might not feel the need to revise or do homework by themselves, because they know the tutor will help them.


 2. Lack of variety can be demotivating

One-on-one tutoring has less variety than classrooms.

There are only 2 brains in the room, compared to 8 or 12!

The tutor’s delivery of content can get repetitive, and the ideas they share might be unoriginal.

Think about it. When your child is in a classroom setting, other students will pitch their own ideas, thoughts and questions. This expands your child’s perspectives and views and makes class engaging. Having a diverse range of ideas in a classroom allows students to develop their critical thinking skills.


3. No interaction with other students

Your child can learn a lot from other students!

Remember, different people think in different ways.

This means that another student might ask an insightful question that is beneficial for your child’s learning.

Additionally, class discussions are a great way to learn and expand your child’s perspectives, especially for English.

Since English relies heavily on interpretation and analysis, it is interesting to see what other students think and share. This will shape your child’s own interpretation of the text.


4. Lack of resources and training

One-to-one tutors are often self-employed or work for agencies. This means that tutors often need to find or develop their own teaching materials rather than having a dedicated and highly trained academic team who prepare Theory Books and train new teachers and tutors.

As a parent looking for a one-on-one tutor, finding one who not only has good references, a proven track record, and the ability for long-term commitment can be very challenging.

Class tutoring is offered by tutoring companies that have the resources to ensure staff are vetted, trained, and provided with excellent resources like the Matrix theorybooks.


5. Less structure (because the pacing is based on student)

There is also a con to learning at the student’s own pace… it’s the lack of structure!

It’s very easy for the tutor to accidentally spend too much time on a particular topic, especially when your child is still struggling with the concept.

However, this also means that your child will get less time on other topics.

There are only 10 weeks in the term, and 2 weeks of holidays. So, your child only has this amount of time to complete a term’s content… or they will fall behind.




Learn from inspirational teachers now!

At Matrix+, we offer online tutoring lessons with inspirational teachers, detailed Theory videos, and comprehensive resources!

Get ahead with Matrix+ Online

Expert teachers, detailed feedback and one-to-one help. Learn at your own pace, wherever you are.


Class/small group tutoring

Class/small group tutoring is most suitable for students who are:

  • Keen to learn
  • Enjoy a collegial environment
  • Able to keep up with the class
  • Able to pick up new content without too much difficulty
  • Seeking to reinforce and extend their knowledge/skills
  • Seeking to gain and extend their knowledge/skills
  • Externally motivated (by peers, environment etc.)


Class/small group tutoring pros

1. Learn from other students

In classroom settings, your child is able to have group and class discussions.

Class discussions are highly beneficial because you always learn something new from other people!

For example:

  • In English, students share their ideas and perspectives about texts. This will shape and refine your child’s understanding and arguments.
  • In the Sciences, curiosity is key! When students ask more questions, the more they ground their knowledge. So, the whole class benefits!
  • For Maths, asking questions and breaking down the core concepts help students better understand the application of formulae!

Furthermore, your child will build camaraderie. When students help each other, they are learning and solidifying their own understanding.


2. Increase motivation

Class tutoring is much more interactive than one-on-one tutoring.

There is more interaction between students and teachers. This makes it a fun and engaging environment to learn, which will increase your child’s motivation.

Furthermore, there is healthy competition between students.

It keeps everyone accountable, and encourages students to stay disciplined.

When your child sees other students completing their classwork, they will be motivated to stay on task. No one wants to slack off and finish last!


3. Have a support system

Another benefit of class tutoring is the support system.

It’s comforting knowing that other people are in the same boat as you!

Every student feels exam stress. Every student will struggle with challenging concepts and difficult problem questions.

So, when your child sees that they are not the only one struggling, they will feel reassured and motivated to continue learning. This is something that isn’t offered with one-on-one tutoring. Some studies have shown that co-operative or group learning can have as much as 15% improvement in student’s performance in tests and exams. While others have shown that working in groups allows individuals to learn new skills at a lower amount of effort – sharing knowledge amongst peers makes it easier for students to learn new skills and knowledge.


4. Structured learning

Unlike one-on-one learning, class tutoring is very structured.

There are many benefits to this:

  • Your child will know exactly what to prepare before class
  • All topics will be covered (no fear of wasting too much time on 1 topic!)
  • It is easy to find specific content to revise
  • Your child can focus on studying, instead of figuring out what to study



Class/small group tutoring cons

1. Pacing is inflexible

There are always 2 sides of a coin. Although structured learning is suitable for many students, some students suffer from this lack of flexibility.

This is because the pacing is inflexible!

Structured learning doesn’t account for:

  • Students who are struggling with a particular topic and need additional attention
  • Slow learners – Students who take more time digesting information
  • Advanced students who grasp concepts very quickly

At Matrix, we offer complementary one-to-one workshops to help those students who are falling behind or struggling to conquer a particular topic. This offers students the best of both worlds!


2. Teacher’s teaching method may not suit student’s learning style

Every teacher has a different teaching style, and every student has a different learning style!

The issue with class tutoring is that while the teacher can try and accommodate every student’s learning style, sometimes that is impractical.

Better teachers will try to integrate a variety of study methods.

For example, they can show videos of case studies, play interactive class games, draw diagrams, encourage discussions, and use repetition.

However, some teachers will stick to one teaching style only. This is especially harmful to your child’s learning if the teaching style clashes with your child’s learning style. This is why you want to use tutoring colleges that vet their teachers thoroughly and provide them with comprehensive training so they put your child’s success first.


3. May have disruptions

When you’re in a small group, you might come across some distractions!

It is impossible for the teacher to fully pay attention to every student.

So, you may be unlucky and come across a distracting student who will affect the learning of the whole class.

Or, your child might start zoning out and visit la-la-land because they’re not given individual attention.

These are some things you need to consider when choosing the right tutoring for your child.




At Matrix, we recognise the benefits of both tutoring styles!

Our class/small group tutoring is a space for students to learn new content, ask questions, and practise it.

We have inspirational, passionate and knowledgeable teachers who will guide your child to success. All of our teachers and tutors are subject matter experts who receive thorough training before being placed with students, something many tutoring colleges and tutoring agencies fail to do.

Our teachers consistently score above 4.6/5 when surveyed across our cohort of 4500 students.

We also offer complementary one-on-one workshop with our Matrix tutors. All Matrix students (both Term and Holiday course) are able to book a one-on-one workshop if and when they need additional help.

Our tutors will help your child break down challenging topics or school assessments, or provide them with extension practice questions to help them advance their studies. This combination of one-on-one and class learning is the reason Amtrix students come first.

The teachers and workshop tutors answered every one of my questions, ensuring that I understood every concept and that I adopted the right study techniques for me to excel.” – Kevin Zhu, Fort St High School


Written by Tammy Dang

Tammy is a former student of Matrix and is now studying Law / Media (Screen and Sound Production) at UNSW. She is a Digital Content Writer for the Matrix Education blog. Tammy aspires to become a lawyer in the future while continuing to run her art business.


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