SmileTutor BlogSmileTutor Tutors Tutoring Tips Do Tutors Still Need to Buy Assessment Books?

Do Tutors Still Need to Buy Assessment Books?

In recent years, a lot has changed within the tuition industry. Tutors are constantly improvising their methods or techniques to conduct their lessons.

Most private tutors were used to buying thick, costly assessment books for their students to work on during their lessons. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has opened up doors when face-to-face tutoring was prohibited and tutors were forced to find other alternatives to help their students.

Different methods of tutoring were put into consideration and it seems that tutors bringing assessment books for their tutees to drill on is not very necessary or effective anymore.

If you are a tutor wondering about what other options you can utilise to make your tuition sessions more cost-friendly yet effective, read on! I’ve compiled alternatives that you can consider.

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Free online resources

When the mode of learning switched to virtual learning, there was an influx of online resources available on the internet, many of them were free.

Past-year papers online are a great way for students to practice and test themselves based on realistic questions that have been tested before, to see if they are able to put their knowledge and learning to good use.

It is a pragmatic exposure to the level of difficulty and standard that they should be ready for.

There are also many places such as websites where tips or notes on a specific topic or subject can be found.

Tutors can make use of these free online resources to their advantage. If you’re conducting Home-Based Learning (HBL) or do not want to waste your time and money printing, you can use these materials in class or send them directly to your students or their parents.

Watching videos

There has also been an increase in educational videos on platforms such as YouTube. You can easily search for a specific topic or concept that you want to introduce to your student and let them watch videos on them.

Watching videos has been proven to keep the student more attentive as they are occupied by the moving graphics and sounds, which can appeal to visual and aural learners.

It’s also easier to explain certain concepts through videos (e.g. the water cycle).

Videos are very effective but should only be used as a learning aid as it cannot substitute the entire learning process for the student, which is why tutors and teachers are still very necessary despite HBL.

Solving issues with homework

With HBL, some students are having trouble with managing their learning and workload. They may have unconducive environments at home or face difficulties learning without a teacher’s face-to-face guidance. 

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Due to the misconception that students have more free time with HBL, many of them have faced a stark increase in homework from their teachers or even their parents.

In your lesson plan, it would be a great help for them by setting aside some time to help them with school homework that they are having problems with. 

However, you should try to encourage your students to give their homework a try on their own and only ask you questions that they’re really stuck with. Help them out with one question at a time and get them to try the other questions with similar concepts on their own. 

This is to prevent the student from relying on spoon-feeding and actually attempting their homework with their own capabilities to know where their learning voids are.

Set your own questions

Nowadays, national exams are beginning to test application skills. This means that the overused questions that you can find on past-year papers or assessment books might not be enough to help your student prepare for their exams.

It would be beneficial if you can come out with application questions as a tutor to help your student practise diverse and unique types of questions.


Games are a great way for the student to have fun while learning as the student is actively stimulated.

Whether or not you’re conducting face-to-face lessons, there are many game options for you. You can create physical games of your own or use educational online games that have already been created for use.

Examples of educational online games include Kahoot, which tests the students’ understanding with speed and accuracy. As students activate their competitive spirits, they will be highly engaged.


The popularity of assessment books has dwindled nowadays as more tutors seek other methods to coach their students without having to buy pricey materials or carrying a heavy book.

Sticking to the same assessment book for every lesson, throughout the whole year, can be really limiting as these assessment books may not be very in touch with the questions that will actually come out for the exams.

Considering the price, trouble and effectiveness, it seems to be wise for tutors to seek other alternatives for their lessons.

What do you think? Which of these alternatives do you think are useful for you?

Want to know how else you can improve your online tutoring? Read our related articles:

Covid-19 Sure-Fire Tips for Better Online Teaching for Tutors

10 Books to Boost Your Online Tutoring Game

Top Online Tools and Software for Tutors

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.