Blog Tutors Tutoring Tips How to Evaluate Your Students without Using Grades

How to Evaluate Your Students without Using Grades

Grades are often seen by many as a way to see how much a student has progressed in their studies. If they have a high grade, it means they are taking in their lessons well. However, if their grades are low, it means the students need to study more.

While grades are important in determining how well a student is doing, there are other ways you can see their progress. This is crucial now that MOE has reduced examinations for both primary and secondary schools. Here is how you can check your students without using their grades and how you can help them.

Amount of improvement

When looking into your student’s performance, you need to look at their previous semester to get a comparison to their current level.

For example, if the student scored 60 in science in the previous semester and scored 80 in the current semester, it is a great improvement already, especially if the subject is not their best.

If they were able to improve from their previous grades, keep up with your current pace because it may be the reason your student did well. But, if their grades didn’t change, you may have to change how your lessons are structured to help your student understand the material better.

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You should also ask your student why they find the subject difficult and start from there.

Level of effort

If the student is doing their best to improve despite their grades, it is something you should recognize.

Sure, they didn’t get the grade they want despite their efforts, but the fact that they took time and effort to study even if the subject is hard for them is good. It shows that they are committed to learning and it is up to you to help them reach their goals in the future.

As a tutor, you can recommend ways to make their studies easier, such as using flashcards or creating a method to recall key facts.

If your student doesn’t think their effort was good, show them why their effort is important and motivate them to explore ways to be better. If they don’t show any effort at all, you need to find ways to motivate them or change the way you teach the subject.

Speed of improvement

A student’s improvement rate is also a great way to see how well they are doing in school.

For example, if they suddenly start performing great in class after they scored low, it can be seen as a sign of great improvement. In this scenario, your student may have gotten an epiphany and inspired to do better after scoring low in a test or quiz.

However, if they suddenly get low points in class, you can sit down with your students to see if something is wrong.

Factors such as family status, peer pressure in school or health can also affect a student’s grades aside from their academic skills.

When you figure out what is causing your student to lose concentration in class, reach out to their parents for their help. You can also ask your student if your lessons are too fast for them and adjust accordingly if they said yes.

Voluntary participation during your lessons

A student who actively talks and takes part in lessons clearly shows how successful your lessons are for them.

They are able to understand the lessons better and they are willing to learn more about the subject matter. Meanwhile, if they keep quiet in your sessions, it may mean something is wrong with the way you are teaching them.

If your student is active in your lessons, recognize them and consider it when you get their grades. You can do a run-through of your lessons to see if they retained your teachings and compare how well they did for the subjects.

If their grades from school reflect with their active participation in your session, then the pace should not change. If they are not, ask them what is wrong to see if they have a reason for not participating or why there are discrepancies with their grades.

Some students may prefer showing what they learnt through different mediums like art or music.

With this in mind, device small tasks for them to show how much they learnt. You will need to be creative to create these tasks because each student is different.

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Attitude towards education

Students who see the importance of school and education often do good in class. Even if it is difficult, it would not stop them from going to class, doing their work and learning their lessons. However, if the student sees the school in a negative light, especially if they find the subjects really hard, their performance is affected.

With this said, it is crucial that you take some time to know your student’s position about education and their skills.

Before you begin your lessons, ask them what they expect in the lessons and with your relationship as their tutor.

Do they want to take things slowly? Do they want to get advanced lessons? What goals do they have and what do they want to achieve?

You can also address their concerns about education, especially if they don’t see the point for some of them.

For example, if they don’t see the importance of history in their life, let them know why it is important to know the history. As your sessions continue and they see results, they will change their views about their own skills and academics.


Every person’s capability to develop varies and their grades should not be the only indicator people should use to see how well they do. Look at other factors that can show how well they take in their lessons and see how you can help from there.

As a tutor, it is up to you to help your students understand that their grades are only the tip of the iceberg. Let them know that their efforts are not in vain even if they fail to make the grade they want.

Teach them the importance of patience and let them know that with some effort and positive attitude, they will succeed in the end.

To see how you can improve your student’s results, here are some tips:

6 Unforgivable Mistakes Math Tutors Make – Teach Math the Right Way!
10 Podcasts that will Help You Improve as a Tutor


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.