Math can be a VERY frustrating subject for your child.
Through primary, secondary and JC, many students continuously struggle in grasping mathematical concepts. In fact, students often turn to Math tuition for additional help.
I’ve noticed that parents often struggle to decide on the type of Math tuition that is most suited for their child.
The SHEER number of options for a Math tutor in Singapore can be overwhelming!
Here’s where I can help, in this unbiased article, I aim to shed light on all types of Maths tutoring you can find in Singapore – along with their pros and cons – so that you can make the ABSOLUTE best choice for your child.
1.0 Overview of Math Tuition Singapore
There are 3 kinds of Maths tuition types: Group tuition, Private tuition and Enrichment centres in Singapore.
• Private tuition: 1-1 math home tuition, which usually takes place at the tutee’s home/ convenience. Tuition rates are set by the market.
• Group tuition: Group-based math tuition taught in a classroom based setting, with an average of 10-40 students in a single class.
• Enrichment Centres: Group-based math tuition with a focus on the learning process, instead of rote learning.
As you read on, I’ll be elaborating more on each of these types of tuition, including what they are, who are they suitable for, and things to keep in mind.
2.0 Private Math Tuition
Private tuition is one of the most popular options that many parents consider for their child. The benefit of personalised classes and focused attention for your child cannot be over-emphasized.
The 2 main ways you can look for a private tutor would be through a tuition agency or yourself i.e. DIY method.
2.1 Top Math Tuition Agency
1) What is a Tuition Agency?
Tuition agencies are an intermediary between tutors and parents/students looking for tutors. They offer a FREE service for their clients, which differentiates them from other forms of Math Tuition.
Tuition agencies have gotten increasingly more popular over the past few years, following the tuition boom in recent years.
A typical scenario when a parent engages a tutor:
1. Tutor request is sent in, stating tutor requirements and subject required
2. Agency recommends a suitable tutor within 24 hours
3. You are able to choose a tutor and have a phone interview with him/her
4. Tutor goes down for the first lesson
Tuition agencies store a database containing the particulars of various tutors under them. Private tutors generally sign up under multiple agencies to get the most jobs. Hence requesting for a tutor through 1 quality agency is sufficient.
2) Who are tuition agencies most suitable for?
Are you getting a Math tutor for the first time? Or happen to need one on short notice? Going through an agency would be the most efficient and convenient option!
Alternatively, if you are sourcing for a tutor for a specific type of math i.e. Math Olympiad/GMAT/SAT/University math modules, an agency would also be better able to find a tutor that meets your needs.
If you intend to get a private math tutor but do not know where to start, it may be a good idea to find one through a tuition agency. Tuition agencies provide a FUSS FREE method for parents to find a tutor.
If you have strict requirements for the tutor you are looking to engage, I.e. experience in handling children with special needs, it would be advised that you source for a tutor via an agency as they would be able to verify the tutor’s experience through their past records.
3) Things to keep in mind before choosing a tuition agency
Service – Your experience may differ greatly when you engage different agencies. It would be better to go for a responsive agency who would go the extra mile for their clients and be ready to assist you throughout the entire process of finding a tutor.
Pro tip: Give the agency a call, or leave your number on their website to gauge how responsive they are, or how helpful their coordinators are.
Quality of database – A quality tuition agency would be familiar with the track records and the past performance of their tutors in order to recommend parents the most suitable tutor to meet their needs.
Not all tuition agencies regularly update tutor information and track the successful tuition assignments.
Pro tip: A way you could “test” the agency is by asking them how much they know about tutors they have recommended you.
Number of tutors – It would be wise to go for a tuition agency with a large number of tutors in their database as it would allow them to find the best match for your requirements.
Established tuition agencies are more likely to have a better pool of tutors as they have been present in the market for a longer time and have managed to build up a substantial number of registered tutors in their system.
4) Things to keep in mind before choosing a private tutor
Experience level – You may find certain tutors to be more expensive, but know that “you get what you pay for”. Often, the experience level of a tutor is linked to their rates, so make sure that you find the right balance between a tutor that is suitable for your child and a tutor that is a worthy investment!
Teaching style – Does your child prefer a certain method of learning? Is your child a visual/ logical/ verbal learner?
Different tutors have a different teaching style and hence make sure to enquire on the way they conduct their lessons to ensure that they are the right fit for your child.
Familiarity with syllabus – You would definitely be on the look-out for this! How familiar the tutor is with the current syllabus is definitely a concern for most, if not all parents.
Singapore’s math syllabus has gone through numerous changes over the past few years and it is important that the tutor is familiar with the current marking style and syllabus.
Location – Unable to have tuition in your home? Do not fret, most tutors are willing to conduct the tuition in a suitable public area or may invite students to have tuition in their home.
Rates – Tuition Rates are set by the market and set accordingly to the experience of the tutor. Full-time tutors are a mid-priced option where most parents tend to start with, especially if their child requires hand-holding and guidance![table “9” not found /]
5) Top tuition agency for Math
SmileTutor Home Tuition Agency
SmileTutor is the #1 home tuition agency in Singapore. With the industry’s most comprehensive tutor database and experienced coordinators, SmileTutor helps parents, tutors and students find each other more efficiently.
The service is 100% free for all clients and they take pride in helping your child find the best tutor for all levels and all subjects. SmileTutor is a neutral 3rd party and does not endorse specific tutors.
Contact (Call): 6266 4475
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 9am-8pm
Address: 21 Bukit Batok Crescent #22-76, Singapore 658065
Testimonials from happy clients!
For more testimonials of SmileTutor, click here.
2.2 DIY Method
1) What is the DIY method?
Do you often look for a tutor without the help of a tuition agency? You may not have known it… but you are already using the DIY method!
As a parent, you would definitely turn to personal contacts first to ask for tutor recommendations. Most parents go on social media/ forums to hunt for potential tutors.
However, if you have exhausted all your personal networks, you may find it difficult to find a tutor.
The difference between going through a tuition agency and using the DIY method is that the DIY method is more effortful for you and takes a longer time.
2) Who should use the DIY method?
If you have a lot of time on your hands and wish to take a very proactive approach in interviewing and checking on the credentials and history of each tutor, then the DIY method is for you!
3) Things to keep in mind before using the DIY method.
Credentials of tutor – If you chance upon a tutor online, a potential issue would be the inability to verify the credentials of the tutor. Important considerations such as how responsible the tutor is would also remain unknown until the first lesson.
Testimonials – Even if a tutor is recommended by others, there would be a lack of first-hand testimonials that you could refer to. It would be hard to determine if the tutor is truly good until you have committed to the tutor.
4) Top platforms to use the DIY method
Forum sites would be helpful in this area, you can ask fellow parents for their experience in hiring tutors and their recommendations. It is worthy to note that some “parents” promoting tuition services may be tutors themselves.
2. Advertisement portal
An ads portal is also a possible alternative as multiple tutors advertise their services online. Parents are able to contact these tutors directly to vet them before hiring them.
Popular advertisement portal: Gumtree
3. Social media
If you are familiar with telegram channels, you may have heard of this one. Parents are able to post on the telegram channel if they are looking for a tutor and tutors would then contact them directly. Do note that the channel is mostly dominated by part-time tutors looking for tutees.
Popular social media channel: Sgtuitions telegram
3.0 Group Tuition for Math
Group tuition is another popular option for learning Mathematics in Singapore. There are two types of group tuition for Math: Super tutors and tuition centres.
Studies have shown that 1-to-1 private tuition is slightly more effective than group tuition, as your child gets 100% of the attention from the tutor. However, there may be other factors that parents prefer group tuition – such as costs and social environment.
3.1 Top Math Super Tutor
1) What is a Super Tutor?
You may have seen this!
“Super Tutor” was a term coined by Straits Times, referring to tuition teachers with an annual income of $1 million.
These tutors are best known for their reputation and specialized teaching style.
Did you know? There is only 1 Super Tutor for each subject. They generally own their own tuition centre, where they teach with other tutors they employ.
2) Who are Super Tutors most suitable for?
So…. would a Super Tutor be suitable for your child? That would be dependant on your child’s needs!
If your child is struggling in school or has tried other types of math tuition but hasn’t seen results, a Super Tutor may have what you need!
Reading the glowing reviews on their website, it is clear that many students have seen an improvement in grades. I would consider a Super Tutor to be a level above a typical Maths tutor Singapore.
Just by browsing their websites, you would probably notice that Super Tutors take a lot of pride and effort in their reputation.
So if the reputation and track record of a tutor is the most important criteria for you, and cost is not a factor, a Super Tutor might be the best choice!
3) Things to keep in mind before employing a Super Tutor
Teaching Ability – Although they have been labelled as “Super Tutors”, it is important to note that the label may not be fully representative of teaching ability as it is purely based on declared annual earnings.
Reputation – Through personal research, I would advise parents to be on the look-out for tutors who have started to identify themselves as Super Tutors, despite not being endorsed by Straits Times. Ensure that you do ample research to ascertain their credibility.
Class size – Because of the popularity of these Super Tutors, their tuition classes are mostly packed and hence it may be hard for your child to get personalized coaching or ask the questions he or she needs easily.
Cost – Cost is definitely an important consideration, Super Tutors are EXPENSIVE to employ, with hourly rates from $70-$120, equivalent to engaging a current MOE teacher as a private tutor!
Waiting Time – It may be VERY difficult to secure a spot with a Super Tutor as they tend to have a long waiting list of students looking to get into their classes. If you’re intending to start classes immediately, it may be difficult.
Results – Naturally, you would expect that good results would be guaranteed with a Super Tutor, however, that is not always the case.
There are many cases where students enrol in these elite classes, but end up falling behind due to the increased expectations of being taught by a Super Tutor.
*Word of caution* During my research I came across Super Tutors who no longer personally teach their classes, instead, they employ others to teach on their behalf. Hence, please double check who is the one teaching when booking a class.
4) Super Tutor for Math
Miss Loi’s Joss Sticks Tuition Centre started in 2007, focusing on Math. Miss Loi specializes in O level math but has expanded her classes to cater to science as well as JC students.
She rose to her ranking of a super tutor in a 2008 Straits Times Article. She has also gone on to produce her own exam papers catering to secondary maths tuition.
Level taught: Sec 1- JC2
Cost: $320-$480/month (2 hours x 4 lessons)
With her witty humour, Miss Loi is definitely one of a kind!
3.2 Top Math Tuition Centres
1) What is a Math Tuition Centre?
I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of a tuition centre, a typical branch based private tuition institution.
Although many think of tuition centres as the cheaper alternative to private tuition Singapore, this is not always true!
2) Who are Math tuition centres most suitable for?
Would a tuition centre work for your child? I find that Math tuition centres are a great option for students that are able to study well in a group and do not face issues shuttling to and from tuition centres.
Additionally, if your child is able to cope with the lessons at the tuition centre being at a different pace from what is taught in school, tuition centres would be a good option!
If you are looking to get tuition in multiple subjects and do not want to burn a hole in your wallet, it would probably be cheaper to opt for tuition centres instead of Super Tutors.
3) Things to keep in mind before choosing a Math tuition centre
Qualifications of teachers – Are you particular about the qualifications of tutors teaching your child? If you are concerned about this aspect, make sure to call in to enquire ahead.
Although some centres emphasize their stringent hiring policy, not all of them do. Some centres may employ undergraduates as part time-tutors, whereas others only hire ex MOE teachers.
Teaching style – Many parents miss this out, but the consistency of teaching style would be something you may wish to consider. Tuition centres tend to employ different tutors to teach in their classes, hence, it is difficult to determine what teaching style your child would receive.
Due to an often large class size, students may spend more time doing assessments and have less undivided attention from the teacher.
Homework – Looking for tuition to get additional practice? Make sure to enquire on the centre’s homework policy.
Not all tuition centres give out homework and additional practices to be done out of class time, some do not give out homework.
Class Size – Although there has been a recent trend in decreasing the class size, note that it comes with added costs in terms of higher monthly fees.
Class sizes vary greatly between different tuition centres.
Trial Lessons – Thinking of trying before buying? Some tuition centres offer trial lessons, however, do note that the more popular centres may opt for a discounted trial lesson rate instead of a free lesson.
Location of centres – If convenience and distance from home is a potential consideration, make sure that you check out the location of the tuition centre/ their various branches before signing up for classes.
Resources available – Some tuition centres have their own resources i.e. assessment booklets and notes, however, some tuition centres rely on past year papers they may collect from their students over time.
Check with the centre as Math is definitely a subject you would like to get the most practice resources for!
*Word of caution* Certain tuition centres guarantee results, e.g. “Proven 2 grades improvement in 1 term”. It is important to question these claims as they are rarely backed by reliable statistics.
Although, some centres classify themselves as “MOE approved/ accredited”, they are not endorsed by MOE, but simply a registered tuition centre. There is no difference between an MOE approved tuition centre and a typical tuition centre.
4) Top Math tuition centres by location
1. True Learning Centre (Novena)
True Learning Centre was established in 2010, with a team of trained NIE curriculum writers and tutors. They focus on Math tuition and cover A Maths, E Maths, IP Math and A level Maths Tuition. They have 3 branches.
Address: 179B Thomson Road, Goldhill Shopping Centre, Singapore 307626
Contact: 6252 8189
Level taught: P3- JC2
Cost (Primary): $220(4 lessons x 1.5 hours) + $30 registration fee
Cost (JC) : $440(4 lessons x 2hrs) + $30 registration fee
2. EduFirst (Hougang)
EduFirst specializes in personalized tuition – they offer a free diagnostic test for their tuition students to uncover the root of the problem and to design a programme specially catered for the optimized learning for the student.
Address: 21 Hougang Street 51, #01-28, Hougang Green Shopping Mall, Singapore 538719
Contact: 9106 7716
Level taught: P1- Sec5
Cost: $140-$200 (4 lessons x 1.5 hours) + $30 registration fee
1. Nanyang Educational Consultancy (Tiong Bahru)
Nanyang Educational Consultancy specializes in Math and Science, and has over 10 years of experience and 8 branches islandwide. They also have an e-learning platform available for students.
Address: 67A Eu Chin Street, Tiong Bahru Community Centre, Singapore 169715 (Opposite Tiong Bahru Market)
Level taught: Pre school-JC2
Cost: $160-$300/month (4 lessons x 2hrs) + $35 registration fee
2. Math Hub (Redhill)
Math Hub offers a variety of Math Programmes from “Fusion Math” to “IQ Math”. It goes beyond school syllabus to further enrich students’ passion and interest for Math. They have highly experienced full-time tutors and up to date materials for students. They also offer Olympic Math!
Address: Block 57, Lengkok Bahru #01-477, Singapore 151057
Contact: 6562 2497
Level taught: P1- Sec4
Cost: $160-$200/month (4 lessons x 2hrs) + $0 registration fee.
1. Smart Lab (Marine Parade)
Smart Lab focuses on a hands-on learning approach, with 10 students per class, ensuring that each child is provided with the guidance he/she needs. The centre provides well-structured notes which cover exam-oriented questions.
Address: Blk 81 Marine Parade Central #01-628 (Level 2), Singapore 440081
Contact: 6440 3593
Level taught: Sec1-JC2
Cost: $220-$380/month (4 lessons x 2hrs) + $40 registration fee
2. Physics Cafe (Payar Lebar)
The Physics Cafe is dubbed as a premium school in Singapore that specialises in JC, IP, secondary Physics tuition, as featured in The Straits Times, The New paper, asiaone.com, Vulcan Post. The Physics Café uses a unique approach to learning math, physics and chemistry. They have student councillors (high-performing students) and teachers working together to guide students in the class. They gather common challenging questions to form the tuition syllabus. They also branches at Novena, Bishan, Beauty World and Tan Kah Kee MRT.
Address: Singpost Centre next to Paya Lebar MRT, 10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore Post Centre #01-207, Singapore 408600
Contact: 9100 1235
Level taught: Sec1-JC2
Cost: $250-$600/ (4 lessons x 2 hours) + $100 registration fee
1. Timothy Gan (Clementi)
Tim Gan Math Tuition has 2 branches. He specializes in Math tuition, with Mr Gan personally teaching all his classes. He limits his classes to 16 students, and spends the time breaking up topics into bite-sized chunks.
Address: Blk 320 Clementi Ave 4, #01-33, Singapore 120320
Contact: 8784 8161
Level taught: Sec1-JC2
Cost: $220-$380/month (4 lessons x 2hrs) + $0 registration fee
2. The Math Lab (Farrer Road)
The Math Lab focuses on math tuition, with syllabus outlined by MOE teachers. There are standardized classes, fast-track classes as well as intensive classes. With a small class size of 5-8 students, it helps them to identify individual weaknesses in students.
Address: Blk 4, Queen’s Road #02-121, Singapore 260004
Contact: 6475 624
Level taught: Sec 1 – JC2
Cost: $320-$625 (4 lessons x 2hrs) + $40 registration fee
5) Top Math tuition centres with the most branches
1. Mavis Tutorial
Mavis Tutorial runs a specialized in-house curriculum to engage and interest students in the subject. Students are also regularly quizzed to gauge their level of proficiency. They also run targeted Math revision courses in preparation for exams.
Address: 15 Braches islandwide
Contact: 6282 4011
Level taught: P1- JC2
Cost: $117.70-$301.75/month (4 lessons x 1.5/2hrs) + $21.40 registration fee
2. Aspire Hub
Aspire Hub was founded in 2001. They have a specialized coaching framework, which uses a tutorial style instead of lecture style, with 6 students per class, allowing for a 1-1 approach in accordance with the needs of each student.
Address: 10 Branches islandwide
Contact: 6316 6675 (West Mall)
Level taught: P1- JC2
Cost: $660-1,200/term (12 lessons x 2hrs) + $35 registration fee
3. AGrader learning Centre
AGrader offers trial classes, teaching videos, a robust curriculum with a “3-R” framework and AURA teaching methodology.
Address: 12 branches islandwide
Contact: 9824 1042 (Clementi)
Level taught: K1- Secondary 4
Cost: $112-$165/month (4 lessons x 2 hours) + $30 registration fee
6) Top Math tuition centres based on niche
1. IB Super (IB)
IB Super specializes in IB as well as IGCSE syllabus. With a small class personalized approach, students are able to get the help they need from their Math tutors at a suitable pace and learning style.
Address: 2 branches
Level taught: Grade 9-12
Cost: $320/ month (4 lessons x 1.5 hours) + $0 registration fee
2. Learner’s Lodge (IP)
Learner’s lodge has over 10 years of experience in the industry, they are committed to helping students get ahead in various subjects in a supportive environment. They specialize in JC math, but have expanded to IP classes over the years.
Address: 6 branches
Contact: 9119 9665
Level taught: IP1-IP4
Cost: $320/month (4 lessons x 2 hours) + $100 registration fee
3. Prep Zone Academy (SATs)
Prep Zone Academy focuses on exam preparation for students going through SAT exams. The exam prep package consists of practice and revision sessions, doubt clearing sessions as well as tutorial classes.
Address: 2 Branches
Contact: 6812 9999
Cost: $1688/package (58 hours)
4.0 Enrichment Centres for Math
1) What is a Math Enrichment Centre?
The term “Enrichment Centre” is commonly used interchangeably with “Tuition Centre”, however, they are not the same!
You may ask, what is the main difference between an enrichment centre and a tuition centre?
Math enrichment centres focus on the learning process and in creating interest in the subject. Tuition centres in comparison are seen to promote rote learning and testing strategies instead of learning strategies.
Enrichment centres focus on higher-level critical thinking and abstract thinking. Math enrichment centres tend to emphasise on creative problem-solving methods and independent learning.
2) Who are Math Enrichment Centres most suitable for?
Don’t want your child to end up memorising concepts? Want your child to learn through discovering? Want your child to develop an interest in Math?
If you are particular about the method your child learns math, Enrichment centres may be a good choice as they emphasize self-discovery and learning.
Most parents agree that enrichment centres are beneficial for younger students who are in the process of learning and discovering.
Or if you find that your child is disinterested in the subject or has issues grappling with key math concepts, enrichment classes may also be beneficial as they focus on teaching concepts instead of rote learning/ pure memorization.
3) Things to keep in mind before choosing a Math Enrichment Centre
MOE syllabus – Did you know? Not all enrichment centres teach in-line with MOE syllabus.
Ensure that you are aware of the differences and be ready to help your child reconcile the differences.
Pedagogy – Different enrichment centres have their roots in different countries and have a different teaching style even for the same subject. Ensure that you are familiar and clear with the focus on their lessons i.e. fostering interest in the subject or conceptual thinking before signing up.
Commitment – Due to the nature of the enrichment centre, the minimum commitment period may vary, from a month to a term (12 lessons).
Homework – Different enrichment centres have different teaching styles, which are related to the amount of homework they would allocate students to do at home.
*Word of caution* Although enrichment centres often differentiate themselves from tuition centres with their specific pedagogy, the difference between the 2 is sometimes negligible. Some enrichment centres also focus on rote learning and drilling students with practices.
4) Top Math Enrichment Centres?
1. Seriously Addictive Math (S.A.M.)
SAM is a global enrichment franchise present in 16 countries. Their curriculum is modelled after the MOE syllabus, with a focus on relational teaching and conceptual understanding (as opposed to rote learning). Realistic goals are set and the learning approach for students are made clear.
Address: 12 branches in Singapore
Contact: 8742 7461 (AMK branch)
Level taught: Pre-primary (4 years old) to Primary 6 (12 years old)
Cost: $450-$650/month (12 lessons x 1.5 hours) + $30 registration fee
Kumon is a global enrichment franchise present in 50 countries. The Kumon method focuses on challenging students to foster independent thinking as well as build self-esteem. Kumon has their own curriculum, which complements the MOE syllabus.
Kumon has 20 levels of math, from 6A to Level O and 5 elective courses. Each student undergoes an assessment before enrolling to gauge their ability and the level of math they would be going through.
Address: 81 branches in Singapore
Contact: 6232 5855
Level taught: Pre-school to JC
Cost: $140/month (8 lessons x 30-45mins) + $40 registration fee
3. MPM Math
MPM Math is a global enrichment franchise present in 6 countries. MPM programme is a multi process-modelling concept, which focuses on step-by-step learning for students, from simple to complex math.
There is a focus on concepts and logical thinking, and students are introduced to advanced thinking models to learn in advance of the school curriculum. The MPM programme is taught in line with MOE syllabus.
Address: 32 branches in Singapore
Contact: 6253 8279
Level taught: K1-P6
Cost: $340-$390/month (8 lessons x 1.5/2hrs) + $60 registration fee
1) The best Maths tuition option for your child
The table below outlines some considerations you may have when choosing a tuition type, and should be matched according to the factors you and your child value.
2) Cost of Maths tutor comparison across levels[table “8” not found /]
That’s it for Math tuition options in Singapore! I hope this article has helped you better decide between the various tuition options available.
Which type of Maths Tuition do you prefer? Share your experience in the comments below!