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Strategies to Get the Best Work from Your Students

As tutors, it is our goal to help our students be the best they can be. We help them discover ways on how they can express themselves better and motivate them in doing well in their studies.

There are several strategies available to help students get the best work they can do for a task. However, because of the number of strategies that you can do, it can be hard to get the right results.

If you want to get started in helping your students opportunities to grow, here are the strategies you can try out:

Help them see, clarify and emphasize the purpose

Sometimes, students don’t immediately see what needs to be done.

They will interpret the purpose the way they see it and as a result, they are unable to complete the task completely. Look at their work and ask them why they ended up in doing the task in their specific method.

Help them understand the purpose and emphasize the key points they can work with to reach the best conclusion.

You can also explain to them why the task is important and let them know they can do the task at hand no matter how difficult it is. Let them know that you are also behind them if they need help.

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Help them create their own standards for quality

Your students won’t be able to apply good quality to their work immediately because they don’t know how to do it.

To help your students, teach them how to create their own criteria or method on how they can achieve the quality they want for their school work.

You can also offer examples of how they can apply their criteria on their own and get your assistance when needed.

Revisit ‘old’ work

As your student does various homework during your sessions, you will be able to collect their assignments to see how well they have improved over an extended period of time.

You can take a look into these works, identify which areas need to be improved on and how you can do the same task with a different method. You can also ask them to redo the work to see if they can do better than before.

Looking at these works may also inspire your student in finding ways to better.

Give them unique feedback

As a tutor, you need to remember that you shouldn’t always comment on your student’s actions. It only causes them to lose their interest and think that their skills are not enough.

Time your feedback and ensure that your feedback will help with their different learning styles.

For example, you can provide them with examples of how they can improve on a certain task. You will need to think carefully about how to word the feedback because while feedback is easy to give, positive feedback that actually works is hard to provide.

Don’t immediately react after the task. Take time to review the work, see what ways are possible in fulfilling the task and give that feedback in your next session.

You can also teach your students how to apply that feedback if they need your help.

Break big stuff into little stuff

Sometimes, it is not good to attack a task head-on without understanding how it works and how everything fits together.

When given a task, teach your student to break down large ideas or tasks into small pieces to understand how the entire idea works.

As they work on these small tasks/ideas, it will make it easier for your students to understand what they need to do to reach the result needed. It will also help them apply what they learn through the activity easily.

Make design thinking a part of the assignment

You can also teach your students how to practice design thinking.

Design thinking is a special process that causes its practitioners to understand what is at hand by looking at all angles and see what solutions can be used.

It also helps a person learn how to be empathic and the questioning process. Students who are able to develop this kind of thinking will also learn how to experiment with ideas and concepts.

Use metacognition before, during and after each assignment

When your students get assignments, there are a lot of thoughts running in their mind.

Using metacognition will help them to sort out their thoughts and feelings towards the assignment.

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When you do know they have an assignment, ask them questions like their thoughts about the assignment.

Ask them about their opinion about the topic provided, what they feel about it as they do it and what they think after they finish the assignment. How do they feel about doing problem sums? Why is it they don’t like it? Why do they think it is important?

What else can you do?

Some students will need some motivation to get them to work. Try getting their attention and use ways to get their attention focused on you.

Use videos, music or even do mini-experiments to get their attention. Of course, you need to make sure that the activity you have in mind matches the assignment. After the activity, you can ask your students to use the experience as a way to do their work well.

When your students do well, recognize it.  If they did well, you can look back at the task given and see how they can do better next time. If they still have areas to improve on, you can look at the task together, point where improvements can be done and let them revise.

When they finish the revisions, check again and see how well they improved. You can also do a reflection about the benefits of these revisions and let your students know how to do revisions.


When trying to teach your students to do their best, it is important that you know that your students will need help.

Remember, you both have different perceptions of what is high quality and how it could be attained. However, your student may need some help in ensuring that their work is high quality.

With the strategies, we listed above, we hope that it will give you an idea on how you can help your students and inspire them to do well.

To improve your skills as a tutor, here are some articles:

10 Podcasts that will Help You Improve as a Tutor
Singapore Tutor Tips: 5 Ways on How to Handle a Disrespectful Student


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.