What does an Academic Tutor do?

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  • Written By: Lily Ruha
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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An academic tutor helps students achieve their school-related goals. The duties of an academic tutor typically include assessing knowledge and skills, teaching subject-specific content and monitoring student progress. Tutors work in a variety of settings, including grade schools, colleges, universities, academic tutoring centers and in private homes. Academic tutors’ salaries span a wide range depending on knowledge, skill level, experience and academic setting.

Academic tutors often assist students who are struggling in school. Passing an academic subject, becoming more comfortable with test taking and obtaining in-depth knowledge of a subject are some of the challenges for which students seek out academic tutors. To achieve these goals, tutors usually work with students individually or in group settings.

The specific duties of an academic tutor vary from setting to setting. If hired to help a junior high school student work through his math homework, for example, the tutor might visit the student’s home several times a week to review math problems. If tutoring in a community college writing lab, he might be required to help a group of students perfect their writing skills. An academic tutor in a tutoring center might be required to assess the academic skills of students, sometimes through the use of computer-aided instructional tools.


To obtain work as an academic tutor, an applicant must demonstrate mastery of required subjects. These requirements will vary depending on the employer. If tutoring a geometry student, for example, the prospective tutor can present a report card demonstrating that he successfully completed and excelled in geometry. Although tutors are not usually expected to know everything about an academic subject, they do need to be proficient enough to successfully guide students through the learning process.

In addition to content-specific guidance, some tutors are expected to help students with other aspects of learning. Teaching students time management techniques might be one aspect. Dealing with the challenges of test taking is another. One way tutors might do this is to introduce effective test taking strategies. These strategies might include helping students anticipate test questions ahead of time or teaching them to breathe and relax during test time.

In some settings, particularly in colleges and universities, academic tutors work in exchange for college credit. In this scenario, they are usually required to tutor students for a minimum number of hours each week. In some situations, academic tutors are evaluated on a regular basis by university staff or through written evaluation forms filled out by students.


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