Singapore Math Guru

Private tuition costs in Singapore

Private tuition costs in Singapore

If you are doing some research on the costs and rates of private tuition, you have come to the right place. In this article we try to break down as much as possible , the rates that you can expect and what to do the find a good tutor.

The rates for private tuition actually vary depending on many factors. Some factors include the qualifications of the tutor, the distance that the tutor has to travel and also how in demand the tutor is. The latter point is often not spoken about in detail. A tutor in demand can command fees that are 30 % to 50% higher than the market rate.

The table below illustrates more.

 

Qualification of the tutor/teacher Primar y  1,2 & 3 Primary 4,5 & 6 Secondary 1 & 2 Secondary 3 & 4 Junior college year 1 Junior
College year 2
A level/Diploma Holder $20 to $25 $25 to $30 $25 to $30 $25 to $30 $45 to $50 $45 to $50
Undergraduate
Part-Time tutor
$25 to $30 $30 to $40 $30 to $40 $30 to $40 $50 to $55 $50 to $55
Full time tutor $35 to $40 $40 to $50 $50 to $60 $55 to $65 $65 to $75 $65 to $75
NIE Trainee $35 to $40 $40 to $50 $50 to $60 $55 to $65 $50 to $70 $50 to $70
School Teachers $40 to $50 $60 to $70 $65 to $75 $70 to $80 From $75 onwards From $75 onwards

 

Do note that the rates shown above are per hour rates. These rates, if I may add, are only indicative and are just approximations at best.

In fact, the costs related to private tuition have risen over time. I remember a time when even current teachers only charged $30 to $40 an hour. But right now, due to annual inflations rates of an average of 3.3% per annum has caused private tuition costs to rise over time. If inflation continues on this upward trend, there will be a high likelihood that private tuition rates in Singapore will continue to rise. Do refer to the table below. Mean inflation rates for the last 2 years have been 4.9%.

Singapore annual inflation rate

Country name 2009 2010 2011 2012
Singapore 0.6 2.8 5.3 4.5

Reference: data.worldbank.org/indicator/FP.CPI.TOTL.ZG

 

So as we look at the table above, a few things come to mind. Teachers are paid a whopping $70 an hour even for just primary school. And which teacher wouldn’t charge that amount? Current teachers who are teaching have a limited amount of time to give private tuition and this is because MOE has stipulated that school teachers can only give a maximum of 6 hours of private tuition a week. Hence, probably due to the high demand, teachers are able to charge that amount. In fact, it is not an uncommon occurrence for teachers to charge $100 an hour.

Also, another factor that determines the rate of a private tutor is whether the tutor comes from an industry or a professional field that is relevant to the subject taught. A classic example would be a biologist teaching biology at O’ level or an accountant teaching principles of accounts.

Last but not least, the distance that the tutor has to travel to give tuition would affect the rate as well.

In general, private tuition rates are dependent on factors such as experience, qualifications, travel distance, professional field relevance etc. Also, one can expect the rates of tuition to increase as the level increases. This is because the difficulty of teaching a subject increases alongside with the level. Therefore, the same teacher would charge more teaching primary 6 as compared to teaching primary 1. Be sure to expect that.

How to find a good tutor?

So how does one find a good tutor? Well, a lot of it is trial and error. We have heard of parents hiring school teachers for a month just to fire that same teacher at the end of the month. On the other hand, we have also heard of graduate tutor or undergraduates doing a fine job of teaching a subject like additional mathematics. The truth is, qualifications are one thing but can the teacher or tutor really deliver?

That is something that only the parents can answer. Trial and error is a must. Find a tutor. Ask about the tutor’s qualifications and check if you are comfortable with it, give it a shot. With regards to primary school math tutors or teachers, find out if the tutor understands heuristics concepts like working backwards, guess and check, assumption etc. If the tutor has not heard of such concepts, then it is probably necessary to move on to the next tutor. So try the tutor out for a month or so. Check if the child has chemistry with the tutor.From the little that we know, chemistry between the tutor and the child can make a substantial difference. No chemistry = no results!

After one month, you should be ready to have a chat with the tutor. In 1 month, the tutor can assess your child and your child and you can also assess the tutor. Give it time. Rome was not built in a day. It takes time for the tutor to identify the child’s weaknesses as well.

Get referrals by word of mouth. Do not be afraid to ask around. Find out which other tutors have worked for your friends. Give them a call and find out if a trial can be arranged.

Also, read more about Singaporemathguru.com. Try our questions and find out more about primary school math here. We have a collection of 1000’s of questions and growing and you have absolute free access to all our questions. Your child can sign up, attempt the questions and get his scores recorded. And from there, you can find out your child’s weaknesses and you can share that with the tutor.

www.singaporemathguru.com is such a young company that many people that call in and contact us simply do not understand its value. A lot of the questions on the site are adapted from questions in the exam papers of top schools. These questions are typically adapted from CA1 , SA1 , CA2 and SA2 of these same schools. And spin offs are organised into exercises so that as your child do them, doing a few as compared to doing 1 such question will create more of an imprint on the mind. With repeated practice, a student can get really good at it. And also, the answers are given immediately. How much you may ask ? Well, it’s absolutely free to attempt and access these questions and get diagnosed on the weak topics and question types. Use it! And present these findings to your tutor. Communicate your needs to your tutor well and you will find that you child’s results will improve over time. Of course, the tutor should be good enough.

Ask about the types of materials the tutor uses

Also, do ask about the types of materials that a tutor uses. Ask about the assessment books that he recommends. If he has none that he can recommend for the subject that he is teaching, then chances are that the tutor is a novice. Well, if a tutor is a novice , then the rates may be a lot lower if you are prepared to give the tutor a chance. Everyone deserves a chance don’t they? Be sure to stay tuned to this space as we intend to write about great assessment books vs mediocre assessment books.

No such thing as a good and cheap tutor.

Well if you are thinking, would it be possible to find a tutor that’s both good and cheap. Well, let us break it to you gently that those are few and far between. Good tutors know they are good and tend to charge more. It’s as simple as that. Of course, if you get a tutor that has little experience and charges cheap, you really can’t ask for much there. We would say be prepared for disappointment in such a case.

In any case, there is always an alternative to private tuition and that is what we are trying to do. With the advent of technology, learning has been a lot more accessible than before. These days, the term “flipped classroom” has become a norm in learning institutions. The whole idea is to access learning materials online and  classroom time would be devoted to answering queries. That is what www.singaporemathguru.com is trying to do. If you find private tuition too costly, then do check out and navigate more of our site. At our site, the basic service of accessing questions and answers are absolutely free. You could be attempting thousands of questions on our site from you home and not pay anything at all. You could track how your child is progressing without leaving the comfort of your home. Share these questions with your teachers and tutors and seek clarification. Now, if you have no tutors, no problem. At just $39.90, you can access to over 300 hours of video explanations made by our teachers, with everything covered from the simplest such as model comparisons to non routine questions and anything that is in the MOE syllabus. That’s right! It’s just $39.90 per month for over 300 hours of video explanations that it’s as good as having a tutor answering all your queries. Sign up today!

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