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Credit Class vs Tutoring

  1. Aug 15, 2011 #1
    I'm planning on continuing my education after about a ten year break. I originally got an AAS in criminal justice. Then I left the country for a long time. Anyway, I'm back now and I'd like your advice.

    I'm planning on doing some math and science classes at the local community college before transferring of to uni-land. I placed into http://www.howardcc.edu/academics/program_information/course_outlines/math/MATH%20070%20Course%20Outline.pdf" [Broken] via Accuplacer. The tract is then PrecalculusI and PrecalculusII before finally getting to Calculus.

    My sister has suggested a couple of math teachers (from the high school where she works) that she feels can bring me up the level of placing into CalcI in time to start the spring term, about six months.

    Since I already have 2 years of college, I don't really need the 6 Precalc credits or the Math-070 credits either. My adviser also suggested I take the Accuplacer again since I wasn't too far from placing into the Precalc classes as it is.

    What do you guys think about skipping these credit classes in favor of being tutored by experienced professionals in the hopes of placing into a higher level?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2011 #2


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    Professional tutoring can be pretty expensive, especially if it's going to be your main method of learning the material. I'd guess that the cost would equal that of tuition after only a few sessions, depending on how much help you need. If you plan to self-study and use the tutor sparingly, then it might work. Personally, I prefer a classroom for learning mathematics.

    In the end, it'll be up to your preference and budget. :smile:
  4. Aug 15, 2011 #3
    Thanks for your input Dembadon. I should have mentioned that I'll be aiming for a "friend's and family rate" for the tutoring. I also should have mentioned that I won't be eligble for student loands/grants until next semester, so I'll be paying for school and books out of pocket anyway. I think I'm looking at more money with tutoring, but not that much more.

    I prefer learning in a classroom seting also. To me, that's the biggest drawback of choosing the tutoring option. But hopefully the one on one aspect might allow me to move faster than I would in a regular class. Curse my indecision!
  5. Aug 15, 2011 #4


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    Good news about the discounted rate. I hope it works out for you and agree that it's possible to progress faster by going the tutoring route.

    Going the classroom route, I ended up taking 3 mathematics courses that don't count towards my major. I don't fully regret the decision, but I do question how necessary it was for me given my aptitude for the subject.
  6. Aug 16, 2011 #5
    Thanks for relaying your experience. I definitely don't want to take three classes/9 credits and spend 18 extra months in school if I don't have to. Just the idea is so discouraging. (But I would be willing to do it to complete my degree if I need to.)

    Hopefully I'm not overestimating my ability to speedily learn the material. I want to meet with the tutor soon so that I can take an evaluation with her. That should give me a better idea of how realistic the possibility of skipping these classes really is.

    Is there anyone who has done what I am about to try to do (successfully or otherwise)? Have anything to add?
  7. Aug 16, 2011 #6


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    I'd definitely give the tutoring route a shot. One of the benefits of college is that you learn how to learn. You already have two years under your belt, but I'm guessing the majority taking Math 070 are just starting out. The pace of the class will likely be geared for them, so it may a bit slow for you. Plus you said you're right on the verge of testing into precalc. Sitting through all that intermediate algebra may be quite mind-numbing.
  8. Aug 16, 2011 #7
    Indeed. I appreciate the observation. There are so many other things out there to numb my mind, reality shows and such, that I should probably do my best to protect my brain.

    I suppose the worst case scenario is that I test into precalc and end up a little bit further than where I started.
  9. Aug 16, 2011 #8
    You may want to check if your school offers free tutoring. Both the CC and the uni I've had classes at did. They usually say the tutoring is for help with the classes your taking. But if they're not busy with other students, I doubt the tutor(s) would refuse to help you with your self studying.
  10. Aug 17, 2011 #9
    That's not a bad idea at all. At the least they might be able to give me some tips to prepare for taking the Accuplacer again. Thanks!
  11. Aug 24, 2011 #10
    Quick follow up:
    The tutor took forever to meet with me. When she finally did, she just gave me a test and didn't bother talking to me. In the end she basically decided that it would be too much trouble to tutor me. With out time to find another tutor, I'm starting class on Monday.

    So the lesson here is that if you want to do what I tried to do, find several qualified tutors and start early.
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