July 5, 2022 9:30 am

Is it better to study alone or with a tutor? Tutoring entails seeking supplementary instructions in areas where students have fallen behind academically. Tutoring has become popular among students due to its flexibility and customizable elements. The global online tutoring service market size was valued at USD 6.57 billion in 2021 and continues to grow at an annual rate of 14.7%. In the U.S., for instance, the tutoring service industry in 2022 was valued at $1.5 billion, with over 368,822 people employed as tutors. Tutors offer help in a wide range of subjects and topics.

Still, learning is an innate process for many students, and hence, some prefer learning on their own. Self-learning requires a lot of discipline and can be difficult at first. However, when done correctly, self-study can be an effective way to learn a new subject matter or course.  

As a student, you are likely to find yourself in a situation where you need to decide between self-studying or engaging the services of a tutor. Let’s examine the benefits of each approach so that you can have a clear picture of what you can expect to gain from each option.

Pros of Studying With a Tutor

1.     It Allows a Personalized Approach and Pace

Tutors provide students with the one-on-one engagement needed to excel academically. A tutor gets to know a student’s preferred learning style and adapts their teaching methods accordingly. Complex processes and concepts are explained at the student’s level without the pressure of classroom competition or teacher expectations. Some students dread being called on in class because they feel that their level of understanding is lacking. Other highly capable students will often hide from their peers to avoid being exposed in front of the class. Tutoring eliminates social anxiety by creating a comfortable and safe space for the student to make mistakes and learn based on their individual needs and pace.

2.     There Are Fewer Distractions

A classroom environment has many distractions. From your current crush to the class clown, there are a lot of factors that distract students from learning. The interruptions prevent learners from using their study time wisely. Private tutoring usually happens in a peaceful and quiet setting with very few or no distracting factors. Therefore, a major benefit of tutoring is that tutors give students their full attention, and students are able to fully focus on the study materials.

3.     It Improves Academic Performance and Retention

Students who participate in tutoring see an overall improvement in their academic performance. The learners process and assimilate information at their own pace. Tutoring also demonstrates the best practices for problem-solving and taking exams. Many students have no idea what the best study strategies are. For instance, some math students will prepare for an exam by reading a chapter, yet grinding through as many math problems as possible is more effective. A skilled tutor will clarify such strategies for students and demonstrate the deeper logic behind academic problems. Besides, studying with a tutor boosts the student’s confidence because they are less likely to question their knowledge to pass an exam.

4.     It Improves a Student’s Attitude Towards Learning and School

Tutoring can make learning fun for your child. Students with learning disabilities or those with challenges in handling STEM subjects often struggle to enjoy learning and school in general. Studying specific STEM subjects like physics and math with a tutor enables the student to have the confidence they need to learn and keep up with classwork. When a student has an “Ah-ha!” lightbulb moment, they develop an interest in the subject and start to enjoy learning. Continuous reinforcement from a tutor also benefits a student’s self-esteem, making them more active in school.  

5.     It Encourages Students to Ask Questions

Some students feel uncomfortable raising their hands and asking questions in a class full of peers. In a more relaxed atmosphere of one-on-one tutoring, students become more at ease, since there is no stress from being the center of attention. Even the most reserved students have an opportunity to interrupt and ask questions, big or small. The ability to freely ask questions is a big step in strengthening academic know-how and critical thinking, traits that are vital to academic success.

6.     It Provides Future Opportunities

Schooling is meant to set you up for the next phase of life, be it further education or a career. Studying with a tutor presents a learner with better future opportunities because colleges consider grades in their admission processes. Tutoring improves academic performance at school, which can open doors to better colleges and jobs. Some tutors go beyond assisting students in passing exams or understanding a topic. A high school tutor can assist you in preparing for college entrance assessments, and a college tutor can impart effective study habits and skills for the university level.  

7.     It Improves Social and Behavioral Skills

Studying with a tutor can help you develop better communication skills, thus maintaining good relationships with other people inside and outside the classroom. Children who have tutors often develop skills like listening attentively, openness in expressing areas they are struggling with, communication, goal setting, and perseverance. The social and behavioral skills acquired from tutoring can be applied in many areas of life down the road.

Pros of Self-studying

1.     It Encourages You to Learn More Effectively

Exploring a topic on your own allows you to actively engage with information. This mode of learning encourages you to conduct your own research and compile useful information that can help you in your studies. As a result, self-studying students think about topics more deeply and make more connections with what they are learning than students who have help from a tutor. When you are engaged in and excited about learning, it is easier to remember the material being covered. You also build study habits that help you tackle challenging schoolwork and explore new topics.

2.     You Learn at Your Own Pace

One of the main advantages of self-study is that you learn at your pace, focusing on areas that interest you the most or those that you want to understand better. Pacing yourself in this way reduces the feelings of frustration, boredom, and anxiety that many students struggle with in a classroom setting. If you happen to find yourself unable to progress in your studies for a week, you can catch up again the next week when your schedule is freed up.

3.     It Develops the Ownership of Learning

Self-study makes students their own masters because they have complete ownership of the learning process. They have to define what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and how long to spend on it. The process builds a student’s self-confidence, which helps them deal with other pursuits in their life. This learning method also encourages students to expand their knowledge and develop a sense of accountability. In the end, these students can easily set future goals with resilience and complete immunity.

4.     It Encourages Curiosity

Curiosity is a great motivator that makes the brain sincerely want to learn. Self-studying students nurture a willingness to try out new things and handle problems from a different perspective. When students are not engaged with what they are learning, they study to memorize rather than understand. Self-studying requires students to nurture enthusiasm and interest while learning goal setting and creative skills. As an independent learner, you have to conduct your own research and find resources to help you in completing tasks. Students can apply their strong problem-solving skills to identify potential obstacles and develop effective solutions to overcome them.

5.     It Boosts Students’ Self-esteem

Self-study can make you a confident learner. Self-studying often helps students to embrace a growth-centered mindset from which they approach tasks with a positive attitude. You see yourself as an independent person that can learn new things without anyone’s help. This increased sense of ownership regarding learning gives self-studying students a great feeling of pride in their accomplishments. The lack of comparison between student strengths, needs, and talents in a self-studying setting also makes it easy for individual students to implement their unique abilities. Thus, self-studying is a major motivational boost for students.

6.     You Learn to Manage Your Time and Priorities

Self-studying requires students to thoughtfully plan their learning schedule and activities ahead of time. Unlike studying with a tutor or in a classroom, the learning process in self-study is self-directed and less reliant on guidance. You have to know how to prioritize tasks and manage time wisely. You also have to stay self-motivated and persistent in your studying by creating a schedule and sticking to it. Many students who have not done autonomous learning find it difficult to prioritize and stay self-motivated.

7.     It Gives the Freedom to Use Various Models of Learning

Self-study offers students a variety of learning models to choose from. There are many resources available online to help students with their tasks, and all they have to do is choose the one that suits them best. Some common modes of learning include books, YouTube tutorials, webinars, podcasts, discussions, and polls. There are also some examples of online learning software that allow self-studying students to access learning materials, including quizzes, assignments, and notes. The student is free to use the resource that they find most engaging, and most of those resources can be accessed for free.


Tutoring is a great way to get the help you need to get back on track with your studies. Some students become unmotivated in a classroom setting for many reasons, which can severely affect their performance at school. Although grades do not necessarily reflect a student’s knowledge and intelligence, they are nevertheless essential and can influence a child’s future choices and the outcomes they set. The individual attention of a private tutor can aid in identifying gaps in one’s knowledge and providing a roadmap to handling academic problems. Some students are visual learners, while others prefer a step-by-step approach. It is the tutor’s job to identify what works best for the student and present learning materials in a way that is favorable to them. Many times, when you fall behind academically, you only require a boost of encouragement, which is what studying with a tutor provides. Therefore, tutoring helps students to use the time allocated for studying more effectively and productively.

Still, it is also important to be able to study alone if needed. The traditional model of coercive teaching encourages memorization, limits student exposure, and consists of an undemanding curriculum. However, the self-directed and self-paced nature of self-studying allows learners to choose the content, process, learning pathways, and outcomes all by themselves. Students can easily conduct self-studies thanks to the information and learning resources that are readily available online. They can go beyond simply learning what the instructors teach by exploring, questioning, observing, and participating in their education. Self-studying encourages curiosity, problem-solving, and ownership of learning that result in stronger study skills. The ability to take full control of the learning process also makes students more interested in learning. 

Clearly, there are benefits to both studying with a tutor and self-studying. You just need to weigh the options and select the one that works best for you.

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