Group tuition is the most widely subscribed type of class format. It is highly accessible, with generally lower fees than 1-1 tuition. Many parents ask us if which type of classes would suit their child better. The differences can be summarised as follows:

Advantages of Group Lessons

Individual tuition classes tend to be dynamic – Tuition centres usually carry out lessons using a carefully curated programme. The good ones design their own lesson materials (Notes and Question Packs) and pace the classes to what is being covered in school. It is even common for various tuition centres to have different classes catered for students from different schools.

Effective for identifying common mistakes and group learning – Group tuition entails interaction and exposure to their batch-mates taking the same IB exams. Interactions during classes as well as small quizzes can help students gauge where they stand amongst their peers

Generate good connections between people of a common level – The interactions between peers is usually positive for it allows the students to practice outside of the classroom.

Disadvantages of Group Lessons

Less attention to each student – Of course, being in group tuition means that the teacher’s attention is divided amongst all of their students. Individual questions may not be entertained instantly during class though they can be raised during breaks and after class. This may be especially of concern for students with weak foundations who may find themselves unable to keep pace with the ongoing lesson.

Limited capacity per group class – Spaces run out fast for popular tutors, so parents or students need to act fast to avoid disappointment.

Individual IB tuition classes, on the other hand, which is often pricier, may not necessarily be the better option for every student. Private 1-1 tuition are usually found through word-of-mouth amongst friends & family, or if many students from a particular school are enrolled with the tuition centre.

Advantages of Individual Lessons

100% Attention – During personal tuition, the student receives all of their tutor’s attention. As a result, lessons tend to be more fluid, easily catering to the student. They prioritize their specific wants and needs (schedules, goals, interests, etc).

This is especially important for students who tend to have questions throughout the lesson as they can immediately have their queries answered. Other students might benefit if they need an intensive crash course for exam prep. Students can also learn at their own pace.

Assessment of Work – For 1-1 tuition, the student gets all the attention of the teacher. One-on-one lessons constantly emphasize on personal mistakes making it easier to correct them. The lesson tends to be more targeted, and the tutor also has more time to go through what the student has done and also assign homework for the student to assess their competency along the way. This may potentially have the student progress faster since the teacher can address learning gaps immediately and improve learning outcomes.

Disadvantages of Individual Lessons

Quality may vary – With individual tutors, it’s usually hit or miss. As there are fewer signals for the quality of their tutoring other than word-of-mouth, students will have to go through the 1-1 lesson itself to have an idea of whether the tutor is suitable for his/her learning. This may not be feasible when the student is strapped for time nearing exam periods when he/she does not have time to test new tutors.

Learning at Students’ Pace Might Not be Beneficial – Home tutors who allow students to determine the learning pace might not come with a programme in mind or self-created materials as they would simply use the notes and question packs students have at that moment. However, addressing students’ conceptual queries cannot be the sole focus when the final examinations draw near. A good tutor must set clear objectives, learning schedules and expectations for students to clear a certain type of questions by a certain time.

The choice between joining a group class or joining a private class depends mostly on your goals, your preferred learning method and your budget.

1. Goals – If your child has a lot of specific problems, things they don’t understand or want to learn how to speak in 1-to-1 settings, improve writing, learn industry-related vocabulary, practice interviewing, or have all of your errors analysed and corrected, it might be better to choose for a private class. The teacher can focus on your difficulties and can make a personalised lesson plan only for them.

2. Preferred learning method – Does your child prefer to work alone and have all the teacher’s attention to yourself? Or do they wish to work together with other students to share knowledge, energy and experiences?

3. Budget – Since there is only one student in a 1-to-1 tuition class, the fee would have to be paid by this student. In a group class, the fee will be shared by more people so it will be lower.

4. Flexibility – If you want to have a flexible lesson schedule, then 1-to-1 classes would be more suitable. As you can see, the answer is not simple!

There is ultimately no one-size-fits-all approach in deciding which type of tuition is better, as it is dependent on your child. Other factors to consider:

  • Is your child an independent and motivated learner?
  • What is the personality of your child? Extrovert or Introvert?
  • What is the budget that you intend to spend on tuition?
  • What is the learning style of your child?
  • How much help does your child need?