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Before Sophia Education

Sophia Education had its humble beginnings in 2011, with Ms Cheng returning to Singapore for her 3-month summer break in university. At the time, she had been in the midst of completing her engineering degree at the UK’s Imperial College London. Upon the recommendation of her friends and family, Ms Cheng began working as a home tutor and paid only the best attention to her students. Little did she know, however, that this temporary gig would be the catalyst for her tuition empire in years to come.

Realizing a Knack and Talent for Teaching

Initially, Ms Cheng had viewed tutoring as a short-term stint to earn some income and pass the time during her long break. However, this brief stint quickly developed into a life-long endeavour as she quickly realised her knack for the tuition trade.

Even then, Ms Cheng’s effective teaching style and infectious personality brought her great demand and success as an independent tutor. She ultimately saw the lucrative opportunity to continue helping more students get ahead in Singapore’s competitive landscape. This prompted Ms Cheng to take the brave leap from a career in engineering, to a career in the tuition industry.

Building Up Sophia Education Single-Handedly

Ms Cheng was fervently determined to build a tuition centre that specialises in personalised tuition to provide the best learning services and learning experience for students in Singapore. Upon graduation in 2012, she began the arduous journey of building her tuition empire. In that same year, she single handedly set up what is fondly known today as Sophia Education.

A steady Progress

Looking back over the last 10 years, the progress that the Sophia Education brand has made since then has been remarkable. Sophia Education had started out as a one-woman show with Ms Cheng as the sole teacher. But today, it has risen to become one of the top-rated private tuition centres in Singapore that provides 1-to-1 and group tuitions with small class sizes teaching various subjects like chemistry, biology, physics, english, economics, and general papers. Tuition classes in Sophia Education also provide students with quality teaching materials and supporting materials such as notes, quizzes, detailed questions and practice exam papers.

Island-wide Expansion

As of date, Sophia Education has expanded to 4 new centres island-wide. The school also currently boasts a fresh team of highly qualified educators including full time and part time higher education MOE teachers- each with extensive years of experience.

Needless to say, Sophia Education has come a long way since its inception as a modest tuition centre in ParkMall. We’re now the top tuition agency in Singapore that stands apart from other centres or home tuition in Singapore.

Guiding Future Generation of Leaders and Exceptional Individuals

Today, Sophia Education continues to help a range of students aged 18 and below from over 60 secondary schools, junior colleges and even primary schools with a range of subjects and levels. Our school’s students are even able to secure results 30-40% higher than the national average.

Our Effective Methods

This is attributed to the school’s system of personalised tutoring and tuition assignments. Each student is wholly assessed, and our teachers customise their teaching styles in order to suit students’ learning needs and progress. This system gives the tuition school a competitive edge, with our teachers taking a more proactive role in students’ teaching and learning.

Our Highly-Selected Tutors

Teachers in Sophia Education centres don’t only use the most highly effective teaching methods. They also go above and beyond to build close bonds with students and parents. This has allowed Sophia Education to maintain the trust and praise of more than 1000 parents and students from Junior Colleges as well as Primary and Secondary Schools.

All in all, Sophia Education prides itself as the paradigm for quality tuition education in Singapore. Every student deserves the best education, and Sophia Education provides exactly that, successfully matching every student to their best potential.

How to choose the best tuition centre in Singapore

Tuition centres, tuition agencies, private tutors, online tutors and online tuition, home tutors all in Singapore. There is a whole bevy of options available for students and parents to choose from for junior colleges, secondary schools, international schools, or primary school students.

According to ‘Todayonline’, the number of tuition and enrichment centres have risen from about 700 in 2012, to more than 950 in 2019. And that’s just the number of registered tuition centres! The statistics barely account for the hordes of freelance home tutors.

For a majority of Singaporeans today, tuition is deemed as beneficial to children’s education and their learning experience. But with such a daunting pool of tuition services to choose from, selecting the best tutor for your child can be overwhelming.

Where do you even start?

Well, this article provides you with a general guide on choosing the most suitable tuition option for your child.

  1. Have an open discussion with your child.

The first step is to know what exactly your child needs in their tuition classes.

Explore the fundamental root of the problem. Talk through the various subjects, detailed questions and levels of difficulties they are struggling with, as well as those they find easy. The best way to determine the help they need is by simply asking them.

Note that your child might react unfavorably to the idea of tuition-classes. Having a discussion might make your child feel more included and empowered in the

decision-making process. A student’s understanding and receptiveness to tuition is crucial in promoting effective teaching and learning.

  1. Find the right class size.

Consider what class-size might work best for your child’s learning process. Will he or she need 1-on-1 private classes, or are there more benefits if they opt for group tuition of small class sizes?

As a former student of various kinds of tuition-classes, I’d say small group-classes are much more impactful.

Once everyone overcomes the initial awkwardness, students find that developing friendships in class makes the learning environment much more comfortable. These friendships may even be motivation to attend classes! This is of course provided the tuition teacher maintains a conducive learning environment and an effective education system for each student’s professional development.

Furthermore, smaller groups have been proven to promote greater learning and productivity in the classroom. To illustrate, this study by the University of Minnesota showed how group dialogue promotes critical thinking about concepts.

Learning in a group definitely promotes more active learning, and it would be wise to consider tuition services that offer this.

  1. Consider the centre/teacher’s Credentials.

This is the first way you can gauge the quality of a tuition teacher. You want to be certain that the tuition centre and/or teacher has the right type of qualifications to teach and has had many years of experience in teaching.

Inquire on their expertise, as well as their level of expertise. You need to ensure they have certification at a higher level than the current level they are teaching. Expert mastery in the subject will allow the tutor to provide deeper insights, as well as more effective techniques to study, providing quality teaching materials and supporting materials like quizzes and practical exercises.

Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask for proof of certification. Honest and reputable tuition teachers are more than happy to give you that peace of mind when you opt to learn through tuition in Singapore rather than from only your school teachers.

  1. Assess their Experience & Knowledge.

While paper qualifications are important, they are not the only way to determine if you’ve found the best tutor for your child. An individual might possess commendable competency in the subject, but it takes a distinct skill and experience to be a good teacher with effective teaching strategies and teaching methods.

Ask yourself this: Does the tuition agency in Singapore or teacher have the experience to support their asking price? If not, do consider sourcing for a teacher or centre that does.

Furthermore, you will need someone well-versed in the demands of the MOE syllabus and system. A former MOE-teacher or a teacher who has had years of teaching experience is knowledgeable on the ins and outs of the system, and can give your child useful advice in tackling major examinations.

Experienced teachers are also able to spot problems areas effortlessly as they have taught a large repertoire of students. They are aware of the most common misconceptions, and can quell these issues more efficiently.

Aside from this, you also need to find someone who is flexible and knows how to respond well to changes in the syllabus. As many parents know, long-standing national exams like PSLE are going through major overhauls by MOE.

There is an ongoing trend of change that may affect the different curriculums, and you want to find teachers that are open-minded and receptive to change.

  1. Weighing Price VS Quality

As a general rule of thumb, go for the best possible option.

You might be saving on tuition rates by getting the cheapest option, but at what cost?

You don’t want to run the risk of your money and child’s time coming up futile if your tutor fails to help them improve. Time is of the essence, especially during the crucial years of their O Levels or A Levels.

Consider what you spend on private tuition or tuition classes as a long term investment: You intend to receive high returns (i.e. improved grades, top scores, brighter futures) for the money you put into your child’s education. To make sure you are getting your money’s worth, it would be best to spend a smidge more on tuition teachers of top quality and experience.

  1. Selecting a tuition location nearby

For greater convenience, locate tuition centres that may be near your child’s school or your residence. This would allow greater ease of travelling for your child, especially if you intend to send them for tuition classes right after school or on the weekends. A simple “tuition centres near me” on google will provide you with a cursory scan of the best centres near you.

Up and coming tuition companies like Sophia Education have 8 centres spread island-wide, and situated right beside MRT stations. Our centres are highly accessible and convenient for students all across the country.

  1. How does your child respond to the tuition teacher?

Most tuition centres and tutors have what we call ‘trial lessons’ for parents and students to gauge a tutor’s ability. This first lesson is crucial, and you should consider your child’s opinions in the process.

If your child dislikes the tutor from the onset, be it due to incompatible teaching styles, personality or types of supporting materials provided, they might not be a worthwhile investment.

Finding a teacher and environment that your child prefers will encourage them to become more receptive to the lessons. Oftentimes, a students’ learning corresponds to the relationship they have to their teachers, and a good relationship typically results in better academic performance.

  1. Track your child’s progress.

Make it a point to monitor your child’s improvements with the tutor, if any.

Do request monthly reports on your child’s work from the tutor, and routinely compare their past scores with their current scores.This will act as an indicator of your child’s progress, as well as your tutor’s performance.

If your child’s progress has been unsubstantial for a while, it might be best to begin your search for a new tutor.

Understand that while this might be a frustrating outcome, it is important that your child is receiving the right help he/she needs.

Conclusion

Choosing the right tuition teacher for you and your child is a tedious process that requires plenty of deliberation. You want to make sure you’re investing in the right people to help your child reach their goals.

Read our article about how tuition teachers under Sophia Education centres meet and exceed these expectations here. Do consider registering your child with us! We provide personalised tuition that offer various subjects like chemistry, math, biology, physics, english, economics, general paper and mother tongue languages like chinese.

How Sophia Education chooses the best tuition teachers in Singapore

Today, tuition is seen as a necessary commodity for any student’s learning experience.

In recent studies, it is found that up to 67% of Singaporeans have or have previously enrolled their children in a tuition agency in Singapore, while a staggering 80% of Singaporeans believe that tuition services, private tuition or home tuition is beneficial to children’s education.

These sentiments have propelled the expansion of the $1.4 billion tuition industry, and made a career in tuition teaching as a full time tutor in Singapore a highly lucrative career. Some tutors have made headlines by earning as much as 7 figures a year!

However, with great economic advantages in Singapore also comes great responsibility. After all, parents and students are placing their trust (and money) on tuition teachers and private tutors to bring about better (if not, the best) results.

At Sophia Education, we do not just hire any tutors or bring in private home tutors, but we accept only the best tutor, professional, patient, a good tutor with a matching system that will assign only the right tutor for your child.

Under Sophia Education, this pressure to push our Primary, Secondary and JC students forward is on. Sophia Education consistently subjects our teachers with strict assessments in order to ensure the highest quality of teaching at our centres. We match all our students to the best suitable tutors. Sophia Education employ the best tutors, and only the best and highly professional patient tutors in Singapore.

Here is how we maintain the exemplary standards of teaching at our tuition centres and remain as the top tuition agency in Singapore that teaches students from all levels like Primary Secondary and Junior College.  

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Hi Ms. Cheng this is Praba’s mom, Praba scored A for both maths and Chemistry. Thank you for the support over the past 2 years

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Niranjan did well for his recent biology exam. We would like to thank Ms Wong for his achievement as he got a C which was an improvement from an E grade. Grateful to her.

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Good news is Eilis has managed to pull her grades up this time after your coaching, and she got an A this time for her WA2. Thank you very much for helping her.

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    How To Excel in A-Level General Paper? - Ex JC lecturer’s secret advices

    Forget O-Level English, A-Level General Paper (GP) is a whole different ball game. Not only does GP demand a stronger command of the English language, it also puts your critical thinking and general knowledge (current affairs, societal trends etc.) to the test. Many students therefore find GP one of the most overwhelming and daunting subjects to excel in- even with help from GP tuition.

    While getting A for GP is an elusive endeavour, it’s not an impossible goal. Here are some tips to get you your dream grade.

    The Exam Format

    The assessment is broken down into two papers: Paper 1 and Paper 2.

    Paper 1, the Essay Writing component requires students to write a 500-800 word essay-response. This constitutes 50% of the total grade.

    Paper 2 tests on Comprehension, where students are to analyse 1-2 passages. This paper is separated into 3 separate sections.

    Section A tests students’ through different questions based on their understanding of the passage(s), and Section B is the Summary where students have to paraphrase the passages’ key points. Section C is the Application Question, where students are tasked to write a mini-essay response to an issue and relate it to their society. This paper makes up the remaining 50%

    Invest int 2-3 Topics that Interest You

    Having good content-knowledge is extremely important when writing your essays as you’ll need sufficient knowledge to even engage with the question, and also provide examples to back up your claims.

    The thing is, however, you don’t need to know everything about every topic. Essay questions differ every year, but they always revolve around the same few themes:

    Arts & Culture
    Science & Technology
    Media & Information
    Politics
    Environment
    Individual/Values
    General

    The most economical thing you can do is to consistently read and research on 2-3 topics that particularly interest you, and focus on writing essays related to them. Studying issues you’re passionate about also makes the subject a lot more engaging, and gives you a better shot at scoring well.

    But, Also Know About Your Society’s Affairs

    You, however, also need to be well-informed on the current affairs in your society. This is especially important for the Application Question in Paper 2 where you’ll be required to provide a short essay-response to the paper’s given topic.

    Take 30 minutes out of your evening to watch the daily news, download your local news app on your phone, or have conversations with your peers about recent events- this will help fill up your arsenal of knowledge, and train you to engage critically with information. Sophia Education’s GP tuition classes often provide a good platform for such conversations, do consider joining us!

    Always Plan Out Your Essays

    With only 1 hour and 30 minutes per paper, it feels like you’re racing against time. You might want to jump right in, jotting down the first thing that comes to mind.

    Taking 10 minutes to plan, however, can actually expedite your writing process, as you become less likely to panic mid-way through as you rack your brains for the next point to write. Planning also gives your essay a clear and proper flow- a key criteria for a solid essay.

    To plan, highlight keywords in the question and draw up a quick skeleton of your essay: write down your topic sentences for each paragraph, and include 1-2 lines of elaboration and examples.

    List Down The Different Question Types

    This is particularly so for the first section of Paper 2, where you’ll find that every question can be categorised into different question-types. Some of the question-types include language-style questions, irony/paradox/contradiction questions, final-line effectiveness questions, punctuation symbols’ questions, and many many more.

    For each question-type, there is actually a specific structure you can memorise to approach the different questions. I have found, however, JC teachers often tend to gloss over this due to the jam packed timetables of their students. In our GP tuition classes, however, we readily prepare you for any and all of the possible questions.

    Expand your vocabulary bank

    Note that a substantial part of your grade is attributed to your language use (20 marks in Paper 1, 15 marks in Paper 2). One way you can bump up your marks in this component is by using more sophisticated language. Afterall, having good vocabulary is a solid indication of your ability in the language.

    You can start by reading books or sample essays, and noting down new words in a ‘Vocabulary bank’. Consistently fill up this bank, and practice using these words in your daily life and especially in your essays.

    Practise Frequently

    If you really want to nab that A for GP, practise is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day and being a good writer requires a lot of practice. Try and go about writing an essay every 1-2 weeks so you can really get into the groove of writing, as well as receive as much feedback as you can from your school and tuition teachers. Timing yourself during these practices will also train you to think and write quickly during the actual timed exams.

    If you’re really pressed for time, however, you can also practice by writing up essay skeletons that can be done in a quick 10 mins. You can then proceed to develop a full paragraph from one of your points. Doing a little bit of practice is much better than none at all.