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FAQ about our IB tutors

Many parents, understandably, are very concerned about the quality of our tutors. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions by parents

What are your tutor’s qualifications

HKExcel employs over 40 IB tutors. All of them have their Bachelor’s degree in the subject that they teach, while some of them have master’s degree in their subject or have obtained their official teaching degrees.

However, it is important to note that “qualifications” alone have little impact on a tutor’s teaching ability. Thus, upon recruitment, all HKExcel tutors go through intensive training with our company’s co-founders

How do you evaluate you tutor’s performance and how do you know who is the best one?

The most direct indicator of an IB tutor’s performance is his retention rate- which essentially measures the extent to which students continue having lessons with them. If a tutor truly provides value to their students and helps their students, their students will feel it and would want to continue to be helped by the tutor. On the other hand, an incompetent tutor would not be able to retain students as he wont be helpful enough.

All of our IB tutors are trained until they can retain students at a very high rate.

In our opinion, the biggest reason why IB students typically find IB tutors at Hkexcel more useful than their school teacher is that at HKExcel, we actively measure teacher’s performance and they are incentivised to teach well. On the other hand, students in traditional schools typically would not switch schools only because their teacher is not useful enough. Hence, teachers have no incentive to “retain” students and therefore, has a much weaker incentive to teach well.

How many years of experience does your tutor have?

Nearly all of our IB tutors have 3 years of teaching experience. Many parents believe that the longer a teacher teaches and the older he is, the better he will be. However, this has been proven scientifically to be untrue.

In fact, according to a study done by Bill Gates, a teacher rarely improves at all after he or she gets 3 years of teaching experience. In other words, experience is not correlated with better teaching performance after 3 years of teaching. Moreover, according to the same study, academic qualifications, such as whether a teacher has a master’s degree has no correlation with teaching performance at all.

How do you train your tutors

If experience and qualification is shown to have little correlation with teaching ability, then what determines whether a tutor can teach well? Based on our experience working with so many IB tutors in the past, and the study done by Bill Gates discussed above, we believe that a teacher’s communication skill is the most important factor that determines his or her teaching effectiveness. According to Bill Gate’s study, past performance is the best predictor of teaching effectiveness, which suggests that some teachers naturally possesses better communication skills and are able present and deliver information in an easily understandable manner. If that’s the case, then is it possible to train an average IB tutor into a highly effective one? Based on our experience, the answer is a resounding yes!

At HKExcel, new IB tutors will shadow more experienced IB tutors, and our co-founders will intensively train up their communication skills. By doing this, any IB tutor who joins HKExcel will learn how to communicate and present information in an effective manner. As mentioned above, we measure a tutor’s performance by their retention rate. After our training, we are able to increase our IB tutor’s retention rate to a very high level. In fact, we have reached a point where all of our IB tutors have a very similar retention rate as a result of our training.

Another way in which we standardise the quality of teaching across all of our IB tutors is through developing a set of teaching materials. For each topic, we have concise notes that explains all concepts in an easily understandable manner. Moreover, there is a set of IB Mock question banks for each topic. This standardised set of materials helps ensure consistency in our IB tutor’s quality.

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