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An enthusiast for all things historical, I’ve always enjoyed documentaries, particularly any on British royal history. However, I have always adopted a “work hard, play hard” approach to life and so also enjoy things which give your brain a rest. I strongly believe that succeeding at school is not just about locking yourself up in a room and swotting away. Instead, having fun is almost as important as hard work. At school I was a keen tennis player and am currently in the process of setting up a pub tennis club at Oxford. It’s relaxing and fun – and a great escape from work. A definite guilty pleasure is television, Masterchef, Grand Designs and Friends being a few favourites. Another great escape of mine is going to an art gallery, particularly the National Portrait Gallery.
I’m extremely good with children – essential for a good tutor. No matter how boring, dull or difficult a topic, I can make it interesting.
The school system is still fresh in my mind. What exams boards want is simplicity and precision. Both have defined my own revision and tutoring methods. The fact that the four pupils who I informally tutored and who borrowed my GCSE notes obtained A*s, despite all being of differing standards, shows how effective my approach is.
Succeeding at school and in exams is all about method. As soon as you have developed one that works, your studies become significantly easier. Even at Oxford, I still use the same method and it works - I have just got a Distinction in my Prelims.
Whatever my students’ abilities, they gain confidence and realise they can achieve impressive results if they put their minds to it. Each is different in personality and ability, so each needs a different approach. One must set optimistic and realistic goals within the grasp of that particular student. One’s idea of good results is different from another’s. One might look to achieve straight A*s, another will be overjoyed with just one. I always remember this.
As well as offering help for students taking internal or external exams, I can also offer useful advice to those applying to UCAS. Having read countless personal statements and filled in many friends’ ...