A lot of people thing tutorials are a waste of time. However, for courses like MATH127 where there are a variety of concepts, calculations, and theories to understand and be able to apply, tutorials are a valuable learning tool. Here’s 5 tips on how to get the most out of each tutorial:
1. Actually go to them
Yeah, super basic. Go to the tutorials because they aren’t just reiterations of what was said in the lecture. The TA is going to do lots of exam type practice problems with you and it’s going to help a lot. Just because you think you know everything on the unit doesn’t mean you actually do. Go to the tutorials and see if there is any new information that you may have missed. If nothing else, it’s really good reinforcement of concepts you already know, you genius!
2. Talk to your TA
Talk to your TA about what to expect on tests and exams. Ask them what the format of the questions usually is and if they have any practice sheets for you. If you have any, voice concerns or questions you have so that those issues are what’s discussed during the tutorial and you actually get to benefit from it.
3. Do the homework beforehand
Do as much of the homework as you can before going to the tutorial. This way you’ll know what you understand and what you don’t and you’ll be able to benefit more from it. The worst feeling is not taking notes on something the TA talks about because you think you already get it, but then going to try the homework later and realizing you totally don’t.
4. Come with questions prepared
As an extension of doing as much of the homework as you can is preparing questions on the things you don’t understand. The tutorial is a time where you are able to ask whatever you want and it should be answered. Take advantage of this and clear up any concepts you don’t know so you don’t have to trek to your professor’s or TA’s office hours to ask questions.
5. Use them as exam review
Around exam time there’s a lot of panic about what’s going to be on the exam and what isn’t. Take the type of questions done in tutorials as an indication of what will be on the exam and how it will be asked. Of course you can also always straight out ask your TA about the exam, too. But don’t start skipping them around exam time, because there will always be lots of tips and tricks shared with the class and you don’t want to miss them.
At the end of the day, Tutorials are not mandatory and you might be tempted to skip them. However, if you’re someone who is struggling in the course or is looking to maintain your already high mark (you genius!), tutorials are a great thing to go to. So go get started on that math homework!