A Step-By-Step Guide of a Day in Tutorial College

Most students do well independently and finish their higher education without additional support. However, some students need help from tutors. A tutorial is personalised learning, where a student enrols in a tutorial class for an hourly weekly meeting, either alone or with two or up to five other participants.

When did tutorial colleges start to appear?

Tutorial colleges came about around 1970, although several places operated before, providing tutorial services, and were called ”crammers.” In the past, only private school girls and boys attended cram school, mainly if they needed to retake their O Levels or A Levels. The primary purpose of cram school is to achieve results, for which they were successful.

Changes in tutorial colleges 

Today’s tutorial colleges, like the Oxford Tutorial College, provide the educational experience that most students need. They have evolved into small schools that take in fewer students, specifically for GCSEs and A Levels. But they also offer courses such as Common Entrance, STEP, the IB, IGCSEs, etc.

What do you do in a tutorial college?

In a tutorial college, you have the space to engage with the content you want to learn, discuss ideas, and engage with your classmates in a setup similar to high school. However, the setting could be an individual or small group.

To be an active participant, you should be prepared. Doing your assigned readings is vital so you can engage with the content before the tutorial class and share relevant ideas. In addition, write your questions, notes, and criticisms to have talking points during class.

Depending on your course, you can have one tutorial and two lectures each week. It is similar to a mini class where you have a teaching assistant (TA) instead of a lecturer or professor. The format of the tutorial varies according to your course. However, some classes, such as social sciences, humanities, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), have a general format.

For example, in STEM classes, you practice the various content applications covered by the lectures. You will work on practice problems assigned by the professor with your TA. You are encouraged to ask questions, pose problems, or clarify concepts related to your assigned tasks. Classes in humanities and social sciences are structured as class discussions, according to the lecture given during the week, including the readings assigned to you. You can also tackle case studies.  

Typically, you will have an essay each week. As you learn to handle assignments on tight deadlines, you develop your abilities to search for resources, plan, and prepare a well-written essay in the limited time you are given. In addition, the feedback you will receive from your TA will further enhance your ability to write precise argumentative essays.


It is essential to consider all the benefits of a tutorial college, as it gives you autonomy in your personal learning process, enhances your good study habits, and encourages a higher level of thinking. A day in a tutorial college is short, but it is crammed with all the necessary instructions to improve your personal growth and academic performance.

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.