Maths Private Tutor: Senthuran
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I am an experienced maths teacher, tailoring my approach to the needs of each student.
Here is a breakdown of my education:
2011-2014: University College London – MPhil in Philosophy
2008-2011: Oxford University – MPhil in Economics
2002-2005: Oxford University – BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1st class)
1996-2001: Epsom College
1999-2001: A-Levels – Mathematics (A), Further Mathematics (A), French (A), History (A), Economics (A)
1997-1999: GCSEs – Mathematics (A*), French (A*), German (A*), Latin (A*), Physics (A*), Chemistry (A), Biology (A), English Literature (A), Ancient Greek (A), History (A), English (B)
I have been tutoring 3 students this academic year (2016-17), and tutored 8 students regularly during 2015-16 and 6 students during 2014-15. Below are summaries of my work with them. I also have some tutoring/teaching experience prior to 2014 at undergraduate/postgraduate/13+ level, which I list at the end.
A2 Economics (AQA) and AS Maths retake (OCR MEI): This student especially needed support with the mathematical and graphical side of A2 economics, having got a C in her Unit 3 (business economics) mock exam. We also worked together for her Unit 4 paper (global economy, for which she had an A at mock), her Unit 2 retake (macroeconomics) and her core C1 module retake for AS maths. She gained an A* with full (100) UMS marks in each of her economics papers. She scored an A in her C1 maths module.
AS and A2 Maths (Edexcel): This student began tutoring after her first term of AS, upset at her performance and with very mixed feelings about studying maths. I helped her build her confidence by targeting weaknesses in basic mathematical skills and helping her recognise and build on her own reasoning ability. She gained an A (on the borderline with A*) in her core C1 module and has chosen to continue to A2. We are currently working on her C2 and S1 (statistics) retakes as well as the new material for C3, C4 and M1 (mechanics), and further strengthening her basic skills and workload management.
Undergraduate Economics (final year): This student began tutoring 4 days before her end-of-term exams in December, for her course in game theory and risk/uncertainty. She was very distressed about her lack of understanding of the material and about being abandoned by a number of tutors. Together, we put together a set of solution techniques and an agreed set of questions for her to apply them to, after each session. She gained a Distinction in her exam. We met again for a week before her final exam in April, when she also gained a Distinction.
AS and A2 Economics (Edexcel): This student started tutoring feeling unsure about his choice to study economics. We worked together on strengthening his understanding concepts, sharpening his written explanations and focusing his exam answers more closely on the questions. His confidence increased through application of his knowledge. He achieved an A in his AS exams and decided to continue to A2, where we are working on strengthening his analytical and essay-writing skills. He has recently gained offers to study history and economics at undergraduate level.
Foundation Year Statistics (AS equivalent): This non-native English speaker needed support for the statistics component of his programme, prior to his undergraduate business degree. He had not done statistics before, and was struggling to understand the material under the time pressure of upcoming exams. I formulated simple step-by-step procedures for him to answer exam questions, whilst we identified underlying issues with his mathematical skills that needed work. He reported that he was happy with his exam performance, and I am hoping that he can deepen his mathematical and statistical understanding as he applies them over his degree.
A2 Economics (AQA, retake): This 18-year-old student had taken a year out to improve his grades for his university applications. With his input, I devised a weekly schedule of essays and review sessions covering both his A2 modules. We concentrated on his essay technique, especially on structure and expressing complex points. We also reviewed some of the more complex concepts and arguments from the course material. He has gone on to study economics at UEA.
Foundation Year Economics (AS equivalent): This Royal Holloway student, a non-native English speaker, had failed his microeconomics exam in the autumn term with a score of 38, and was retaking that exam plus a new macroeconomics exam at the end of spring term. For both papers, we started from scratch, especially practising graphs and calculations, to ensure he understood the foundations of the subject. He scored 60 in a half-term essay in February. The student completed his foundation year successfully and is now following the undergraduate programme in business.
Undergraduate Statistics and Maths for Economics: This first-year economics student needed support especially to overcome his difficulties understanding statistics, having failed the exam at the end of his first term and with new exams in both statistics and maths coming up in May. The maths material included calculus, Taylor and Maclaurin expansions, and applications to economic topics. By using numerical examples from the outset, we built up the student’s comfort with the statistical material. Through the summer period we also worked on strengthening his ability to manage and track his own work, and I was pleased to see him developing systematic and clear notes and taking more responsibility for his progress.
AS Economics (OCR): The student began tutoring in January with a low level of confidence in her understanding of the subject, and with concerns about the support she was receiving at school. We focused on microeconomics (Unit 1), reviewing concepts and graphs, and developing her essay technique. She gained an A grade in her mock exam at the end of February. At her request we reduced tutoring hours from March onwards. She again gained an A for her final Unit 1 exam in May. Unfortunately, her Unit 2 mark was not so strong, but with a new school teacher and her abilities she felt she could perform more in line with her Unit 1 mark in her retake the following year.
AS Maths (Edexcel): This student needed help securing his grasp of concepts and techniques for his S1 statistics and C2 core mathematics modules. For statistics, we spent time working through foundational topics together, and building his confidence in applying them to further questions. For core maths, we practised tackling the less straightforward questions, and for some techniques, building up from simple examples to more complicated applications.
AS Politics (Edexcel): This 19-year-old student was retaking her AS levels at a tutorial college. I supported her on essay-writing and clarifying the material she had covered in class (e.g. the workings of institutions). I was pleased that she scored a B in her Unit 1 mock exam. We then covered new material over Easter to anticipate her summer term classes. I was especially happy to see how enthusiastic she became about the subject, having told me that she not been very interested in it the previous year. She also developed her own methods for organising her learning and note-taking.
A2 Economics (AQA, retake): This 18-year-old student needed support for retaking one of her Unit 3 (business economics) modules. We focused on her essay technique, especially expressing complex points clearly, and increasing the breadth of coverage beyond what she had been taught at school.
Undergraduate Maths for Economics: This student needed support with the mathematical material after her first term. This included unconstrained and constrained optimisation (using the Lagrangean method), matrices (including finding determinants and inverse matrices, and applying Cramer’s Rule and bordered Hessian tests to optimisation problems), and integration. We also spent some time on application to economic problems, as the student had not studied economics prior to her degree and had to understand a reasonable amount of economic theory. The student has just sat her end-of-term exam in February 2017.
Undergraduate Maths for Economics: This first-year student needed support for a summer retake exam in maths, having not studied the subject since GCSE. Over the course of a week, we covered topics including difference equations, exponential growth, logarithms, matrices, differentiation, and constrained optimisation (the Lagrangean method). We also spent time reviewing more fundamental maths to strengthen his foundations.
AS and A2 Economics and Maths (both Edexcel): This 17-year-old student was taking an intensive one-year AS/A2 programme in London alongside his studies in his home country. This presented him with the challenge of covering a large amount of material as well as adapting to the new exam style at A-level. We focused on reinforcing his grasp of concepts, methods and frameworks; building hisconfidence; covering material from classes missed whilst he was abroad; and exam and essay technique. I also provided advice and support with writing his personal statement for his university applications. He gained offers from UCL, KCL and City University.
Teaching/tutoring experience prior to 2014:
Undergraduate-level Philosophy: This A2 student wanted to explore material beyond his syllabus, having had private tutoring on macroeconomics and finance during his AS year. I put together a course of readings and exercises in logic, ethics and political philosophy. I am pleased that he has proceeded to pursue a creative and interesting academic research path, having completed a Master’s in political science at the LSE and now working on a PhD on the sociology of finance.
Postgraduate Economics: I was a teaching assistant for a new Master’s course “Topics in Environmental Economics” at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. I prepared and taught a class of 20 students, covering microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics review sessions, a session on cost-benefit analysis, and a session on exam technique and essay writing.
13+ Latin: My first tutoring experience was coaching my sister for her 13+ scholarship exams. As she was not at a preparatory school, she had not covered the necessary material for the Latin exam. She also lacked some confidence in her abilities. We worked through the material systematically together, and we were delighted when she succeeded in winning the third major scholarship at her target school (Epsom College).
Hobbies and Interests
When I am not teaching, I research and write about philosophical, social science and political issues underlying debates around economic growth and wellbeing. I am especially interested in these debates because of environmental issues. I enjoy singing, whether in chamber choirs, doing solo performances as a classically trained tenor, or performing with friends. I play the piano when I can. I run and practise yoga regularly. I also attend swing dancing classes.