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Ben S

"Ben is a brilliant Maths and Physics tutor. He got my son up from and D to an A in just 8 weeks for his Maths A Level. My son said Ben had a way of making all problems look easy and made each session enjoyable!"

Parent of A level student

  • A Level

  • Maths

  • Physics

  • University Applications

Academic History

University of Cambridge: Natural Sciences MSci (Part III Physics): 1st class (83% and 11/76 in class)

Natural Sciences BA (Specialising in Physics): 2nd class, first division (69%) in 3rd year

A Level: Maths (A*, 100%), Further Maths (A*, 97%), Physics (A*, 97%), Spanish (A, 89%)

GCSE: 1 A*^ (A* Distinction) in Further Maths, 9 A*s (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, Geography, History, Music, Spanish), 1 A (English Language)

About Me

My lessons are very flexible and are tailored towards the student and the student’s aims and wishes; different people think about and navigate these subjects in hugely different ways, and I hope to help students sharpen their own way of thinking, whilst introducing them to new ideas. Furthermore, the approach depends on how much time is left to the exams. However, I firmly believe that preparing directly for the types of questions the student will be asked is the best way to maximise their chances of success, and therefore I usually emphasise practice, and practice of exam-style questions. Having said that, if there are obvious gaps in understanding, we of course spend some time working on these before diving into exam-style questions. This is so important in mathematical subjects because each level of understanding acts as a foundation for the next. I aim to make my lessons friendly and relaxed, creating an atmosphere where students can try different approaches and ask questions without fear of being wrong. It is extremely rewarding to watch students develop their confidence and understanding, and I hope it is rewarding for them too.

Recent tuition

I can help with any entrance exams for Physics and Maths. Mostly I have helped Oxbridge applicants and taught NSAA (maths and physics sections only) and PAT, but I also teach MAT, STEP, ENGAA and several others (for example, even someone applying for medicine may want help with the maths or physics sections).

A Level Edexcel Mathematics

I helped J get from achieving Cs and Ds in tests to achieving an A grade in his final Maths A Level exam in just 8 weeks, therefore allowing him to get into his first choice university, Cardiff. We used exam questions as a base, but of course found that there were gaps in understanding that needed to be addressed. J was increasingly enthusiastic and there were several satisfying moments of finally understanding something that had been bothering him for a long time.

KS3 Mathematics

I helped S throughout years 8 and 9. He was originally in the middle of the middle set at a private school in Cambridge, but within about six months he had advanced to the top set. S said he understood the material, but he struggled in tests, so we focussed there. He did well in his end of year 9 test and, although I stopped teaching him at the end of year 9 as I moved away from the area, I was delighted to hear from his father this year that he achieved an 8 in his GCSE and is going on to study it at A Level!

Further Maths A Level and University Physics

R is a high-performing student who achieved a mix of A*s and As in his A Levels. He had got a place at Imperial to study physics, but he had not studied Further Maths as his school did not offer it and realised that it would be extremely helpful to go through it before university. We covered the entire syllabus over the summer. During the holidays of his first year at university, we spent about 30 hours working on parts of the course he did not understand so well, mostly the applied maths but also some physics. He went on to achieve a First in his first year.

KS3 Mathematics

I have been working with S for about a year now, who attends a state school in London. S has ADHD and struggles to concentrate in class, and it was very quickly very clear to me that he was underperforming in school because of this. S moved up a set within a few months, and says he finds maths so much easier now. He is achieving results of around 70 to 85% in his tests, whereas before it was 40 or 50. I have had to find ways to adjust my teaching style to ensure S maintains engaged, which has been rewarding and challenging for me.

PAT and NSAA and Interview preparation

J worked with me for around 6 months twice. I started working with J to prepare him for the Oxford Physics application process, but unfortunately he was very ill for a year and it affected his performance in the exam, and he failed to get in. J did not give up and decided to apply to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge the following year. We worked intensively on exam and interview preparation, primarily on speed, exam technique, and for interviews graph sketching, estimation problems and conceptual physics problems. We also worked a little on Further Maths, as he was sometimes getting As and Bs and wanted an A*. After all the hard work, J managed to get into Jesus College at Cambridge.

A Level Physics and Mathematics

I worked with J for both years of sixth form with maths and physics. She achieved 7s in her GCSE maths and physics and realised the step up would be hard. At the start of her first year, J was achieving Cs and Ds, but she managed to achieve an A and a B in her final exam and get into her first choice university of Cardiff to study Environmental Science. As this work was over a long period, we primarily focussed on things that J didn’t understand too well in class, so it was often in the style of a lesson, with more teaching. However, nearer the exams we focussed on exam technique.

Hobbies & Interests

Reading, research and academics: I am an avid reader of primarily non-fiction – outside of my area of study, this is at the moment mostly philosophy and economics. I learn for the sake of learning, rather than any wider or broader aims. As I read, I discover more points of view and am therefore able to connect with a wider range of people. Reading philosophy also allows me to consider science and my place in the world in a broader context. As for research, I still maintain my interest in physics, particularly theoretical physics, but I am moving towards learning about neuroscience, which I hope to do a PhD in in the future. There are several reasons for this change in tack, but primarily I want to do something that will allow me to move into a role where I am helping people directly, and neuroscience fits this bill better.

Music: I am an extremely enthusiastic amateur jazz musician (pianist and saxophonist) who has led and been a member of several bands and groups in the past and is currently trying to set up a new one. I still play the piano every day alone. Music for me is less logical than research work and more intuitive, and I love the balance that it gives my life in this sense. Both playing alone and playing in a group allows me to switch into a completely different state of mind, and hopefully reach a state of presence and connection that is incredibly relaxing and rewarding. For me, there is literally nothing better than the feeling of clicking with a group of other musicians, or the excitement of performing.

Languages: There’s nothing more satisfying than communicating with people in their own language. I speak intermediate to advanced level Spanish and am currently learning Italian. I have also dabbled with others in the past.

Climbing: Similar to music in a way. It requires a deep focus and yet is simultaneously extremely relaxing. It’s good to keep fit as well!

Testimonials

“Please say THANK YOU to Ben on behalf of me. He is an outstanding tutor, accountable and showed his true professionalism, he helped students with his true heart.”

Help with IPQ for several students, from the person who acted as an intermediary between Ben and the students

“Ben is a brilliant online maths and physics tutor. He got my son up from and D to an A in just 8 weeks for his maths A Level. My son said Ben had a ‘way’ of making all problems look easy and made each session enjoyable! That’s some praise from my son.”

Parent of former A Level Student

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