Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you based?

I am currently based in Nunawading, Victoria. My house is approximately 12-15 minutes’ walk from Nunawading train station, and the street I am on has ample parking. Most of my students are from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

I don’t want to/can’t travel to you. Can you come to me? 

While Shirlaine doesn’t travel to students’ homes, TSE Tuition does offer a Home Tuition Service. Our tutors are handpicked for their caring and nurturing personalities, and they have all been trained in the latest curriculum developments. Please contact for pricing and other details.

What do tutors do?

A personal or private tutor should complement the subject(s) taught at school. This means the tutor should know the curriculum and construct activities to enhance the student’s understanding of the theory or text. Some tutors are only hired to help the student with homework or assignments, but this is often  a temporary solution because of underlying issues preventing the student from completing the homework or assignment in the first place. Ideally, the tutor should build the student’s confidence, skills and critical thinking so that they can achieve goals without a tutor’s help.

 How can I tell if a tutor is good?

Since tutors work with students very personally, ‘good’ tutoring can be subjective. Think about how your child learns best and what kind of teachers inspire them, then look for a tutor who suits their learning style. That said, many students find tutors who listen, encourage, motivate and inspire to be good.

The easiest way to find out is to chat with the tutor. Talk about your child’s situation and ask how s/he plans to help. Did s/he listen to your concerns, ask you about your child’s past academic history or goals? Did it sound like s/he cares about your child?

With TSE’s home tuition service, an assessment will be conducted first to determine which of our capable tutors will most suit your learning styles and needs. We believe this will lead to a better match and more productive tutoring sessions.

What qualifications should I look for in a tutor?

Currently in Victoria, a tutor does not require any qualifications in order to tutor, which means anyone can work as a tutor and students/parents must therefore choose wisely. (See my qualifications)

Some qualifications to look out for when choosing a tutor are qualifications relevant to the subject and an education degree (bachelor, postgraduate diploma or postgraduate degree). Graduates of education degrees and diplomas are equipped with theoretical knowledge about teaching and learning, extensive classroom teaching experience and a solid understanding of the education curriculum of their state. Tutors who hold a TESOL certificate would have some classroom experience and teaching theory, and less experience with the state curriculum.

What’s the average price for a tutor?

Depending on what kind of qualifications and experience a tutor has, rates will vary and extra travel fees often apply. University students with no qualifications and little experience commonly charge around $30/hr, while experienced and qualified tutors typically charge at least $50/hr. Please contact for TSE’s rates.

How long are tutoring sessions and how often should they be?

TSE tuition one-to-one sessions are usually weekly and last for one hour. Depending on the student’s needs and goals, this may vary. I try to keep it to one hour, weekly sessions because overly frequent or long tutoring sessions can create learning dependency in the student and are not helpful in the long run.

Group sessions (maximum of 3 students) are weekly and 2 hours long. For more information, please contact here.

Do you assign homework? Should there be homework?

TSE tuition does not assign homework for homework’s sake and any work assigned outside of a session is designed to empower the student. If I assign work outside of the session, I always explain why I assign them (commonly vocabulary or reading) and the resulting work is always incorporated into the next session.

I want xx.xx score for my ATAR, can you help me get it?

TSE tuition believes in empowering students to be their best and that scores are not the most accurate reflection of a student’s abilities. However, an empowered student often achieves better marks. Depending on where the student is academically and what the goal is, it may or may not be achievable. The best way to find out is to contact me to book an assessment session in which the student’s current abilities are examined and then we can discuss the possible outcomes.

When is it too late to get tutoring?

Generally speaking, difficulties should be addressed early. The skills that are examinable in most English subjects are built upon multiple layers of knowledge, and early intervention makes it easier for the student to improve.

For long-lasting changes in learning habits and attitudes, the minimum time required is usually a few months (depending on the student). Structuring problems typically take a few weeks to improve, essay writing and analytical skills at least a month to improve and improvements to vocabulary require a few months (with hard work).