the x factor

The X Factor?

I have to say, I love this time of year and not for the reason you may be thinking! The end of a great summer break, culminating in another year of stellar exam results and being a part of my students’ success stories is one of my favourite times. Once again, dizzy heights have been reached and I am thrilled. In amongst all this, I’m often asked, what is the X Factor in all this success?

No, we’re not talking about Simon Cowell et al!

When one sees students consistently exceed expectations at GCSE, A Level and Entrance exams, it becomes easy to spot the traits of success.

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll know that I’m no fan of cramming, especially the last-minute, panic stricken ‘revision’ that many students needlessly put themselves through.

There is much to be said for sustained focus, persistence and sheer hard work in attaining top exam grades.

I believe that academic success and achievement must be planned and considered well in advance. While engaging a private tutor for a term here and there may help break through specific obstacles, doing so for a school year is where the major benefits are to be found.

In working with my students, it’s about more than curriculum content, formulae and the digestion of information. Yes, these are key components, however building reasoning skills and teaching students to break down any given problem and independently find solutions is as important.

In addition, my work of a private tutor involves building a student’s confidence levels. Yes, ahead of the exams, but in many cases, in their broader lives as well.

A well prepared, confident student is going to do far better than a panic filled candidate every time.

The confidence instilled is also vital in interview situations, from Grammar and Public Schools, through to University selection.

This is brought home each and every year, not only through the depth of successful exam grades, but also in the number of my students that gain entrance to top universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group establishments.

So, what is the X Factor? Is it consistent hard work? Parents from all walks of life that are prepared to invest in their children’s education, often at great personal sacrifice? Or is it down to the extra private tuition?

Is it down to me? Am I the X Factor?

I couldn’t possibly take all the plaudits for the substantial successes of my students, for there are so many positive influences in their lives, from school teachers, to parents.

However, I know from the delighted feedback and many testimonials I receive every year, that I play a meaningful part in the unique journeys of my students.

And maybe that’s the answer. The X Factor is a culmination of all these positive influences coming together to help students, our children, to be the best they can be.