The subject-specific tutoring suggestions described below are the result of conversations with numerous faculty members on the subject of providing effective tutorial assistance for students enrolled in Mathematics, Economics and Science courses at Amherst.  We encourage you to review all of them (and not just the one you will be tutoring in).  Many of the suggestions that pertain to Chemistry and Physics, for example, are relevant to the kind of problem-solving done in other scientific subjects.

The Importance of the Big Picture

The idea of getting the "big picture" was a strong theme of the discussions with faculty.  Students, especially ones fresh out of high school, often fall in the trap of doing a problem to get the answer rather than to understand what has been taught in class.  Many of the suggestions mentioned below extend this idea in a variety of ways.  In any tutorial, the students need to be able to do the problems, but they also need to be aware of the larger context.  Amherst faculty agree it is the latter which enables their students to apply what they have studied to the problems on a test.

Office Hours

The extreme importance of office hours was stressed many times over by the faculty.  Do not let the students you are working with use tutoring as a method for avoiding faculty!  If a student is shy about going to office hours, point out that it is possible to go with other students.  One can often learn a lot from the questions asked by others.