Only hire tutors that have been vetted by others. This can mean your school has approved them to tutor and/or they have testimonials reviewing their effectiveness. Always ask tutors for references. Sites like mine, Brad The Tutor, have unedited testimonials from students and parents.
Only hire tutors that received an A- or A in the exact class your student is taking. For challenging subjects and classes it’s important the tutor has taken that class or had the professor teaching the class (and received a high grade themselves) to be the most effective at tutoring your student.
Don’t be afraid to ask the tutor to provide proof he/she has taken the class and done well. You may have to pay a premium for the best tutors in a given class/subject, but good tutors not only help students understand material in less time, they can save money in the long term by teaching good study skills and helping a student avoid having to re-take a class. Ensure you can get a refund after the first hour if your student doesn’t click with their tutor. Sometimes tutor-student interactions never get off on the right foot. Students have different learning styles and tutors have different teaching styles.
Establish clear goals, methods of payment and expectations (for both student and tutor,) and refund policies at the onset so everyone is clear.
Finals can be a stressful time, but by starting early (3 Best Tips to Ace Final Exams,) clearing up confusions, and hiring the right tutor, your student can skate through finals.
Brad Revare is a 2nd year law student at The University of Colorado (CU.) He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from CU with a Bachelor in Economics. Brad tutors students both in person (at The University of Colorado, www.bradthetutor.com) and also online via Skype and Google Docs. Brad can be reached at Bradley.Revare@Colorado.edu. Brad is also the creator of StuToDo, a subscription service that helps students stay organized and on top of their assignments.)