From education to employment

Top tutor for government cabinet reveals tips for getting top grades this back-to-school year


High-profile tutor who guarantees A’s and A*s reveals all

With children having headed back to school after 18 months of disruption, top tutor Mannix McAlister who boasts the children of government Cabinet Ministers (and even the niece of the Prime Minister) as pupils and guarantees results, reveals 5 things parents can be doing now to help their children achieve top grades this year.   

1) Active recall: most students study in a passive method of highlighting their notes or making revision cards, hoping that repetition will help them remember. Science has shown that a more effective method is to read the material and then close the books and see what you can recall either by writing or speaking. This method is harder and more tiring but many times more effective, once your mind formulated something into words which you speak, it is very hard to forget this material.

Tip – buy a whiteboard and marker (this makes your child feel like they are the teacher) and encourage them to actively recall concepts for each subject and note them down on the white board. Double check facts against the material (adding information where appropriate), wipe off and start again until they can confidently recall what they need to know. 

2) Teach someone: again, this takes more energy than just rereading your notes but knowing they have to present a lesson forces their mind to get clarity on a topic and see where the gaps in your knowledge lie.

Tip – encourage your child to play teacher and to teach you some of the lessons they have learned. You can rope in siblings too.

3) Train your brain to focus: For years I thought that some people were good at focusing and some people weren’t. I’ve now learnt that focus just like fitness is something which can be trained and improved.

Tip – get a cheap countdown timer and set it for 10 minutes whilst your child focuses on their schoolwork. If they do lose focus, set the timer back to 10 and start again, once they have mastered 10 minutes you can start to increase it to 15, 20, 30… Don’t forget to reward them!

4) Learn to love the subjects you study by seeing how they are important: all school subjects are just a small introduction to a massive field of study and sometimes this means the content can be quite bland. The trick is to find meaning in what you are studying, read about the latest developments in your subjects.

Tip – share with your child how the subject is actually being used to improve the world or how it applies to their everyday activities or the world around them, such as how biology helped created the COVID vaccines and how mathematics helps predict the weather. Make a habit of reading the papers with your child, visiting museums or areas of interest and watching the news, all the time giving context to the subjects they are learning (and revisiting the material – giving it meaning).

5) Take advantage of video learning: while we may be glad that pupils are back in the classroom, if you are struggling with a topic there are a plethora of resources online. A teacher might get bored explaining the same thing five times but a YouTube video won’t.

Tip – using your child’s syllabus as a guide, encourage your child to watch online videos (especially for concepts they are struggling with) – you can join in watching them too! BBC bitesize is particularly helpful but the internet is full of great examples of other video content.

About Mannix McAlister

Mannix grew up in Northern Ireland and attended Belfast Royal Academy where he developed his love for learning and achieved A*A*AAA grades in his A Levels in Further Maths, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics respectively.

Mannix read Mathematics at University College, London, while studying he tutored over 50 students in Maths and Science, including a Cabinet Minister’s daughter and the niece of the Prime Minister. Mannix has worked at a teaching intern in St Louise’s College, Belfast and Dartford Grammar School in England.

Mannis is the only UK Mathematics tutor who guarantees A* or A in GCSE or A Level Mathematics.

Related Articles