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New Study Proves One-to-One Tutoring Drives Significant Grade Improvement and Boosts Confidence

EdTech Provider GoStudent Extends Helping Hand to UK Schools Amidst RAAC Concrete Crisis
  • Independent study finds three in four students increase their performance by up to three grades with personalised tutoring 
  • 90% of students who improved their grades also reported increased confidence
  • Performance in mathematics showed significant improvements, with 80% increasing grades by up to three levels after 12 months of consistent tutoring

A comprehensive and independent study, conducted by Dr. Tricia Thrasher, has found that personalised online tutoring results in significant improvements in students’ academic performance and self-confidence, with 3 in 4 students increasing in ability by up to three grades. The paper provides robust evidence for the efficacy of sustained, one-to-one, personalised support.

Dr. Thrasher, Director of Research at Immerse, holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education. She has over a decade of experience conducting empirical research studies on the impact of various technologies on learning outcomes. The study involved 2,616 parents and students from Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, using data gathered by GoStudent, one of the world’s leading tutoring and education platforms. 

Personalised Tutoring Drives Academic Success 

Irrespective of country, age or school level, Dr Thrasher’s research found that three in four students improve by up to three grades with personalised online support. In other words, tailored tutoring has a universal impact. 

It is widely understood that children learn best when taught in a way that best suits them. Yet, in crowded classrooms teachers are not armed with the tools needed to tailor the curriculum to every child – despite 90% of UK parents* believing teachers should have the flexibility to adapt their teaching methods
to the needs of different students. The study demonstrates the significant potential for personalised tutoring to substantially increase academic achievement and reduce classroom pressure.

Mathematics, a subject that challenges students worldwide, showed particularly impressive improvements. 80% of students who received maths tutoring for 12 months improved by up to three grades, demonstrating the subject’s potential for dramatic progress with consistent, personalised support. This offers a sign of hope amidst a global decline in maths proficiency. The most recent PISA study showed that average mathematics scores across OECD countries have fallen by a record 15 points since 2018.

Confidence is Key: 90% of students who increased their confidence improved their grades

Confidence is more than just a feeling, it’s a critical component of academic success. An impressive 90% of students who increased their confidence improved their grades. Within the context of education, one in two students defined confidence as feeling prepared for exams and assessments. 

When students feel confident, they are more likely to actively engage, ask questions, and tackle challenging subjects. This in turn leads to enhanced performance, essentially creating an upward cycle of better grades driving more self-confidence. 

The study also sheds light on how confidence varies by age. Primary school children experienced the highest boost in confidence, with a staggering 82% reporting increased confidence after 1:1 tutoring lessons. In contrast, 76% of college-aged students reported  increased confidence after 1:1 tutoring lessons.

Fostering confidence at a young age sets a strong foundation for academic success and resilience. This is vital in a context where success at school contributes significantly to emotional well-being. The 2024 GoStudent Future of Education Report found that 82% of UK parents believe that a child’s emotional well-being is closely tied to their academic performance – higher than any other country in Europe. 

Dr. Tricia Thrasher explains:

“I am deeply interested in the intersection of personalised educational support and student outcomes. This collaboration with GoStudent provided a unique opportunity to analyse a diverse and extensive dataset and explore the nuanced impacts of one-to-one tutoring. I was especially curious to find that 90% of students who reported increased confidence also saw improvements in their grades. This significant relationship signals that personalised tutoring not only enhances academic performance but also plays a critical role in boosting student confidence, which is crucial for a student’s long-term success.”

Felix Ohswald, CEO and Co-Founder of GoStudent, adds:

“Dr. Thrasher’s study provides robust evidence of what we have long believed: personalised learning significantly enhances student confidence and academic performance. That more than three in four students experienced a substantial boost in confidence through personalised tutoring is a powerful testament to the impact of one-to-one educational support. By offering regular, personalised tutoring, we help students gain the confidence needed to thrive academically and unlock their full potential”.

The study confirmed that tutoring partnerships are more valuable when sustained over a period of time. While just 44% of students who had taken less than 10 lessons improved their grades, 79% of those who had taken at least 36 lessons reported grade increases. The study also found the more lessons taken, the more likely students were to increase their grades by 2 and 3+ points.

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