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tutoring in birmingham alabama

Got Questions? We've Got Answers.

How does your tutoring work?

You pick a tutor on our "Tutors" page, schedule a session through the "Schedule Now" button above, and the tutor will meet your student at your preferred meeting place. All sessions are one-on-one so your student always gets the undivided attention of their tutor.

How does your ACT tutoring work?

We recommend that you purchase the official ACT red book and schedule a session with one of our ACT tutors. Our tutors will help guide your student through ACT strategies and practice tests, adjusting their help depending on your student's particular needs.

Where do you meet?

You decide! We don't have a central meeting place; we send our tutors to you. Our tutors can meet at your home or the closest library or coffee shop: wherever is most convenient for you. They can also meet online via Skype or Zoom. Each of our tutors has their own service area, which you can see on our Tutors page. If you choose to have the tutor come to your home, we require that an adult be in the home throughout the tutoring session.

How much does your tutoring cost?

Each of our tutors has their own hourly rate. Please check the Tutors page. We prefer 1-on-1 tutoring, but if you believe it would work best for your siblings to be tutored together, it would be 1.5 times the hourly rate. For two students who are not siblings, it would be 2 times the hourly rate (each family would pay the regular hourly rate for their student).

What subjects, ages, and grade levels do you tutor?

We help students of all ages with kindergarten through 12th grade subjects and test prep. We only help with classes at the high school level or lower.

Subjects our tutors help with include: elementary math, algebra 1, algebra 2 (with trigonometry), pre-algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, physical science, biology, chemistry, physics, english, history, government/economics, Spanish, homework help, and ACT or SAT test prep.

What are your hours?

Our tutoring hours are 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week (individual tutor availabilities vary). Our "office hours" are 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday with extended hours for current clients. You can book sessions 24/7 through the “Schedule Now” button above.

Why should I choose Masterminds over other tutoring services?

We offer the flexibility and convenience of a private tutor and the quality and reliability of a tutoring center. If tutoring centers are like fast food, and private tutors are like eating at a random person's house, we're like hiring a personal chef.

Unlike tutoring centers, 1) we help your student conquer their current classwork instead of forcing them to work through a pre-written curriculum, 2) you can schedule sessions whenever you want through our website and aren't required to sign a multi-session contract, and 3) you can choose a tutor who specializes in the subject your student needs help with instead of your student being placed with a random tutor who was only hired to guide them through the script of a pre-written curriculum.

Unlike random private tutors (online or local), 1) our tutors all undergo an interviewing process and comprehensive background checks, 2) we hand-pick our tutors based on their previous tutoring experience, unique knowledge of the subject matter, and professional but easygoing personalities, and 3) you're free to switch tutors anytime without a hassle.

Who are your tutors?

Click here to see our current tutors and learn more about them.

Some are college students who are teachers-in-training or are studying the subject areas that they tutor, some are professionals who are uniquely qualified to tutor certain subjects, and others are retired teachers who still have a passion for teaching.

All of our tutors go through a multi-step interview process and comprehensive background check to ensure that they're qualified to tutor your student. Our tutors only offer tutoring in subjects that they're very confident tutoring.

How long are the sessions?

You can choose from 1-hour, 1.5-hour, or 2-hour sessions, depending on how much help would benefit your student the most. 1 hour is the shortest session that we offer in order to justify the driving time that the tutor must make back and forth from each session.

Can my student change tutors if they aren't a good fit?

Most likely! If your student doesn't click with the first tutor they try, we can usually find another tutor who can help with the same subject. However, we believe all of our tutors are excellent at what they do or else we wouldn't have hired them, so we don't foresee that you'll need to change tutors.

Do I have to sign a contract to receive tutoring?

No. We don't require any kind of commitment. You can schedule sessions three times a week, once a week, or once a month - whatever would be most helpful for your student. You can schedule sessions weeks in advance or for tomorrow afternoon through the "Schedule Now" button above.

Do you use a curriculum or lesson plans?

No. We believe it's more beneficial to work with your student's current classwork rather than give them extra work. If you want tutoring during the summer, we need the student to bring to the session some kind of materials they want to go over with the tutor.

Do you provide homework help?

Yes. Our tutors will gladly assist your student with whatever they're currently working on in class - homework, take-home quizzes, papers, test prep, etc. If the student has previous tests or assignments they didn't score well on, we recommend bringing those, too, so they can review the material with the tutor. Our tutors can also provide general study habits and organizational tips along the way.

Can I schedule a session for today?

You can try, but because our tutors have busy lives, their plans change, and we respect their time, we cannot guarantee same-day scheduling. We'll check with the tutor to verify that they can take the session, and contact you to reschedule for a later date if necessary. We highly encourage you to plan ahead, start tutoring early, and avoid cramming for tests!

Do you offer tutoring packages?

No. But you're welcome to pay for multiple sessions in advance if that's easier for you.

What are your cancellation, rescheduling, lateness, and no-show policies?

Rescheduling/Cancellation: Please let us know about any changes to your scheduled sessions as soon as you know about them. You must give us at least a 4-hour notice to cancel or reschedule a session or you'll be charged a fee equal to 1 hour of tutoring. We must do this because the tutor you reserved could've been helping another student during that time.

Lateness: If your student is late to a session, we can't always extend the time of the session because the tutor must get to their next student on time, and you'll still be charged for the full session time. We'll attempt to contact you to see if your student is on the way. If we don't hear from you by 15 minutes after the session start time, the tutor is free to leave.

No-Show: If your student doesn't show up at all, unless we get at least a 4-hour notice from you, you'll be charged for the full session. We always pay our tutors for their time even if the student doesn't show up.

What other test prep do you offer?

We get frequent requests for help with the SAT, PSAT, GED, GRE, and other standardized tests.

Students find it valuable to book sessions with one of our tutors who can help them review practice tests they've completed, correct mistakes, brush up on math or English skills, and provide general test-taking and study tips.

When you book a session through the Schedule Now button, select the "Test Prep (non-ACT)" option as your desired subject, write detailed notes in the text box so the tutor can better assist your student, and make sure your student brings test prep materials to the sessions to work on.

Do you offer tutoring for students with learning disabilities?

We don't have any specific programs or curriculum designed for students with learning disabilities.

Some of our tutors might have experience with these students, but we don't have any tutors who are experts in any particular learning disability.

If your student needs general help with the material in one or more of their classes, we can help. If your student needs more specialized attention concerning their particular learning challenges, they might benefit more from another professional who offers those specific services.

What should my student bring to the sessions?

They should bring everything they want to go over with the tutor: classwork, homework, textbooks, old tests, practice tests or problems, et cetera. The more, the better.

Why should my student try tutoring?

Most times, the 1-hour-per-day in class that a student receives at school is not enough to fully grasp difficult material. Other times, extracurricular activities make sticking to a homework schedule difficult.

Students find that time spent with a Masterminds tutor helps them conquer their workload much more efficiently than they could on their own.

Plus, research has found that the average tutored student's grades were higher than 98% of the other non-tutored students in their class (Source). Even more reason to give tutoring a try!

Can we record the tutoring sessions for future reference?

No. For the privacy of our tutors and your student, we don't allow the tutoring sessions to be recorded. After each session, the tutor will write detailed notes that we'll email you for your review.

How do payments work?

Payment is due at least 1 hour before each session. If we don't receive payment by then, the session will have to be postponed.

You can pay through our Payments page (via credit or debit through Square) or by providing your credit card info over the phone. If paying by credit card, there's a 3.5% processing fee charged by our payment processing system.

If needed, you can also pay by cash or check, which must be mailed to the address on our Contact page. Checks must clear at least 1 hour before the session, so plan ahead if you're considering this payment option.

What's your refund policy?

We take pride in hiring excellent tutors, so we take any negative feedback very seriously. After gathering information from you and the tutor about the session, we'll decide what kind of refund would be most appropriate.

If your student didn't benefit at all from the tutoring session, we'll process a 100% refund.

If your student was able to make some progress during the session but didn't get the full help that they were expecting, we'll process a 50% refund.