How Long Should a Tutoring Session Be?

On average a tutoring session with one student lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours. For younger students, it’s difficult to stay focused long so you should use shorter sessions. For older students, adults, and for complex subjects or topics, it’s often useful to have sessions up to a few hours long.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes just because your session is an hour doesn’t mean you should leave after an hour.

It seems like it should be common sense and regular practice, but based on the reactions of my clients, I don’t think it is. What I’m referring to is that it’s a good idea to stay a little late if you and your student are on a roll tutoring or in the middle of an important concept. It’s a rude and bad business practice to quickly wrap up a subject, or simply cut it short, just to get out on time. Show your clients and students that you truly care.

When you’re tutoring or teaching, you can get into the state of flow. Flow is defined by positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi as a mental state where the individual is fully focused and immersed in a particular task that is the perfect difficulty level. During this mental state people often wonder where the time has gone because it seems to pass so quickly.

Tutors and their clients can simultaneously be in the state of flow where learning and teaching occur easily, it’s an amazing feeling. Milk that situation for all it’s worth by staying late to continue tutoring until the state ends or until it’s getting too late. When you’re done, compliment your client on what an amazing and fun session that was and tell them the extra time is on the house, you deserve it for working so hard.

This generous act may cost you a few bucks, but the karma points are infinitely more valuable. That session and that gift of time will be one of the best sessions your client has had and you can bet other people will find out.

Show that you genuinely care, go above and beyond for your clients, and they will go above and beyond for you by referring new business to you!