It isn’t easy for to find good-paying work as a college student. Get online math tutor jobs now!
Undergraduate students typically earn minimum wage.
It’s even worse for you if you’re in graduate school where hours worked compared to actual pay frequently turn out below minimum wage.
At StudyGate, we feel your pain.
That’s why we’re interested in giving online tutoring jobs for college students.
You’re already studying in the library and giving it your all.
More than anyone else, you’re updated with the latest thinking.
Shouldn’t you enjoy the benefits of sharing that knowledge?
This article isn’t full of easy solutions, but the ideas are powerful when put to action.
Best of all, they can be used anywhere you choose to tutor.
We’re looking for more tutors on StudyGate, especially grad students as well as undergrads with a great GPA.
Opening an account is free and our students need your help!
We hope you find our help content useful.
Click the link above to learn more about how we tutor.
Either way, grab all the tips you could possibly want below!
Use the table of contents below to navigate our tutor help articles:
5 Math Apps to Amp Up Your Math Tutoring Sessions
How to Develop a Great Lesson Plan to Keep you Focused and Organized
Should You Use Skype, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts? What to Expect From Various Video Chat Services
Tutoring Tips: 8 Not-So-Obvious Things a Tutor Should Never Do
Using a Student’s Tech Prowess During Online Tutoring
Video Chat Etiquette 101: What NOT to do
Online Tutoring Industry:
The Best (and the Worst) Parts of Work from Home Jobs
Bid on the Homework Market Like a Master
Four Examples Of Great Educators And What We Can Learn From Them
How tutors use Uber for learning to make $1,000+ monthly working online
How to Become an Online Math Tutor in Three Easy Steps
Online Tutoring Jobs: Pros & Cons of Popular Online Tutoring Platforms
The Shocking Truth About Mindfulness In Tutoring
Top Online Education Jobs That Can Minimize Your Commute
Tutor from home: A guide with industry suggestions
Marketing and Sales:
Amazing Strategies to Market Yourself as an Online Tutor
Calling bold and aspiring tutors: Choose from these 4 strategies for an optimized tutor headline
Get More Work! Tutors, Here’s How To Market Yourselves To Students!
How Doing Both Sales and Tutoring Will Get You More Work
How to charge the perfect tutor rate
How to Price Your Tutoring Services Without Cheating Yourself or Your Clients
How do I optimize my tutor profile picture?
How to Optimize your Tutor Bio
We also made a downloadable guide to these articles: get your PDF now
4 Questions For You To Ask When Searching For Tutoring Platforms To Tutor From Home
- What is their specialty and does that align with yours?
- How much do they charge in fees or pay you hourly? Click here for an overview of major platforms active as of February 2019.
- How much traffic do they actually get?
- Can you find work yourself?
5 Marketing Tips That Set You Apart
1. Sell a high quality sandwich at a steakhouse. You can do this be seeing what other tutors in your subject are offering, then do that even better and do it with some creativity
2. Promote your service offline at public libraries, friends, and schools. If more than 20% of talk time is about what you offer, it’s too much.
3. Make your selling point crystal clear. If an 8-year-old couldn’t see the benefit of working with you and feel excited about that, then it’s too complicated.
4. Decide what kind of influencer you are with this short quiz: https://platformuniversity.com/quiz/ (I’m not affiliated with this site) PRO TIP: To avoid spam, use email@example.com for the email address.
5. Advanced bid offer. Find a big project, and make a bid that is exaggerated but not so ridiculous as to be unacceptable. Then follow up with a message that says even though you have many ratings (if you do), you are currently not too busy. Then mention either a better price or faster delivery than you initially offered.
4 More Marketing Tips to Really Make a Difference
6. When negotiating fees, remember there is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay. However, there is also an obligation to make a concession to someone who has made a concession to us.
7. Use humor with a bait and switch technique: You flunked out of college after you accidentally blew up the lab, but not before you had an affair with the professor running the lab and the dean found out. Actually, there is no blown up lab and no affair. But you are a hell of a student accounting tutor for the past 3 years with a 3.0GPA.
8. Turn the student from a customer into a collaborator by asking good questions about the project. Make requests for context, syllabi, reading materials.
9. Humans are phenomenal suckers for flattery. Find ways to compliment your student and their ability to learn.
Platforms: benefits and drawbacks
If you have great people skills and know how to market yourself, yes, you should be able to find work on your own. The advantage of finding a tutor platform, however, is credibility boost. If you are an XYZ tutor, that means you stand for quality. Students trust XYZ, so they can easily trust you too.
The biggest truth that most people miss about tutoring online is that they focus on the commission rate as the sole indicator of the platform value. Tutors should measure the ability of a platform to drive traffic to their account. If traffic volume is high, tutors can afford to distinguish themselves and charge higher prices through the value provided by the site brand.
For the best platform: Measure customer acquisition time
When considering tutoring platforms as an earnings resource, measure how much time you actually spend looking for work before you get it, online or otherwise.
How much time would you otherwise spend looking for work on your own?
Jobs for College Students: The 4 best strategies
The most successful tutors I have met do the following things:
- They clearly define a specific skill set. This makes it easy for students to know what is offered.
- They brag about themselves in a way that is constructive. You don’t have to be a rock star, but you should be specific.
- They care about their profile picture if they have one. Great tutors come across as teammates.
- They message in a way that is casual and helpful when asking followup questions. Less important than the grammar is the enthusiasm.
Key Steps for Mindfulness
- Our reactions determine our mental and physical health. For the student, a positive attitude is equally important to your knowledge of the subject material.
- When you work with students, it is your responsibility to provide them with quality information.
- The point is that we should all pay attention to what our students say. Your job is not only to teach them and provide them with accurate information, but to encourage them to think positively and increase awareness of the negative thoughts they may be thinking.
Five Steps to Positive Thinking
- Gather: What thoughts are passing through your conscious mind at the moment? Can you determine the attitude of those thoughts? What feelings are they generating?
- Focused Reflection: What thoughts consistently flow through your mind? What would you like to directly change?
- Write: Based on steps 1 and 2, take a moment to write a mind map of the thoughts going through your mind. Enhance authenticity by writing it out as creatively as you wish.
- Revisit: Identify the negative thoughts that you wrote down in your mind map. How can they be redesigned in a way that will help you live the kind of life you want?
- Active Reach: Choose one thought that you would like to change. Review it in its current state and redefine it in detail. Dwell on that new thought and own it as your current reality.
Create something that addresses the reader and would make them want to read on.
- What are students going to get out of working with you?
- How will that make their lives better?
- How will you deliver your service?
- Can you use numbers to set expectations (how fast you deliver, how fast you respond to messages, years studying)?
- Why should your audience keep reading?
Tell 1 main thing
Have you ever been to Upworthy.com? The articles there tell readers a story. They are not sensationalist with adjectives to grab undeserved attention. Instead, the headlines serve as a spark for conversation starters.
A good tutor headline focuses on just one of the following deliverables:
Give immediate value
This optimized tutor headline strategy offers specific value through the use of “sell words.”
Here are a few sell words to get you started:
Give them what they value most:
- Can you convince them you understand their question?
- What is a fair price from their perspective?
- Is their delivery time possible to meet?
Here are three steps to charge the perfect tutor rate:
- Write down a realistic figure for the service you are providing as compared to rates you would get through other tutoring services.
- Review your work and calculate the time you took to complete as compared to the price you paid. Divide pay earned by time spent (including messages, follow-up, disputes) to get your hourly rate.
- Compare the difference between the two figures.
1. Show your personality.
Just be real and intentional with the presentation.
2. Keep it cool.
Use the materials that you would use in your specialty to promote your service.
Molly Shapiro over at PicMonkey has some great ideas for optimizing your tutor profile picture.
Question: I need someone to help me edit my economics paper.
Tutor Reply: I can do your assignment. Accept my offer nw. Yes. I can handle
Tutor Reply: Hi, it would be a privilege to review and edit your economics paper, ensuring clarity and fantastic style. Publishing is my life’s work. As a design coordinator at Cornell University, I work with designers, production editors, and copywriters in turning manuscripts into published books. Our goals are to produce and disseminate excellent scholarship… At your request, I can provide more information about my skills, experience, and qualifications.
Tutor Reply: Hello, I looked at your paper and feel I am a great candidate to help you for two reasons. First, I am a sociologist (Ph.D). While economics is not my primary focus, my dissertation research focused on the pharmaceutical industry which required I gain a basic understanding of the subject. I am attaching my academic resume and dissertation; I am happy to provide other writing samples as needed.
Tutor Reply: Hi Angela, there are a few theoretical gaps and shortfalls I’d like to address with you. However, you’re off to a nice start. (This tutor attached a file with feedback)
Get Students Now
Recognize your value and potential
Find an area to specialize in and build experience, credentials, and a personal appreciation for your own value. People gravitate toward those with competence, and from a charisma that comes from knowing what you are good at.
Exploit a niche market
The web can be mesmerizing and bewildering, but it is not complete. Look beyond the volume of information and find angles that differentiate you from the competition. This is where opportunities lie.
Network through various channels and social media sites
Many social media sites exist beyond Facebook and Twitter, believe it or not. Wikipedia lists 213.
Create a website or blog site and promote it
Publish articles and insights of interest in your field to let them know you are serious and engaged. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing is an art and science that can be acquired.
Publish in your field
Publishing articles allows you the credibility clients and parents look for. Once you have a few articles under your belt, with by-lines, you can add them to your portfolio or send them along to potential clients to assure them of your expertise.
Create a series of tutorial videos on the subject
Youtube has a shortage of good tutorials in the academic fields. Personality and quality presentations are a great way to grow your reputation.
Work for an established tutoring agency
Registering for an online tutoring agency or academic services company will instantly give you credibility and allow you to hone your skills through the experience.
1. Write down three specific things you do really well
Instead of chemistry, write stoichiometry. Instead of programming, write C++ vectors.
2. Now define the value you are going to give students
What age group do you want to help? And what service do you want to provide at what speed? Which experiences qualify you to provide this?
3. Finally, pick emotional adjectives that describe what you do to help
Effortless, Painstaking, Fun, Free, Incredible, Essential, Absolute, Strange. Here are some more words.
Mrs. Berens: 4th Grade
I loved Mrs. Berens because she played a strong leadership role in our learning journey. She set a high standard, expected us to achieve it, and allowed us to be curious and discover new things in the process. With her, learning was a true pleasure, and I understood that attending school was not my duty, it was my privilege.
Mrs. Rosemann: 6th Grade
Mrs. Rosemann introduced structure at a pivotal time in our lives. At the start of our preteen years, other things were more important than school, and she taught us to remain studious, composed, and to take our own learning seriously. Most importantly, she held us accountable for our behavior, our assignments, and for understanding the lessons. Many of the best educators emphasize that learning is also YOUR responsibility.
Ms. Bullard: 9th Grade English
With knowledge comes pride. The best teachers give you a good kick in the shins and make you forget everything you think you know so you can start learning from a new perceptive, which ultimately makes you smarter. Even though it was a freshman English class, Ms. Bullard treated us like seniors. She expected nothing but clear, excellent writing from us, and that’s what we had to deliver if we wanted to survive. She was a relentless, unforgiving coach—just what we needed.
Mrs. Haus: 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Biology (AND Chemistry)
Even though she was incredibly nit-picky, Mrs. Haus taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. Excellence is all about the small things that can make or break you, and my time with her was a testament to that fact.
Tutoring Tips #1
Message students before making an offer, especially if the information is unclear.
Tutoring Tips #2
Keep messaging simple.
Tutoring Tips #3
Keep it professional with good grammar.
Should You Use Skype, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts? What to Expect From Various Video Chat Services?
How it Works
Apart from a screenshare plugin, no software download is required. Login to website required for system access.
Available for free in student-student communication, and tutor hourly rates start at $10/hr charged per minute.
StudyGate currently features one-way video chat options only. Users can share files, edit code and text, screenshare, and use a whiteboard. Currently works on laptops and desktops only.
The app is already pre-downloaded onto all Apple products like iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and Macintoshes. Open the app and get chatting instantly!
Available for free with purchase of Apple product listed.
FaceTime is only available on Apple products, and the official application only allows for a one-way chat. Accompanying apps like Fam and Booyah are available for download at the App Store to allow group video chats.
Google Video Chat
Also known as Google Hangouts, anyone with a Gmail account can download the video chatting plugin as long as your device has a web cam.
Free, once you sign up for a Gmail account (which is also free).
Google Hangouts also allows users to make phone calls and create group chats on the app. You can also share photos, videos, and your location.
Available for all computer operating systems; all you need is a web cam. Download the plugin from Skype.com to get started.
Free to download for personal use, although international calling rates apply.
Skype also allows users to make phone calls to landlines across the country. Group chatting is also available for free.
Available for all computer operating systems as long as your device is equipped with a web cam. Sign up at Zoom.us.
Free for personal chats that can host up to 100 people for 40 minutes at a time; the next upgrade is $14.99/month.
Zoom also comes with features like break out rooms and whiteboard options.
DON’T use a faulty app or internet connection
If the video chatting app you plan to use lags frequently or is prone to glitches, switch to a different one. Skype and Oovoo are both platforms you can sign up to use for free, and are widely regarded as some of the best video chatting apps.
DON’T wear your pajamas
Just because you may be working from the comfort of your couch, it doesn’t mean you get to dress like it!
DON’T set up in a crowded or active area
If you’re planning on setting up a tutoring session at your home, make sure you do so in an area where you won’t be interrupted by your parents, children, or dogs.
Lastly, DON’T forget your headphones
Using headphones is the best way to eliminate background noise, and it ensures your lesson won’t interrupt the peace and quiet of anyone around you.
Named after the Japanese word for “memorization”, Anki allows users to create custom flashcards in over 35 different languages. The app then helps you track your progress to determine which cards you struggle to remember.
Knowvio offers users thousands of interactive study questions in the following subjects: physics, calculus, chemistry, biology, microbiology, economics, and statistics. If you answer a question incorrectly, the app offers you a step-by-step explanation of how the correct answer was obtained, which reinforces difficult concepts.
CK-12 offers help with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, biology, and physics. Users can watch tutorials on specific concepts within a subject, and take quizzes when they’re ready to test their knowledge.
For younger students who are reluctant to complete extra practice when they need it, DragonBox Algebra 5+ offers two levels for students under 12 and 12-17. It’s essentially a game that “secretly” teaches algebra through puzzles that don’t seem like work.
Another game based app for reluctant learners, GeometrIQ allows students to advance to higher levels of the game by solving geometry problems of varying difficulties.
Mistake #1: Make far-reaching promises
“Learn calculus in seven lessons!”“Improve your SAT score by 300 points!”“Sound like a native English speaker in two months of classes!”
Mistake #2: Forget you’re a representative of your tutoring platform
When you become an online tutor and use a tutoring community platform as your launching pad, you are not just representing yourself.
Mistake #3: Ignore the parents of minor students
Most of the time, minor students are not paying for their online tutoring. Their parents are reaching into their pockets to get extra help for their children. This puts tutors in the position of dealing with both mentees and moms, dads, grandparents, and other guardians.
Mistake #4: Become too friendly with a student
It’s easy to develop a rapport with some students, but remember that no matter how old they are or how much you have in common, you are not their buddy.
Mistake #5: Take on too many students at once
Tutoring allows you to make as much money online as you possibly can. This makes it very tempting to accept any students who could use your assistance. But it’s not fair to them if you can only give a smidgeon of your time, rather than your complete attention.
Mistake #6: Offer tutoring in a subject you’re not comfortable with
If this happens, you have two choices. The first is to take the job and hope you do more help than harm. Obviously, this is risky for everyone. The second choice is to help find a better tutor. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it may get you connected to another online tutor who can send students your way when they need tutoring in your areas of expertise.
Mistake #7: Go into tutoring sessions “cold”
Spend at least two to three hours behind-the-scenes planning for every hour of online tutoring. That way, you’ll always feel in control of the situation and ready for anything.
Mistake #8: Allow students to make excuses
Do you have a tutored student who constantly makes excuses for why he or she cannot finish work, or understand something?
Seek out great learning apps
Find a trustworthy online chat site or app
A top freebie site is Bitpaper, which has plenty of options for tutors to share information with students.
Ask students about the apps and places they use
New to the world of Millennial learners and Generation Z students? During your tutoring sessions, feel free to ask if your pupils favor one site over another.
Online Tutoring Jobs: Chegg Tutors
– Flexible schedules: For tutors who need flexibility, Chegg is entirely online, and tutors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
– Chegg offers a free trial period that allows students to test the website and tutoring service, meaning you get the opportunity to cultivate repeat business from the very beginning.
– Reputation- This offers tutors the chance to work with a company whose name is recognizable and can provide the advantage over businesses that are not well-known.
– Lack of client continuity: While Chegg offers a lot of flexibility to tutors, the trade-off is that you have a lack of customer continuity.
– Sticky Subscriptions and Subsequent Payout Policy: To get the most benefit from the service, users have to subscribe. The lowest package will cost $15 a week for 30 minutes of tutoring, with a charge of $.50 every minute after that. That means if the subscriber is paying by the minute, you will also be paid by the minute, not the hour.
– Limited Client Audience: If you are not comfortable tutoring college students who have not had experience or education at this level, it will be evident to students. This tutoring site is best for those accustomed to assisting peers and have quality writing, math and communication skills.
Online Tutoring Jobs: Sylvan
-Flexible hours and small group teaching allow you as the tutor to focus on building the skill you are teaching your students.
-With Sylvan’s companion technology, SylvanSync, you will learn tools to help you work with students through technology.
– Pay is reasonable, according to glassdoor.com, the average pay for tutors is a little bit more than $13 per hour.
– Sylvan still holds mostly to the model of face to face learning inside a center.
-According to job postings on indeed.com, most of these centers want certified teachers with a Bachelor’s degree or better. Those who do not possess a teaching degree, certification, or Bachelor’s degree need not apply.
Online Tutoring Jobs: Kumon
-Jobs are listed as staff employed opportunities, which is a great option for those who like steady hours and a reliable schedule.
-Kumon takes care of their employees and offers a very nice benefits package that includes medical, dental, 401K retirement and tuition discounts.
-Since it is a brick and mortar business, Kumon is ideal for tutors who enjoy working with students in person.
-Kumon is specifically designed for Math or Reading and many instruction options are offered after school unless you are willing to work with pre-school ages. This often means you will work evenings and weekends.
-The pay is below average, glassdoor.com lists the average hourly pay at less than $9 per hour, depending on location.
-Online reviews are mixed, stating that the company focuses on profit and strict guidelines, rather than individual student success.
Online Tutoring Jobs: Wyzant
-Wyzant matches students to tutors who have strength in the skills they wish to improve. It’s a bit like match.com, but for learning.
-Regarding pay as a tutor, you are able to establish your own pay scale, rather than being limited to what the company offers.
-The beauty of Wyzant is that you can tutor in person or set up online tutoring and lesson plans for your students.
-Wyzant has options for students to select tutors for more than 300 subjects, which will allow for a larger customer base.
-If you are unqualified, Wyzant may offer some stiff competition. Many tutors are experienced teachers, grad students, and professors who are dedicated to the education of the individual student.
-According to glassdoor.com, Wyzant retains 40% of your pay rate from new tutors. You will to the have to log a set number of tutoring hours before you are able to receive a better pay ratio.
-Wyzant is a referral company that matches your skills and strengths with prospective students, so work may be slow if your skills are not in demand.
Online Tutoring Jobs: StudyGate
-Pay is competitive since tutors can set their own hourly rates and commission can go as low as 15%
-There are no brick-and-mortar commitments, so travel time will always be zero.
-Flexibility to provide homework help in a pinch via a bid system OR offer live learning services at your established hourly rate.
-Current tutors benefit from a long-term leveraging opportunity to establish accounts now while the company is still in its early stages.
-There is some selling involved, so new tutors often have to establish a reputation with clients and ask good questions before engaging.
-New tutors must provide a recent transcript or diploma to validate their credentials so this can be inconvenient for experienced tutors who may not have this information readily at hand.
Work from Home Jobs Pro: Savings, savings, savings!
The average American commutes between 30-60 minutes a day, that adds up to over $1,000 saved on fuel alone, and that’s without the costs of vehicle upkeep.
Work from Home Jobs Con: It may be almost impossible to fully focus on your children and be productive.
If you’re considering telecommuting to spend time with your children or avoid shelling out for daycare, you may find yourself constantly leaving your desk to clean up messes or intervene in sibling quarrels.
Work from Home Jobs Pro: You no longer have to waste sick days when you’re not sick.
When you work out of the comfort of your home, office drama becomes non-existent, and you can easily work around a doctor or dentist appointment or run those errands you’ve been putting off.
Work from Home Jobs Con: No more socializing at the water cooler.
If you’re someone who absolutely needs to chat face-to-face with your favorite coworkers throughout the day, you may feel isolated or lonely listening to voices over the phone, or contacting others over Instant Messaging.
Tips for Online Tutors: How to Price Your Tutoring Services Without Cheating Yourself or Your Clients
Tips for Online Tutors #1: Take Your Education and Experience into Account
If you are on your way to receiving your Bachelor’s degree and have no previous tutoring experience, I would recommend setting your base rate anywhere from $12-18/hour. Those with a Bachelor’s degree can bump their rate up to $18-25/hour, while those with a Master’s degree or higher can start looking at $26/hour or higher. Any tutoring experience can bump your base rate up by a dollar or two per hour, while tutors with teaching certifications can see a bump of $3 or more per hour.
Tips for Online Tutors #2: Examine the Subjects You’d Like to Tutor
If you only feel comfortable tutoring one or two subjects related to your area of study, it’s best to stick with the base rate based on your education.
Tips for Online Tutors #3: Location, Location, Location
Unlike traditional tutors, online tutors have the luxury of interacting with clients from any location that they choose, which eliminates the need for tutoring rate to climb to compensate for travel fees. However, it’s highly possible that you could be asked to tutor a student in a different time zone. If the time change is drastic (6+ hours), it’s not out of the question to raise your base rate by a few dollars per hour.
Teaching Strategies: Lesson Plan Templates and Samples
There are hundreds of websites for teachers and tutors that offer a variety of lesson plan templates and formats to suit everyone’s style of organization. LearnBoost.com and HaveFunTeaching.com are two of our favorite online lesson planning guides.
Teaching Strategies: Writing Your Own Lesson Plan
What exactly do you want your student to be able to do at the end of the session? Are your steps clear and easy to understand, or are they convoluted? How do you plan to check your student’s understanding of the topic, and test if he or she met the planned objective?
Freelance Academic Writing
Pros: Your hours and locations can be as flexible as you choose.
Cons: Student interactions and consistency are far and few between.
Pros: Your lessons are flexible and you can work directly with students.
Cons: Oftentimes, more hours are spent planning than actually teaching.
A Bachelor’s degree allows you to tutor high school and undergraduate students, while a Master’s will qualify you to give assistance to graduate students. A Ph.D is the highest educational certificate you could achieve. Majoring in math is essential, and it doesn’t hurt to add a minor in a related subject like economics or accounting.
You can start gaining tutoring experience even before you get your degree by volunteering at your university or local library. In this manner, you’ll be fully prepared to take on paid online tutoring jobs for college students and above after you’re fully qualified.
Gather your clients
StudyGate’s platform takes all the guesswork out of searching for potential students by bringing them straight to you, eliminating the need for online networking or handing out business cards and flyers.
In order to win a bid, you must first ask yourself, “What does this student need to see in order to feel trust?”
If you’ve done similar jobs before, students should be able to see a review you received for that work.
Just provide the link to your tutor profile page and mention the previous client’s name.
Even better, send a screenshot.
The easiest way to show reliability in the homework market is by communicating with high attention to detail.
Show the student that you really read their proposal in fine nuance by pulling out minor details from their instructions.
Then mention one or two of these points in the messages.
Time for some quick research on your homework market.
What are other tutors in this subject charging on an hourly basis?
Find a happy medium of those numbers, then calculate a price based on the amount of hours you think this particular project will take.
Once you have a number, it’s time to double that price.
Then measure what the student has paid in the past make a final estimate for what the student would pay.
The goal here is to sell fear.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend using this in every situation.
But if you took a caring approach before you bid and the student still throws you some shade, here is the perfect way to call them out on it.
Here’s an example of that:
I’m sure you’ll get some low-ball bids, but do you really want to risk this project on someone who isn’t the right person for the job?
When to Ignore a Question
- Ignore a question if you don’t have work samples.
- If it isn’t in your expertise, it isn’t worth your time.
- If the price is ridiculously low, it means the student isn’t serious about paying.
- A lack of detail shows the student doesn’t know what they want help with.