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Teaching How to Learn: Our Whole Student Approach

The problem for most students is not that they don’t work hard enough. It’s not a question of intelligence either. The problem for most students is simply that they don’t know how to learn. Above all, Ferguson Tutoring teaches students how to learn.

Drilling and memorization are incomplete strategies that only take a student so far. Students who rely on these blunt force methods will nearly always plateau short of their true potential. In order to break through student ceilings and achieve new levels of success, we need to appeal to the strength of the whole student.

Ferguson Tutoring’s philosophy stands on the strength of five beliefs that allows us to discover students’ skills and lift them up to new heights.

In this video, Ferguson Tutoring founder Suzy Ferguson explains the unique way that her tutors teach students. HOW you test, study, and learn is more important than WHAT you test, study, and learn. Moving beyond elementary academic habits like checking and memorizing the answers to test questions helps students to pick up new skills quickly. It also increases student recall, so that new skills are available to them months, or even years, later.

The 5 Pillars of The Whole Student Philosophy


You need to understand in order to teach. Our tutors are masters in their fields, demonstrate excellence in their subjects, have personally performed well on the ACTs, and can communicate clearly with students.


Test taking presents unique challenges for each student, but it is a skill that can be learned. Emphasizing each student’s existing strengths, we teach testing strategies, anxiety reduction, tactics for improving focus, and time management. All of these skills are proven to promote understanding, increase test scores, and offer real-world benefits.


The technical skills expected of students are rarely taught. For many students, talents like “writing math,” studying, taking notes, and organizing workloads are learned instinctually or not at all. By teaching students how to process and absorb knowledge, we can maximize their intellectual capacity and boost their scores.


We’re only as good as our information. Clear communication between us and our students, students and their parents, and families and teachers removes obstacles that keep parties uninformed. We regularly speak with schools, current and former students, parents, and sometimes even teachers to ensure that we understand the environment your student learns in and to enable us to remove any outside blockades to success.


Self-examination guides students towards the strategies that make them admirable learners, students, and young adults. Our tutors assist students in self-assessing their strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles to equip them for formal and informal future learning.

The Benefits to Your Student, Now and Later

Our students learn how to improve comprehension, process information more quickly, and formulate effective test-taking strategies, but there are other skills we teach that are even more important.

The whole student approach rests on pillars that stand up outside (as well as inside) the classroom. Our philosophy teaches students self-awareness, appreciation of their unique strengths, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, all of which promote confidence and authenticity.