Although I've been tutoring with high success rates for a few years now, I thought it long overdue I get my act together and start keeping comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date statistics for my tutees' past results. So from 2013 onwards I will be doing exactly that.
In this section, I will be updating any past test and exam results intermittently as and when they are made known to me. Naturally, results will be kept completely anonymous and dealt with in strictest confidence, although I do like to think that with some excellent past performances achieved to date so far, most of my past students wouldn’t mind me proudly displaying their results for all to see.
It would be hypocrisy and 'bad science' on my part not to briefly mention - on this page of all pages - a common logical fallacy sometimes referred to as the 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc' fallacy. This is Latin for 'it happened after, therefore it was caused by' and I mention it only in the hope that I will not be found guilty of falling into this very same cognitive trap. The 'post hoc' fallacy arises out of a confusion of correlation with cause where an attempt is made to correlate two events simply because one followed the other temporally. In other words, the fallacy that states that since event 'A' preceded event 'B', event 'A' was necessarily the cause of event 'B'. In all humility then, I must confess the inescapable truth that it would be impossible for me to prove - or even immodestly and unequivocally declare myself responsible for - a student's excellent exam results. I am quite willing to accept the possibility that these results merely coincided with my having intervened as the student's tutor. If so, then all I would say is 'Long may such happy coincidences continue.' Of course, it is the student who sits the exams in the end, and not me. It is therefore the student, ultimately, who quite rightly deserves full credit for any success.
Some of the students I have worked with in the past may suspect a slight inconsistency with regards my sudden emphasis on 'results'. After all, my usual advice before exams is for a student to make their best effort and not to be overly concerned with the consequences of that effort. Part of the reason I stress this is to alleviate the pressures that inevitably arise from a preoccupation with 'outcomes' and 'scores'. But as well as that, I also happen to believe the obsession over results is counterproductive and represents a misplaced 'outcome bias' which misses the point of what’s really important, namely the effort side of the equation. So why have I gone and dedicated a whole page on my website to 'results'?
Let me try and explain: It’s true that I have often said we should not concern ourselves overly with 'results', but rather embrace the effort we make, and let that be an end in itself. In hindsight, the journey made is often found to be of far greater importance than the destination reached. It’s hard work and effort which builds character, not award ceremonies, certificates, medals or trophies.
That said, results can be useful for providing much-needed feedback and for charting progress. Take the metaphor of a rocket journeying towards the moon: about ninety percent of the time it's off-course. In effect, what the rocket does is it fails its way to the moon by continually making mistakes and correcting them through a series of adjustments.
From the student’s perspective, a result from a mock test will provide useful insight into how much progress has been made whilst revealing those areas where there’s room for improvement. For my own personal sake I hope to use these past results, not just as feedback for prospective students, but as feedback to help me adjust my own approach where needed. I hope to be able to see where I might be able to improve and refine my own teaching methods to make lessons even more productive than they already are, and to raise a student’s average rate of progress by even more than the overall average I have achieved to date.
So let me conclude here by reaffirming my belief that it is indeed the effort you put in that really counts. The results are merely useful markers along the way to helping you ensure your effort is well directed.
To read some more of my thoughts and effected philosophical ramblings on this topic, please refer to my article entitled Effort versus Results and a New Perspective on 'Failure'.
Otherwise, without further ado, please click on the link below to see the past results to date.
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