How Requesting a Tutor Works

Spires has a unique matching system where students post requests and wait for tutors to make a "bid"

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

How do I find a tutor on Spires?

Spires is designed differently from every other tutoring website. As a student, you do not search for tutors, nor do you see lists of tutors to contact individually. We also do not allocate tutors to you via an algorithm.

First, you begin by creating a request in a particular subject and level e.g. Primary - Mathematics.

When you add a request, you will be asked questions that you should answer in detail. This allows tutors to make informed decisions about whether or not they can help you and at what price and will make sure you get the best tutor possible.

*Creating a good request is the key to finding the right tutor*

Once completed, this will be emailed to all the tutors who have signed up to tutor this.

Remember: Spires is 100% online tutoring. Tutors will not travel or meet you in person.

Those tutors will then review the information provided by you. They will make a decision whether they want to "bid" or not based on what they read, and their availability.

When a tutor places a "bid", they will appear on your requests page under the relevant request. They will provide a price, an introductory message, and a link to their profile.

If you have come directly from the website you will have likely completed Step 1 already and can skip to Step 2: Adding More Information and Step 3: Receiving Bids.

Watch the video to find out more or see the steps broken below:

How to Request a Tutor

Step 1: Adding a New Request

Go to 'Requests' and click on 'Request Tutors' in green.

The form starts by asking for the level of study you need help with. If you cannot find your exact level of study, pick the level which is closest to your needs.

Then you will be asked to select a subject. Simply type the subject into the search box and select one of the search options that appear.

*The list of available subjects is determined by the level you selected, e.g. IB Mathematics is available, but IB Engineering is not, because Engineering is taught at the Undergraduate level and higher.

If you cannot find the exact subject, then pick one that is closest to what you are studying.

The next step asks you to estimate how much tutoring you will require. This gives tutors an idea of how much time they should have available to help.

Similarly, next, you will be asked when you would ideally like to have classes. It gives tutors an idea of what times they need to be available to have classes with you.

You will then be presented with an estimated range of the prices per hour of the tutors that we will contact to help you.

*** Prices are estimates because tutors will bid on your request ***

Bids will reflect the difficulty of your request, the experience, background, and availability of the tutor (tutors get very busy in exam season and so may charge more).

The final step asks you to give additional information to potential tutors:

In the text box, please accurately and fully describe what you are looking for help with, and what you are looking for in a tutor.

*** The more information you provide the better ***

Note: Any requests that constitute cheating or academic misconduct will result in your account being blocked and you being banned from Spires permanently. In extreme cases, we may notify the institution that you study at.

Step 2: Adding More Information

After you have submitted your request, relevant tutors will be contacted by Email and a post will appear on our jobs board.

Tutors will then review your request and bid on it if they can help you and are available.

You can add more information at any time by clicking the green button which says "Add Info".

This will ask you customised questions based on what level and subject you selected.

*** We recommend that you add this information as it ensures a great match ***

Great matches are essential for your overall learning, enjoyment of classes, and obtaining the goals and outcomes you need.

You should always upload relevant course materials when prompted on Spires, such as problem sets, your syllabus, course notes, etc. This helps tutors properly understand your needs before contacting you and allows them to prepare for any further communication you have with them.

We would strongly recommend attaching a syllabus for any University requests as University courses are very different and the taught content can vary greatly.

Step 3: Receiving Bids

Once tutors have reviewed your request, the ones that can and want to help will submit a 'bid'.

  1. This will consist of a message explaining who they are and how they can help as well as the price per hour they are willing to work with you for.

  2. When tutors bid, you will be notified via email and text message (if you have added your phone number to the system).

  3. If you go to your Spires account you will be presented with the tutors who have responded on the 'Requests' tab:

*** We rank the tutors based on their previous success on Spires ***

We take into account the hours they have completed in the subject/level you have selected, their previous feedback scores from other clients, and the number of clients who have chosen to work with them relative to the other tutors that have bid.

*** We do not take their bid price into account when recommending tutors ***

Tutor Profiles

You can review the profile of each tutor by clicking on the 'Profile' button or the blue link on their name. This will take you to a page with lots of detailed information about the tutor's background and experience, expertise, subjects they tutor, qualifications, past reviews and class activity data:

This information should help you make an informed decision about whether a tutor meets your requirements and will help you decide which tutor is the best value for you.

*** More experienced tutors typically charge higher rates ***

You can then contact tutors you would like to discuss your needs with by either chat, email or by phone. There is a detailed guide on communicating with tutors using the 'Messages' section in the next article here.

Once you are happy to proceed with a tutor, you can begin to book classes as explained here.

We recommend speaking to a tutor before booking classes, as this will allow you to ask questions and also allow the tutor to ask you any questions they have. This allows you both to set expectations and goals properly and also make sure you have a good personality fit, which is important for the overall success of tutoring.

If you do not hear from any tutors or enough tutors, then have a look at our article here for more information on what to do to maximize your chances of getting a bid.

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