Your tutor wants to see you are an engaged, driven, proactive and hard-working student. If you demonstrate these traits you will impress your tutor, who will then be more likely to help you in your studies.

In this blog post you’ll discover:

  • How impressing your tutor can lead to higher grades
  • 17 simple ways to impress your tutor: at the start of a module, with your attitude, during tutorials and in your assignments
  • Resources for higher grades and more effective studying.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

By implementing some of the below tips, you could get help from your tutor other students may not get.

For example:

  • Feedback to help you achieve higher grades
  • Granting an extension if you’ve fallen behind with your studies
  • Arranging a meeting/call to help you understand a complicated concept.
  • Career advice
  • Advanced study advice

...aside from all these study benefits, who doesn't just like being liked?!

How to impress your tutor at the start of your course

Email your tutor

Once you know who your tutor will be for your module, email them. Tell them what you’re excited about learning in the course and explain what grade you are aiming for. Let them know if there’s anything you struggle with so would like them to focus on in your feedback.

I used to email my tutors and let them know I was striving for a first (distinction) in every module. I let them know my weakness (at the time) was critical thinking and asked if their feedback could include how to improve this skill, and how to achieve high marks generally.

Additional reading

You could also ask your tutor if there’s any outside/optional reading they recommend to help you understand the materials and potentially gain higher marks.

How to impress your tutor during tutorials

Attend them!

The best way to impress your tutor is to actually go to your tutorials! Online or face-to-face, if you can make it work with your schedule, try and make the effort to attend them. I’ve been to some truly pointless tutorials before full of inane group activities with no guidance on the next essay. BUT…most of my tutorials have been incredibly valuable, with lots of time to ask questions, deepen my knowledge and receive additional assignment or exam guidance.


Do the work before the tutorials – you might have activities to complete or reading to get through. Do this is for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t want to waste your tutor’s time asking questions the prep work answered or by asking for explanations of concepts you should have already read. Secondly, your tutor will probably go into the material in more detail in class, giving you the chance to broaden and deepen your knowledge.

More understanding can lead to higher grades.

Be the nerdy kid

For an online tutorial, connect a few minutes early so the class can start on time.

For face-to-face tutorials, also arrive early so you can grab a good seat. Sit near the front so you can see and hear everything that’s going on. Make eye contact when talking to your tutor.


I can’t imagine anything worse than teaching a class of students who can’t be coaxed out of silence. So help yourself and your tutor out by speaking up. Remember you’re paying for this education so ask and answer questions to get the most out of your time. Answer your tutor’s questions and offer up ideas to help engage other, potentially shyer, members of the group. Be interested in the subject and join in group discussions.

Let them know

Tell your tutor beforehand if you’re going to miss a face-to-face or online tutorial. Also, let them know if you enjoyed the tutorial and what value you got from it.

How to impress your tutor in your assignments

Ask questions

Look at your essay topic a few days or a week before you want to start writing. Make some notes and write down any questions you have about the meaning of the topic, concepts to include or format to use. Email your tutor these questions in enough time for them to answer before you start. You could even email them with a rough plan for how you’re going to tackle the essay and ask them if you’re on the right lines. You will impress your tutor by being proactive about your learning. They may not be allowed to give a lot of help but it’s worth a try. Even a little bit more understanding and guidance could result in a lot more marks.

Discover your tutor’s preferences

While each tutor should mark to the same criteria, they all have different expectations. This can be frustrating but, ultimately, it’s YOUR responsibility to find these out.

Does Mr. Jones want double-spaced essays in size 12 Times New Roman?

Does Mrs. Smith expect perfect references or is she more lenient like Mr. Simpson?

Does Mr. Lloyd like it if you use and adapt diagrams in your assignments or is he more like Mrs. Bell who sees too many diagrams as a way of cheating the word count?

Ask your tutor for their preferences (and maybe why they have them) and use this knowledge to your advantage to gain higher marks.


Every computer has a spell check function. And you should always read through your essay a few times to check for mistakes. Therefore, there’s no excuse to submit an assignment with silly errors. They show a lack of care and attention to detail which are not traits you want to demonstrate to your tutor.

Impress your tutor by handing in an assignment without simple grammatical mistakes that could disrupt their reading. Read your assignments out loud, print them and check for errors or ask a friend to read them over.


Copy and paste sections of your essay into Google Translate and Google will read it back to you so you can easily pick up errors

Learn from your mistakes

Your tutors should give you feedback on your assignments (if not, ask!). Read this feedback, even if it’s hard to read negative comments about your work. Take each piece of constructive criticism and work out how you’re going to learn from it and improve next time. Your tutor will not be happy to see you make the same mistakes over and over. Instead, impress your tutor by listening to their feedback and using it to improve your practice.

Dig deeper

At times you’ll come across a referenced idea in your reading that might be useful for your next essay, but there’s not enough explanation to fully understand or use the concept. If this happens, look at the full reference and try the find the full text online using your university’s library/research service. This will take a little time but I’ve done this before and found the PERFECT points to include in my next essay. I’ve had tutor feedback applauding me for my initiative to look deeper to find the right material.

Synthesise ideas

For subjects that require critical thinking and independent thought, it’s important to not simply regurgitate the ideas from your books. Your tutor will read a lot of essays that all sound the same, don’t let yours be one of them. If you want to impress your tutor, try and synthesise your ideas. This is where you take different ideas and sources and combine them into a new whole. You don’t just explain the material but instead answer the question, ‘so what?’ What do your arguments tell you? What conclusions can you draw from this individual combination of ideas?

Impress your tutor by showing you can think for yourself.

How to impress your tutor with your attitude

Thank them

Get into the habit of thanking your tutor. Thank them for a good tutorial, for answering your questions, for giving you useful feedback on your last essay, or for going the extra mile to help you somehow. Showing appreciation will impress your tutor. Showing your gratitude will make them more willing to help you in future.

Ask for help

Try and work through a problem yourself first but never be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling. Reaching out will impress your tutor as it shows them you’re willing to learn and are grateful for their support. If you need to ask for help, try to come up with some possible solutions beforehand. For example, if you’re struggling with the workload and need to ask for an extension, come up with a plan to get back on track before you speak to them.

Work hard

This is kind of a given but it’s still important to say. Your tutor is more likely to help you and go the extra mile to support you if it looks like you’re working hard. Showing perseverance, that you’re putting in effort and learning from their feedback will all impress your tutor.

Apply your learning

If your studies relate to your work, try and use what you’re learning in your job. If you’ve applied what you’ve learned in your tutor’s class to real life, let them know the results. You’ll impress your tutor as this shows you’re interested in their subject and want to get the most out of your learning.


  • Implement a few of these tips today to impress your tutor and get higher grades as a result
  • Check out my post for how to catch up with your studies if you've fallen behind.


How to Actually START Your Essay

Workbook + video training to take you from procrastination and overwhelm to understanding your question and mapping out your ideas with momentum. Easier, faster essay writing (and higher grades) await.

Start Your Essay

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