Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for tutoring?
For drop-in tutoring: Check our schedule for the subject you want, and then just come to the Center (JAB 373) during the scheduled hours. Sign in, and you're ready to get help.

For an exam review session: Once an exam review session is publicized, you may sign up for it by coming to the Center (JAB 373). Sessions are limited in size, with a maximum of 25 or 30 students. Sign up early to be sure of getting a place. Refer to the PTC Blog for the full schedule of review sessions!

For the Writing Center: The best way is to sign up for an appointment with one of our writing consultants. Stop at the Center, or phone us at 718-260-3425 to set up an appointment. Students who don't have appointments will be helped IF a consultant is available.

Does it cost anything to get tutoring?
No. The Tutoring Center is open free of charge to all enrolled the School of Engineering students. Our service is included in your tuition, so take advantage!

How can I get help for exams?
Sign up for exam review sessions for your midterms and finals in computer science, physics, and chemistry. Come for extra drop-in hours before math exams.

Exam review sessions are 2-3 hours long. Students take a mock exam first. Then the tutor goes over the mock exam, showing correct solutions and answering questions. Space is limited, so sign up in advance at JAB 373.

Note: Mock exams are written by our tutors, based on experience, and not by your instructors. We have no advance knowledge of questions on your actual exam.

Does tutoring work?
Good question! The answer is that it depends on you – are you willing to work?

Try to bring specific questions and problems from your class. Ask lots of questions! Your questions help the tutor understand what gives you the most trouble.

Bring energy to tutoring! If you’re tired, wake yourself up. One way is to take a little walk outside. Some students like to drink a cup of coffee or a soda. Do what works for you!

Bring your tools! For computer science and physics: bring your calculator and your laptop.

Why won’t the tutors give me the answers? Isn’t that what they are here for?
Sometimes students get frustrated at tutoring because the tutors won’t just give out the answers. Instead, tutors will help you get started, and then they may ask a lot of questions to help you figure things out. That’s their job. They are not allowed to do your work for you.

Sometimes, when things are busy, it can be hard to get the attention you need. Please ask to speak with the director, with one of the head tutors, or with the person at the front desk. They will help you resolve the problem.

Does the Writing Center really help?
Yes! And here are some ways to get the most help:

  • Plan ahead! We will try to help you at the last minute ("My paper's due this afternoon!"), but we can help you more if you plan ahead. Make an appointment as soon as you get the assignment.
  • Come prepared. Bring the description of your assignment as given by your professor, and any work you've done on it so far. If you are writing about a text, bring a copy of that with you as well.
  • Bring your laptop, but also bring a hard copy of any writing that you have done so far.

Where can I find reliable writing resources?
Our Writing Consultants have compiled a list of the best online resources to help you with all your writing needs! Links to each resource can be found on the "blogroll" (a sidebar of external links on a blog) of the PTC blog...check it out!

Are there other places at the School of Engineering to get tutoring?
Individualized, weekly tutoring is offered by TRIO/Special Services, General Studies and HEOP for students enrolled in those programs. To find out if you qualify for the TRIO program, contact them in LC 253, or at 718-260-3560.

If I'm in the TRIO, HEOP, or GS program, can I also come to the PTC?
Yes! TRIO, HEOP, and GS students are invited to use the Writing Center, come to exam review sessions, and get additional tutoring help during drop-in hours.

Are tutors available after Tutoring Center hours?
PTC tutors are only available during scheduled hours.

What if the tutoring schedule does not fit my schedule?
Please contact John Paul Cleveland, jclevela@poly.edu, 718-260-3902. We will try our best to accommodate you.

What if I can't come to my Writing Center appointment?
Please inform us in advance if you are not able to keep an appointment. E-mail us at tutoring@poly.edu, preferably at least one day before the appointment. If it's a "last minute" problem, phone us at 718-260-3425 to cancel.

Can I leave my paper at the Writing Center for editing, and pick it up when it's done?
No. We are not an editing service, but we are here to help you to become a better writer and editor. We can teach you a variety of writing and editing methods, and we can help you apply them to your writing.

Can you help me with EG1003?
Some of the writing consultants for EG1003 are also available in the Writing Center. They can help you with lab reports, proposals, or any other EG1003 writing assignments. When you make your appointment, tell our receptionist that you are working on EG1003.

Who are the PTC Tutors?
Our tutors for biology, chemistry, physics and computer science are the School of Engineering students who have good mastery of the subjects that they tutor. Our Writing Center consultants include writers, instructors, and graduate students.

All of our tutors are good communicators who want to help you take that leap from "Huh?" to "Oh, I get it."

Do you have additional questions?
Please contact us at tutoring@poly.edu, call us at 718-260-3425, or stop in at 373 Jacobs Academic Building.