Many people do not have an idea on the difference between a college and a university in the same manner that they are unaware of the differences between a standard or normal school and a tutorial college.

Here is a bit of trivia. Tutoring has been around before the advent of formalised educational institutions, making it one of the oldest teaching styles in history. During the time of Socrates and Plato, the children of wealthy Greeks were educated in small groups or individually by tutors or masters. Children of nobles received their education from tutors during the Middle Ages. When formal education establishments appeared, teachers taught the students but still received tutoring.

What is the difference between normal schools and tutorial colleges in today’s scenario?

The early days

Before establishing tutorial colleges, students needing more academic instructions go to crammers or cram schools. In these facilities, former private school students attend to receive a “quick education,” particularly if they are re-taking their A levels or O levels (GCSEs). Back then, cram schools were more after results. They were not after providing a complete educational experience to their students. Most of their students were children of the wealthy, but they succeeded in their promise to get the under-performing children into university.

But today, a tutorial college, such as the Oxford Tutorial College, has more to offer and is worth consideration.

Tutorial colleges are more developed and evolved

Since their establishment in the 70s, after crammers dwindled, tutorial colleges developed and evolved. They are now smaller than normal schools, and most accept only a limited number of students. Tutorial colleges mainly accept GCSEs and A Levels students, but some offer other courses, such as Common Entrance, STEP, the IB, and IGCSEs. Further, they can take part-time and full-time students. Moreover, they may or may not have college entry requirements.

Varying class sizes

Tutorial colleges typically have smaller class sizes than normal schools. In some tutorial colleges, a class may only have a maximum of four students. One-to-one tuition is available in some schools. You can find a tutorial college that offers small group tuition or a combination of individual and small group tuition. Very few tutorial colleges today want to be known as crammers.

Flexible offerings

Aside from the limited number of students, tutorial colleges are flexible and can adapt explicitly to what a student needs. In a normal school, this is not possible, as the student has to learn all the subjects included in the tuition like all the other students enrolled in the class.

More liberal

Tutorial colleges are more liberal when it comes to non-academic matters. The students can choose not to remain on the school premises except attend classes. They do not wear uniforms or enrol in sports. The atmosphere is more relaxed, and the tutors and students address each other by their first names. Students are treated as young adults and influence their studies’ direction.


In a tutorial college, the focus is on teaching and learning, giving every individual student the chance to reach their potential based on their exam results.