• GCSE/IGCSE Maths: AQA, CIE, Edexcel and OCR.
• A-Level Maths: Edexcel, OCR, CIE and AQA.
• IB and Pre-U Maths.
• Oxbridge Preparation (STEP, MAT, ECAA)
• Mathematics Olympiads. UKMT Olympiads: experience tutoring all Olympiads from JMC up to and including British Mathematical Olympiad Round 2. I have experience tutoring for equivalent Olympiads in France, Denmark and Malaysia.
• Experience conducting mock Oxbridge interviews at Cambridge university open days and at state comprehensive schools local to Cambridge.
I have over 4 years of experience tutoring GCSE, A-level / IB Mathematics, MAT and STEP. In addition to my private tuition, I have occasionally taught Oxbridge-related Mathematics across state, grammar and private schools.
During my time at Cambridge, I was a part-time tutor, catering for a range of both academic levels and student potentials: from struggling GCSE students to excelling Oxbridge candidates seeking an extra challenge. Additionally, I tutored first year Science undergraduates attending London universities who required assistance in Mathematics modules.
I have authored materials (mainly model solutions) for the Edexcel A-level Further Mathematics on behalf of Pearson Ltd, as well as the new syllabus MYP and International Baccalaureate (SL & HL) Mathematics for Oxford University Press. I am particularly familiar with these syllabi as well the OCR MEI A-level syllabus (since I sat this myself), though I have taught students across all main examination boards and of course have in-depth knowledge of topics across all curricula.
I have been working with Keystone since mid-October 2018. Since then, until date, I have already clocked in excess of 750 hours of tuition with Keystone, receiving consistently excellent feedback. The majority of my tuition is focussed on GCSE, A-level, International Baccalaureate and Oxbridge Mathematics, though I additionally tutor talented younger students looking to be stretched. Further, I have tutored for the Mathematical Olympiads (JMC, JMO, IMC, SMC, Kangaroos, BMO1, BMO2 and international competitions in Asia). A large proportion of my tutoring is online, and this has proven to be as fruitful as face-to-face tuition, often moreso.
Over the last two admissions rounds, all of my Cambridge Mathematics applicants received offers.
I grew up in North-West London, attending a state comprehensive school for the majority of my secondary education. Throughout my childhood, I had a great passion for music, achieving distinctions in the highest grades in both trumpet and piano performance at a young age. On a rather contrasting note, I also spent far too much time on my BMX (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue5Q0YEGaC0 - thank me later).
It was only upon transferring to Dr Challoner's Grammar School for my sixth-form studies that my love for Mathematics, and more generally problem solving, became apparent. Having prepared for the STEP and MAT independently, I am acutely aware and appreciative of areas that students new to the examinations may find difficult or daunting, and more importantly I have retained a recognition of the recurring tricks, as well as some personal exam-related strategies which students have historically found beneficial to their approach. After successfully tackling the challenging STEP examinations, I was granted admission to St John's College, University of Cambridge, where I studied Mathematics. Towards the end of my degree, I took courses in Mathematical Methods, Number Theory, Theoretical Physics and Quantum Information & Computing.
Since graduating from Cambridge, I worked on a graduate research project with a supervisor in Cambridge DAMTP whilst working as a freelance Mathematics editor for Oxford University Press. From March until mid-July 2019, I worked as an intern within eFX algorithmic trading at a bank. From September 2019 through to July 2020 I will be completing the MSc in Machine Learning at UCL (taught in part by the Gatsby Institute & Google DeepMind). Thereafter, I will begin a proprietary trading internship with a NYC-based quantitative hedge fund.
In addition to these commitments, I have tutored throughout, finding the impact I have been able to have on my students' progression incredibly motivating and satisfying. My long-term desire is to become a teacher after a career in industry; private tuition will continue to satisfy my appetite for teaching in the meantime.
• GCSE/FSMQ/A-level/IB: every student is capable of achieving the top grade in these examinations. The syllabi are strictly defined, and question format, length and difficulty remain somewhat constant between years. The first objective is to ensure comprehensive understanding of the entire syllabus, before increasing efficiency and familiarity through past paper practice.
• MAT: firstly, I issue a pack of questions that I have constructed based on the MAT syllabus and themes recurrent within the past papers. The numerous international students I've taught have found this to be useful as a means to bridge the gap between their local curriculum and the MAT syllabus. Thereafter, we work through the available papers in full (in a specific order) and, with good reason, I encourage students to attempt all questions on each paper, regardless of course choice.
• STEP: this is the least straightforward to prepare for; the syllabus is comparatively vast and question difficulty can fluctuate significantly between questions and years. However, the question style is unique and there are repeating themes and tricks that must be familiar to the student, so past paper practice should be encouraged from early on in the process. Whilst the particular approach and pace will vary according to the standard of the student, in most cases I split the preparation phase (assumed to be January, when offers come out, until June, when the examinations occur) into three chunks. From January to April, I focus on the foundation of knowledge: there is a fair amount of back-and-forth between learning/revision and targeted past paper practice. This carries the intention of creating sufficient fluency such that from April to May the student is able to attempt papers independently in full, with lessons intended for discussion of difficulties within particular questions. Finally, from May until the examinations, I encourage the student to complete timed mocks to accustom themselves to the pressurised conditions.
What I do when I am not tutoring
Socialising, exercising, music, programming, reading academic papers on Mathematics / CompSci
"Alex was a wonderful tutor and my son loved working with him. Anyway I would highly recommend Alex and Keystone so thank you for your help." (Mother of Oxbridge Student)
''Alex has been an excellent tutor for my daughter. She has learned so much from him and we appreciate all of his effort and thoughtful teaching. His experience, knowledge and care for her studies has been among the best she’s has in her life. We will continue with Alex in prep for her interviews.'' (Parent of MAT student)
"Alex is a remarkable young man and we have been very privileged to have him as a tutor. He is a wonderful tutor and has made a huge difference to the depth of my son’s knowledge. In a year he has managed to cover above and beyond the requirements of the 13+, challenged my son and most importantly inspired him to develop a love for the subject. It is wonderful to see his confidence in maths and repeated success at top UK schools." (Mother of 13+ student)
"Apart from being professional, helpful, effective and efficient, Alex genuinely cares about my son and always has his best interests at his heart. Hence, Alex is willing to go an extra mile to accommodate my son’s learning needs by providing model solutions on past MAT papers. We truly appreciate Alex's kind support and guidance to my son when he himself has such hectic daily schedules. We’re really lucky to have Alex as my son’s tutor." (Mother of MAT student)
"On our side, I have been meaning to write too to say how fully content we are with Alexander (Aits) and how very impressed we are with his extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge and ability when it comes to mathematics. He’s shown to us what it would appear to be endless knowledge, huge flexibility, willingness and readiness to engage with our son on whatever type of mathematical problems that may be depending on the questions and needs he had at any given point in time, and all that with boundless energy, ongoing rigour of transmitting the knowledge, excellent interpersonal skills that make for a great teaching process, and very positive encouragement noises which result in our son wanting to always do better. Truly a gifted and all-rounded tutor." (Mother of A Level Maths Student)
''Just to let you know that Alex Aits is doing a brilliant job with my daughter. He is incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about Maths, and this really comes across during his lessons, which is inspiring my daughter. His enjoyment of the subject is really infectious. Also, he has been very reponsive to my requests for sharing study-skills/time management strategies with my daughter, these areas perhaps being more of an issue for her than the actual Maths. He has been particularly holistic in his approach, showing great understanding of the school/IB environment. Most of all he is an extremely energetic and positive presence, which enables my daughter to experience Maths in a much more positive way. Hooray!'' (Mother of Year 12 IB Maths student)
"Alexander has an extraordinary ability to engage the attention of the student throughout his lessons, his speed and level of engagement and delivery is high, and it seems to me just the right for my son to be fully involved. Alexander seems to manage to provide a lot of content in a structured way (which is promising and important for me as a parent) and to deliver it in such a way as to make my son love the time spent together and to want to do more maths:-)
Alexander is a pleasure to communicate with; he is very responsive and thorough when he writes to say how he approaches the lessons. We feel hopeful that my son will be able to learn from him a lot in terms of content and through a very enjoyable process." (Mother of MAT student)
Alex seems excellent and my son seems to welcome his input and guidance. I would definitely recommend Alex to others.
'Just got home to find an email from Sevenoaks School offering [son's name] a place and asking him to sit the Scholarship papers next year. They said that [son's name] was one of the top performing students this year ... I am really happy that he performed so well. A big part of that success is due to your hard work. Please accept our deepest gratitude for all the preparation you did with him.' (Mother of successful 13+ Sevenoaks applicant)
''We are very happy because [son's name] had a 9 in maths! ... Thank you very much for your help which was decisive and very important to [son's name] obtaining this grade.'' (Mother of IGCSE student)
''...I've regarded Alexander as one of the most intelligent and conscientious individuals I've met; this is evident in his deep understanding of Mathematics and profound ability to explain its concepts... I attribute my success in these exams largely to our work together, and I am yet to come unstuck due to a problem that Alexander is unable to solve with a moment's thought. I strongly advocate not only for his tutoring ability, but for his affability'' (First year undergraduate, Imperial College)