• 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, PAT)
• Experience conducting mock Oxbridge interviews at Cambridge university open days and at state comprehensive schools local to Cambridge.
I have over 3 years of experience in tutoring GCSE, A-level / IB Mathematics, MAT and STEP. In addition to my private tuition, I have taught GCSE, A-level and Oxbridge Mathematics at schools across London, including some of the highest performing 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 am a freelance Mathematics editor, and have written materials for the Edexcel A-level Further Mathematics on behalf of Pearson, 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 syllabus, though I have an in-depth knowledge of the courses across the board.
I have been working with Keystone since mid-October 2018. Since then, until 1 May 2019, I have already clocked over 450 hours of tuition with Keystone between around 40 students, with consistently excellent feedback. The majority of my tuition is at GCSE, A-level, International Baccalaureate and Pre-U level, though I additionally tutor talented younger students looking to be stretched. Further, I have tutored for the Mathematical Olympiads (JMC, IMC, SMC, Kangaroos, BMO1, BMO2 and international competitions in Asia) and extensively for Oxbridge admission (MAT, STEP and interview preparation). A large proportion of my tutoring is online, and this has proven to be as fruitful as face-to-face tuition, often moreso.
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 at skate parks (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. I successfully tackled the challenging STEP examinations, which ultimately granted me admission to St John's College, University of Cambridge, where I studied Mathematics. Towards the end of my degree, I specialised in Quantum Physics, Methods, Analytic Number Theory and Quantum Information & Computing. 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 retained a personal collection of tips, tricks and strategies.
Now, I have returned to London, and in addition to private tuition, I am a freelance editor for Oxford University Press, for whom I write materials (predominantly model solutions) for the new syllabus MYP and International Baccalaureate (both SL & HL) Mathematics. Simultaneously, I am being supervised on an independent graduate research project in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics at Cambridge.
As of March 2019, I have been working as an eFX algorithmic trading intern at a Dutch investment bank. Since I have enjoyed tutoring so much, I continue to tutor in the weekday evenings and on the weekends. Next year, I look to complete a Master's degree in Statistical Finance and, again, I look forward to tutoring students throughout this period!
My approach is dependent on the level being taught:
• 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 aim is to ensure comprehensive understanding of the entire course, before increasing efficiency and familiarity through past paper practice.
• STEP: this is less straightforward to prepare for; the syllabus is comparatively vast and question difficulty can fluctuate significantly between questions and years. Thus, there exists a trade-off between acquiring breadth and depth of knowledge. However, the question style is unique and there are recurring themes and tricks that must be familiar to the student, so past paper practice should be encouraged from early on in the process. As such, 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 in full. 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
Work related: my editorial work, research project or programming
Recreationally: playing the trumpet or piano, road biking or rowing
"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)
''...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)