Tuition vs Self Study?

Hi Tutor MJ

I really enjoy your posts and all the student questions you answer. But I have a big one to make and I want you to be real honest about it.

I am planning to take the OCS in the next sitting. And from what I’ve read in your posts, the sooner I start, the more time I have to get ready.

Can I do this on my own (self-study)? Or do I really need to sign up with a tuition provider?


Well, Keith…you’ve stumbled on the age-old debate about tuition vs self-study. I’d be real quick to admit that I am not keen to relive this debate. Both sides have valid points so I won’t try and make this post about the pros and cons.

However, since you asked for my humble and honest opinion, I’m willing to give 2c worth. 🙂

I’m pretty sure this choice, going solo or with a provider, passes through every student’s mind as soon as they’ve made the decision to study. And the truth of it is, there are many factors that go into this decision.

The primary advice I give to students in this situation is to do a needs assessment. I believe each student needs to assess what they want out of their preparation strategy, then go out and take up whatever resources or materials that will help them succeed.

Each student is different. Students range from those who can motivate themselves to study and pass, to those who require some help, and then at the other end of the extreme, to students who require all the assistance they can get.

If you, even for one second, think that you will need assistance in preparing for the exam, then go for it.

It’s all about knowing that you need help with your case study preparation, knowing what kind or how much help you need, and seeking it. In one of my older posts, I actually likened the situation to falling ill and going to the doctor for an assessment and cure. You cannot expect to cure yourself by simply taking medicine you do not need.

No one will ever be as invested in your studies as you will be. While I love helping students understand concepts, interpret case studies, prepare for the exams, support and cheer them on, etc., the ultimate effort, hard work and strength come from the student.

Anyways, good luck with your decision. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. If you decide to use a tuition provider or just want to look up some resources and additional materials to help you along, do consider us. 🙂


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