At Starr Tutoring the answer to this is no.

I know many tutors do an assessment on first meeting but I have always felt that this is counterproductive.

This attitude may be adverse to your own person beliefs but what I feel is that if a stranger walked in and tested me on a subject I already feel inadequate at I would feel under immense pressure and what not perform to my full capabilities or potential.

The tutor would probably not see an honest picture of me.

However, through conversations with the parents and child, observations taken in the first lesson and feedback from what the school have observed it will give you a far more honest idea of where the child is at.

The resources the tutor brings to the first lesson may not be 100% appropriate but will normally be a fairly good starting point. Leading on from this I also suggest, from what I have learned through experience and academic qualifications, is that it is always beneficial to start below the child’s current level of competence.

Why?

That way you can insure the foundations are firmly in place. Without these all future knowledge will always be less secure. It also gives the child the feeling of success that can be built upon. If you set them up for failure in the first lesson progress going forward will be far more of an uphill struggle.