Claiming Students

Sarah Snyder -

Set Your Status to Active!

To see incoming students, set your status to Active by flipping the status toggle at the top of the screen.

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When you are done tutoring for the day, be sure to set your status back to Inactive. You don't want to miss requests from students who are choosing you when you aren't really available.

To help prevent these misses, we have a few safeguards. We'll send you a message to make sure that you're still there if:

  • You haven't interacted with the app for 15 minutes.
  • You missed a direct connect request.

If you don't confirm that you're still present, you'll be switched to inactive after 1 minute.


If you're away from your iPad and need to set yourself to inactive, you'll find that option on the MathElf website. Log in to your tutor account at and go to your Profile page to change status:


Watch for Incoming Requests!

When you are active in the Math Tutor app, you'll see incoming requests from students when they arrive. We have two options for seeing requests:

In the Math Tutor App

In the Math Tutor app, incoming requests are shown over the app screen. When a request comes in, the screen will show a claim card like this one:


Outside of the Math Tutor app

If the app is in the background, you'll still get notifications about incoming requests. A notification will appear at the top of the screen letting you know that a student is looking for help. Pull down on that banner to display the request and claim, or open the app to view the claim card.



Claim Card Information

A lot of information about a student's request is displayed on the claim card to help you know what to expect! Here's a picture of a claim card:

You can tap the student's photo to enlarge it to full screen if you want to make it a little bigger.

If you have worked with this student before, your claim card will let you know:

Claim Card Buttons

There are three buttons located at the bottom of the claim card: Claim, Pass, and Ban.

Tap to connect with the student.

Use the Pass button to skip requests you don't want. This button is only available for Match Me requests. For direct connect requests, we ask tutors to claim every student, since no other tutors can see the request.

If a student's picture or name is inappropriate, tap the Ban button to get rid of that prankster! This will delete any free MathElf minutes they have, removing their ability to prank call again. Don't ban students who've simply uploaded non-math pictures that aren't inappropriate. They may not have understood what they were supposed to do. 


Direct Connect Requests

These requests are shown only to you - no other tutors! In all of these requests, the student has chosen to work specifically with you. Click here to learn more about the Home tab in the MathElf student app!

How to tell it's a direct connect:

  • Purple banner and claim button
  • Different notification sound, which repeats
  • No option to pass



What if you can't help? Since you're the only one seeing direct connect requests, it's important that you claim them. If you can't help, that's OK - apologize and let the student know that another tutor would be better able to help out. Tell them that they should request again with another tutor and that you'll refund their minutes with you. After the session ends, flip the refund switch. Click here for more information about refunding students.


Match Me Requests

Students can also send requests to any available tutors, instead of choosing someone.

The notification sound for Match Me requests is different than the sound for direct connect requests. It also only occurs once per request, rather than continuously.

Match Me requests have a blue claim button, which appears after a 5-second countdown:


Match Me requests are shown to all available tutors in three waves:

1. Top 5 tutors who are a match for that student's subject and age group as well as gender preference, if applicable. Tutors in the Top 5 are determined based on the number of reconnect and booked sessions they have previously conducted.

2. Any remaining matching tutors who are available.

3. All other available tutors. 

After being shown to one wave of tutors for 10 seconds without being claimed, the request is shown to the next wave of tutors. 

Tutors in the third wave, who are not a match for the student's course will also see a red banner and claim button to alert them that they should use caution and evaluate the student picture carefully before claiming the request as they are less likely to be able to help. 

Tutors who are not a match for a student's gender preference will not see their requests, even if they aren't being claimed.


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