4 Free Alternatives to Paid Tutors

Image by Tulane Public Relations, flickr

Image by Tulane Public Relations, flickr

What comes to mind when you think of tutors? That nice lady who used to teach you piano lessons at home during middle school? Let’s get rid of the stereotype; a tutor can be anyone who has knowledge or skill in a subject and devotes time towards helping others learn it by offering private lessons. Some people tutor leisurely, while others do it to earn extra income.

Tutors can earn anywhere from $13-$20 per hour (sometimes more!). You’re likely thinking about better ways to spend that hard-earned money from your part-time job – but you don’t want to sacrifice your education. Like any other student, you love getting things for free – and we’ve got a few ways you can get the same quality lessons without spending a dime. So if you’re having difficulty with that statistics or finance course and the first test is in a few weeks, you’ve read the textbook several times but still don’t get it, don’t fret! Here are some free options for you to explore before you tear your hair out:

  1. The Course Teaching Assistant (a.k.a. the T.A.)
  2. Your professor probably doesn’t have sufficient time to explain the material individually with each student taking the class – but that’s why the T.A. was invented. A T.A. could be a graduate student taking a masters or PhD program in your subject, or an undergrad student who got an excellent grade in the same course who is willing to teach others. Teaching Assistants are highly under-used by students, and completely free of charge. Your prof will gladly provide the Teaching Assistant’s contact information if it’s not already on the course outline. Keep in mind, they tend to help professors grade assignments – so they’re a good place to get tips when learning the material.

  3. Study groups
  4. Do you tend to browse through Facebook while in class? Make it productive! Do a search for a study group in your course. If you can’t find one, speak to the people sitting around you to see if they’d be interested in forming a study group. You’ll be amazed how many times people will have the same idea but were too shy to suggest it.

  5. YouTube
  6. If you’re shy or not into group study, you still have options, one of which is YouTube. Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube (seriously – check out the stats), and most certainly you’ll find a video – or a dozen – about your course or even the particular chapter you’re struggling with. One big advantage is you can pause and rewind the video as many times as needed. Don’t restrict yourself to YouTube either; a general Google search for videos on your subject will provide you with more results if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

  7. Clubs and Societies
  8. If your internet is down, or you don’t have the T.A.’s email address, or you don’t want to speak to that guy who sits beside you in class, chances are there is a club or a society in your school filled with people who are passionate about the course or subject you need help with. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask questions.

Remember that tutoring is not the only option. If you’re willing to explore, you’ll be able to find ways to help you succeed in your course.

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