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Things to Look for in an A Level Economics Tutor

By Lucy, published on 14/05/2018 Blog > Academia > Economics > What to Consider When Choosing An Economics Tutor

So you’ve decided that you need help with your economics course, and would like to hire an economics tutor to help you improve your academic performance. That’s great news!

Before you go ahead and hire your dream tutor, you need to make sure that you’re getting the best instructor possible. This is because:

  • Choosing a knowledgeable instructor can save you money in the long run;
  • The best tutor for you will give you study skills to succeed in exams; and
  • You can develop your confidence and a long-term working relationship with the right tutor

As shown above, taking a bit of extra time to research and find the right tutor for you can really benefit you in the long-term and pave the way for academic success. That’s why we’ve put together some tips below to help you choose a great A-level economics educator.

How Much Experience Does Your Prospective Economics Teacher Have?

One of the first questions you should ask when looking for an economics tutor is how long your prospective online tutor has been active in the tutoring scene.

Although length of time in the profession isn’t necessarily an indication of how successful they are as a tutor, as a relatively new tutor can be just as efficient, if not better than a tutor that has been teaching for years, the longer a tutor has provided tutoring services then the better they may be at helping students excel in their homework, coursework, and exams.

Aside from the length of time tutoring, another thing to look at when choosing an economics tutor is that tutor’s qualifications. For example, is your tutor also a qualified teacher? Or does your prospective tutor have an undergrad degree in economics, or a master or PhD? It may even be the case that your tutor only has an A-level in economics.

Whilst the final decision on how to ask to be your economics tutor is down to you, it’s good to have an idea of just how far your tutor’s economics education went. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re looking for the best tutors, you should choose an instructor that has graduated university with at least an undergrad economics degree, although a master or PhD would be even better.

Equally, a tutor that currently works as an economist would be a great prospective tutor for students on an economics course.

Overall, it’s always best to look at a tutor’s profile in detail, for example on Superprof, to really understand that tutor’s background and teaching experience, as this will help you make a more informed decision on which tutor to approach.

An online degree. There are lot of ways to take economics classes at home. It’s best to check what qualifications your economics tutor has. (Source: CC BY-SA 2.0, bluefieldphotos bp, Flickr)

How Many Economics Classes Do You Want?

The other key consideration for choosing a home tutor is how many lessons, and how much tuition, you’re actually looking for.

This is because you should be able to tell any prospective tutor how long you may need their services for. This not only gives the tutor up-front notice of how long tuition may last, but it also gives the tutor an opportunity to check their schedule and ensure they have the capacity to help with your educational needs.

The period of time that you’ll need an economics tutor for will depend on the ultimate purpose of you having tuition in the first place.

The below table provides a rough guide to how long you should expect to have tuition to achieve your educational goal:

Purpose of TuitionAmount of Suggested TuitionMethod of Tuition
Improve overall academic performanceFull academic yearProgressive study
Improve knowledge of specific syllabus topics1-3 months (intensive) /
Full academic year (progressive)
Intensive or progressive study
Oxbridge interview preparation1-2 monthsIntensive study
Improve exam performance1-3 monthsIntensive study

Of course, the above table is just a guide. For example, if you want to work on your exam technique, but would rather receive exam and study strategies throughout the year, then you’re better off having tuition over a longer-term period, rather than an intensive period of tuition focused on how to excel in exams at the end of the year.

It’s also a good idea to think about how long you would like your tutoring sessions to be, and the pace at which classes go. It may be that you prefer one-hour sessions if you plan on seeing your tutor every week throughout the academic year.

However, if you think intensive study might be right for you, it may be better to hire a tutor for two-hour sessions, so that you get the most out of the short time that you’re working with the tutor.

Once you’ve set an expectation for how long, and how often, you would like to have tuition, you should take a moment to see whether you also have the time to commit to home tutoring and your proposed tuition schedule.

For instance, if you know that you have extra-curricular commitments coming up that might impact your instruction, either let your prospective tutor know in advance so they can plan your sessions around them, or consider having a more intensive tuition programme when you have more free time.

Economics Tutors Have Different Specialisms

Another important aspect of choosing a tutor comes down to the tutor’s preferences themselves. Specifically, you should ensure that what you want to be taught aligns with what that tutor specialises in.

Check What Qualifications They Teach

Although most tutors will have at least an A-level in economics, and many more will have an economics degree, the fact is that tutors also have their own preferences when it comes to what kind of students they like to teach.

Some economics tutors, for example, like to only teach GCSE and below, whilst others prefer adult learners or university students.

As a result, it’s imperative that you find a tutor that is both happy and confident teaching an AS or A-level student about economics. Otherwise, you may not achieve the most successful learning outcome for you.

Normally, a tutor states on their profile what age groups or qualification levels they are comfortable teaching, so it’s a great idea to double check any prospective tutor’s page to confirm whether they’re a great fit.

A student studying books for their economics lessons. A great tutor can improve your performance in economics classes. (Source: CC0 1.0, Wokandapix, Pixabay)

Confirm If Your Tutor Has Any Special Interest Subjects

Just as you have certain topics that you prefer learning about, tutors also often have particular areas that they specialise in. For example, your tutor might be passionate about:

  • Macroeconomics;
  • International trade; or
  • Economic history

If you know that you’re struggling on a particular area, perhaps on monetary policyKeynesian economic principles, microeconomics, or certain mathematical approaches, then it may be worthwhile finding a tutor that has been trained in those fields.

Equally, if you let you tutor know in advance of the topic areas you need extra help on, they can come to lessons fully prepared for the subject and can provide you with valuable, effective learning skills and learning strategies that will help you when it comes to exam time.

Additionally, one way to get ahead of the curve and learn more about a specific economic theory, equation, or principle is to learn about them at home. Self-study is a great way to supplement your economics classes, both at school and with your tutor.

A roll of UK notes. Doing well in economics classes could benefit you financially in the long-term. Your economics tutor may have a specialism, such as monetary policy. (Source: CC0 1.0, Anna Langova, Public Domain Pictures)

Where Do You Want Your Economics Lessons?

The final thing you should think about before hiring an economics educator is the way in which you’d like your economics classes to be delivered.

There is a wide range of tutoring options. For example, you may, as a learner, prefer to have your economics tuition delivered remotely. Online tuition is very popular, as it allows for one on one tutoring remotely, which means that you can study whenever and wherever best suits you, provided your tutor can also keep to your schedule.

However, you don’t have to use a tutor online. You can always choose to have one to one tutoring in person, perhaps by having the private tutor come to your home once a week or by meeting at an agreed location to work on writing assignments or your latest essay.

If private tutoring or home tuition isn’t for you, you could also have tuition in a small study group. Not only do study groups help reduce the cost of tuition, but both you and your friends can benefit from additional academic help at the same time.

Of course, always check with your tutor whether they are happy to conduct their classes online, in person, or in a group, and they may have their own preferred teaching style as well.

Overall, there are a few things that are worth thinking about when you choose an A-level economics tutor. Primarily, you should ensure that:

  • Your tutor has sufficient experience and knowledge, with an economics A-level or economics degree of their own;
  • Both you and your tutor have the availability to commit to the amount of tutoring you need;
  • You know whether you would like to have online tutoring or in-person tutoring; and
  • You know whether you want one on one classes or if you prefer to solve problems in a study group

Once you’ve thought about all these variables, you’ll be in the best place to find a supportive tutor that matches your needs. This should put you in a great position to succeed in exams and achieve your academic goals.

Once you’re ready to look for your next economics tutor, you can use sites such as Superprof to search through a number of qualified and experienced tutors that are happy to work for students and help you on your learning journey.

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