Unless you're a rabid Superprof fan who reads any article we publish - if you are, thank you! - you're here because you've signed up for a Business Studies course. Congratulations on making such a wise decision!

Whether for GCSEs or A-Levels - even if you're studying Business at university, you could hardly have chosen a more versatile, all-encompassing subject to base your future career on.

If you read this course's syllabus, you know you will explore business aspects such as finance, marketing and management. You also likely know that you will have to draw on your maths skills as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Finally, you will confront weighty issues business leaders face every day, such as ethical sourcing and environmental concerns.

To wrestle with all of the topics you'll face in Business Studies - topics that bedevil even the most experienced and conscientious business leaders, you may need a much bigger thinking cap. Or a tutor.

Like so many other disciplines from philosophy to physics, the greatest leaps of intuition and knowledge in business are made through input from many sources. If you rely only on your course materials and your teacher to learn about business principles, it stands to reason that you'll miss out on valuable perspectives that others could bring.

That's the great benefit of learning with a tutor.

Often, tutors have experience working in the field they tutor in and are keen to share what they've learned with their pupils. Unbound from the rules and limits that classroom teachers labour under, a tutor can take the time to explore your questions in greater depth and gloss over those parts of the curriculum that you don't need any help with.

Where can you find such a gem? That's the topic for this Superprof article.

General Guidelines for Hiring a Tutor

Tutors come in all shapes and sizes; there are even tutors with varying levels of education. You might wonder about that last qualifier. Why would anyone hire a tutor with minimal education, especially if you need help learning an academic subject?

A tutor must be at least one level more advanced than their pupil.

Your tutor must be one level higher than you
The general rule for tutors is that they must be one level higher than you before they can help you with English, Maths or any other subject. Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

In the UK, no rules govern who can tutor or what qualifications tutors must have. However, the general guideline is that they must have mastered at least the level you're at.

That means that, if you're studying for your GCSEs, it would be perfectly acceptable for an A-Levels student to tutor you. If you're preparing to sit A-Levels, you may receive tutoring from a first-year university student.

Note that if a particularly bright student in your class helps you, that is called peer-to-peer learning, not tutoring - even if you pay them.

All of that boils down to this: you don't need to search for a tutor with a doctorate degree in Business Administration if you're working towards your GCSEs. Just think of the money you'll save, not having to pay the high fees such worthies often command!

What about experience?

You might think that an A-Level or university student would lack the real-world experience of working in business; that is a valid point. If they have no experience in the field, how can they contribute to your understanding of it? To that, we answer: in a couple of surprising ways.

For one, the Business Studies curriculum is progressive. Each level builds on the previous one: presenting new concepts, further exploring established ideas and gradually introducing intangible aspects of business such as risk and ethics. So, as you struggle to grasp fundamental business concepts, they've already mastered them and have moved on to more challenging aspects of business studies.

For two, a tutor who is close to your age can better understand and relate to your ideas and misconceptions about business. Whereas someone with decades of experience in business (and tutoring) might not get your views on the environment or the workforce, someone with about the same life experiences as you would. Thus, when you role-play scenarios and talk about fair trade, s/he will be able to keep up with you and offer you food for thought, too.

Now, for a bonus reason for learning with a non-typical tutor, let's toss out a few names: Michael Dell, Chris Gardner, Anna Wintour, and the recently deceased American radio host Larry King.

All of these people and countless others not mentioned took their industry by storm - indeed, became leaders of their industries with relatively little education or guidance. All, save for Dame Wintour, struggled through adversity to find innovative ways to transform their lives, their industry and the world.

The bottom line is this: you shouldn't discount anyone simply because they do not have highbrow credentials or vast experience in business or, for that matter, tutoring. Instead, look for the value they could bring to your learning experience.

Your classmate can help you learn but that is not considered tutoring
You may be taught principles of management and accounting by a classmate but that is not considered tutoring. Photo credit: UBC_CTLT on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Find a Tutor for GCSE Business Studies

Now that you know your field of candidates is much larger than you initially thought, it's time to discover where you can find the tutor that's right for you. 

You might start by asking around your local college or sixth-form schools to see if any students there offer tutoring in Business Studies. To make things easier, there might be a bulletin board displaying adverts for tutors. If there are no such adverts, you might try posting one yourself.

Maybe you only need support for specific subjects - the maths portion of the curriculum or learning how to make tables and graphs. If so, you might look for tutors who specialise in those subjects or, if posting your own advert, write that you only need lessons in those subjects.

As long as you're checking bulletin boards, why not try at your local supermarkets, shops and library, provided it's open. In these pandemic times, you just never know...

Some Business Studies students prefer an economics or accounting tutor, possibly because those subjects provide the greatest range of career opportunities after graduation.

Note: in case you were wondering what kind of job you could get after studying Business, we've listed them in a separate article.

Asking around The Student Room if anyone knows of any tutors is also a good idea. A fellow student who received tuition from an experienced tutor might refer you to the teacher that helped them so much. And, speaking of referrals: how about asking your teacher or anyone at your school if they know of anyone teaching supplemental lessons?

You can find tuition online, too - through Superprof, for example. We have loads of tutors with years of teaching experience who would be happy to help you with any subject from Economics to English and every subject in between. Superprofs have the resources and the hours to devote to making sure you score well on your GCSE exam.

Have you not yet decided what subjects to choose for your exams? Read all about GCSE Business Studies.

Finding Tutors for A-Level Business Studies

Admittedly, GCSE candidates have one more avenue to find a tutor than you do. For instance, you could enlist a classmate who always earns top marks for an hour or two of support but, as mentioned earlier, that's not considered tutoring.

If you're in your first year of study, you may appeal to a second-year student for supplemental teaching; you may even ask your teacher if s/he could recommend someone.

Otherwise, university students are the next rank up that you could draw on. You might see if an economics major has a few hours to spare you or, if you are more concerned with the maths portion of your curriculum, perhaps an undergraduate in accounting could fit the bill.

As with GCSE students, searching for a tutor online, through local papers such as FreeAds and Gumtree and on supermarket bulletin boards may prove to be the best way to find a tutor. In these pandemic times, it might be difficult to find one who will travel to your home for lessons. Perhaps it might be best to focus your search online.

Now discover our full-length article on Business Studies for A-Levels.

You can review and repeat information online with a tutor
These days, people view online lessons as the preferred way to review and repeat lessons with a tutor. Photo credit: akrabat on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Learning With a Tutor in These Times

Whether you live in London or just want a tutor based in London, online resources make it easy for you to find exactly what you need. Furthermore, due to the current conditions that make it impossible to meet face to face, making the most of virtual learning at home is pretty much our only chance at supplemental lessons.

Many tutoring businesses made today's trend toward digital services a part of their business model long before COVID. Software companies are in on the action too; there are so many learning tools and resources online that the virtual learning experience is now at least as competitive as classroom education.

You may have a homegrown tutoring agency in your city or town; perhaps they too made the leap to providing services online. If not, plenty of national - and even international tutoring companies provide school support and exam prep online. As mentioned earlier, Superprof is a sterling example of such but there are many others.

There are just a few things to watch for as you search for a tutor online:

  • Make sure they've undergone a DBS check
  • Verify their credentials (Superprof provides each tutor with a page for them to list their credentials and experience)
  • Note whether they listed their fees and mentioned that they accept payment via digital transfer
  • Check their social media profiles (if listed) to learn more about them

Not so long ago, it was much more difficult to find and engage a qualified tutor. It was also much more dangerous. Thanks to the safeguards now in place and the possibility of remote learning, you can be taught in the comfort of your home by a tutor with as many years of experience as you feel are needed.

Your turn to chime in: would a complete guide to Business Studies help you?

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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.