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Let’s face it, as students, we’re always looking for ways to make an extra buck. There are a number of ideal ways to make that cash but they are hardly ever aligned with what you’re actually doing or studying. If you’re a BCom student for instance, getting a job as a waiter might brush up your table clearing skills but there are other ways to make that money while staying in your lane like tutoring.

It’s pretty simple, if you’re doing your first year in tertiary, you’ve most probably completed matric and there’s probably a subject which you enjoyed more than the others. With a bit of polishing, you will be in a position to teach someone else what you have learnt and how to get through as you did.

First things first, what is expected of you as a tutor?

  • Be approachable. No learning will take place if your tutee is uncomfortable with you.
  • Understand the syllabus. You need to have a crystal clear understanding of what you are going to teach, be good at what you teach. Preparation is key so you also have to practice your lessons.
  • Understand your tutee. Tutoring sessions are usually on a one-on-one basis so you need to know what your tutee is struggling with and what their strong points are in order to make your lessons more effective. If you know what your tutee is really into, you might be able to use this to help them understand the work better, for instance, if your tutee loves soccer, you could use soccer analogies to explain maths concepts.
  • Persistence and patience. Understand that your tutee might struggle with a few things even after your lesson, you just have to put apply more effort and continue being helpful.

Now with the capabilities of being a good tutor, we need to get you started. There are two ways to go about this:

  • Tutoring through an agency
  • Private tutoring

Tutoring through an agency is a good way to go as it minimizes on the administration and advertising on your part. The agency you register under will basically do all the advertising, getting tutees, arranging the sessions and billing the tutee, all you would have to do is show up for the session and teach. Agencies will charge a standard rate for tutoring and keep a certain percentage for themselves. Examples of tutoring agencies where you could apply are:




Private tutoring is when you decide to branch out on your own and do everything yourself. This would be ideal if you already have people to tutor (a customer base), if you don’t then you will have to market your services. You can do this by posting ads on online classifieds (perhaps Gumtree), handing out flyers or even word to mouth. With private tutoring, you get to keep all of your earnings but you would also have to do all the admin yourself.

Tutoring is not an easy buck, you have to really work for your money, but it could be very fruitful as you get more clients. The more experienced you are, the higher the rate that you can charge so it works out in the long run.

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