With the end of each semester inevitably comes final exams, and one Boston University student has created a business opportunity in tutoring peers who seek academic help during these times.
A plethora of tutoring resources are available to students, ranging from office hours with teaching fellows to private paid services. Those looking to get more specialized help in specific courses, however, have turned to I Need The A+ Tutoring, a tutoring platform developed by BU student Ben Reydler.
Reydler, a junior in the Questrom School of Business, created the platform last October after a bad experience with a tutoring service. When he reached out to a private tutoring service his freshman year, the company left him waiting for a response, and in the end, failed to match him with a tutor days before his midterm.
INTA+ is a tutoring platform that differs from other tutoring services, Reydler said, in that it matches students with tutors who have already completed a specific class at the corresponding school and know the course material, rather than tutors who are matched based on subject matter, Reydler said.
“You get matched with someone that went to BU … and got an ‘A’ in the course,” Reydler said. “They know exactly how to take the test, how to do the homework, because they’ve done it before, so they’re the ones that can best prepare you for the next midterm or the next final.”
The service offers three different tutoring packages ranging in price depending on the duration of the session — a single one-hour “Cram Session,” a five-lesson plan or a semester-long bundle.
Questrom sophomore Natalia Derzavich also struggled with finding tutoring services specifically geared toward her and her course schedule rather than a general resource such as professor office hours.
Derzavich, who has used INTA+ three times, said the service gave her the specialized experience she was looking for.
“I just loved it because it was flexible to my schedule,” Derzavich said. “It’s not like I had to go to a certain set of office hours between 12 and 1 p.m. I just tailored it to when I was free.”
Sara Abi Karam, a tutor at INTA+ and junior in Questrom, wrote in an email she is “beyond grateful” to be involved with the service.
“There is something so special about tutoring and it’s basically the love and passion of helping others,” Abi Karam wrote. “This experience enabled me to share my knowledge with others and build a less-complex stairway to success for students.”
INTA+ offers tutoring in more than 130 courses at BU, according to its Instagram account. The platform is also starting to expand to Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Reydler said the service is setting sights on other Boston institutions, such as Boston College and Harvard University.
As of now, tutoring sessions are only available virtually, though Reydler said he hopes to include an in-person tutoring option once the pandemic starts to improve.
“We are planning to go in person once things start to get a little bit better,” Reydler said. “The goal for the future is to be at every college, every university in the country.”