NEW technology is fuelling a boom in the online grinds market for Leaving Certificate students.
A smartphone or tablet computer may be all a student needs to access the growing choice in exam preparation courses.
The trend towards e-learning is making it possible for more students to avail of grinds and last-minute revision courses.
Students from better-off backgrounds and those living in cities are more likely to do grinds, with parents paying €50 an hour for one-to-one teaching.
However, digital tutorials are available at much lower cost and offer greater accessibility and flexibility with their "anytime, anywhere" approach.
Observers reckon the grinds industry could be worth €40m.
As well as individual grinds, private colleges also offer weekly/weekend classes or Easter revision courses. One college charges €275 for an Easter revision course in one subject – up to €595 for four subjects.
As the switch to online learning gathers pace, educational book publisher Folens has launched a new online exam preparation service through their digital wing, Apierian.
Another recently introduced service, onlinegrinds.ie, offers live and interactive classes at €10 per hour, or €50 a month.
Round-the-clock lessons on Project Maths for both leaving and junior cert students, are available on the mathstutor.ie website.
The eircom StudyHub service has been offering free tutorials with all of its broadband packages.