I scheduled sessions with more than 10 online tutoring services and researched their credentials, privacy settings and learning tools. Based on what I found, I think Chegg is the best option. Read on to learn more about this service as well as others worth considering.
Overall Best Tutoring Service
Overall Best Tutoring Service: Chegg Tutors
Chegg has more tutors than any other site I tested, and it connects you to them faster. In addition, you can choose which tutor you want to work with. Help is available 24 hours a day, and the service has some of the best scheduling and lesson suite tools I saw during testing. The site also lets you pay as you go, which is especially nice when you just need help with a single problem.
Best for Peer-to-Peer Tutoring
Best for Peer-to-Peer Tutoring: TutorMe
TutorMe is another great 24/7 service, and it hires college students as well as people with degrees to help you with your courses. The site has a live chat feature and message boards, which make it easy for students to collaborate with tutors. After your session, both you and your tutor rate your experience. In addition, TutorMe monitors your interactions with tutors closely, which makes it a safe space for students to get help.
Best Tutoring for Tough Subjects
Best Tutoring for Tough Subjects: Skooli
All the tutors on Skooli have or are working on advanced degrees, or they have teaching accreditation. These strict requirements make it a great platform if you’re working on particularly difficult coursework. Also, its easy-to-use site makes it one of the better places to find an online tutor in general. Because there aren’t as many tutors on the site, you should schedule an appointment with one in advance.
Best Long-Term Online Tutoring Program
Best Long-Term Online Tutoring Program: MindLaunch
MindLaunch only hires accredited teachers to tutor on its site, and when you make your first appointment, you talk with a learning coordinator who assesses your individual needs. If you want help with more than just an assignment or two, MindLaunch is the best place to go. And it is a great resource for entrance exam prep and help with college applications.
Best In-Person Online Tutoring Program
Best In-Person Online Tutoring Program: Wyzant
Wyzant connects you with tutors in your area, and it’s the only online platform I found that lets you set appointments to meet with tutors in person. The site also has online tools you can use during your tutoring session. Because it simply hosts tutors’ profiles and doesn’t employ them, Wyzant isn’t as choosy about credentials as some of the other sites I reviewed. However, the service has a background check feature to mitigate safety concerns, and it securely processes your payments so you don’t have to give your credit card information directly to the tutor.
Best International Program
Best International Program: Preply
If you’re learning a new language, consider using Preply, which connects you via Skype to people around the world. On this site, tutors set their own prices, and you can often speak with native language speakers for reasonable prices. Because the service doesn’t have a learning suite like some of the others I reviewed, I recommend using it for language immersion practice rather than for help with papers and other homework assignments.
How to Choose an Online Tutoring Service
The best online tutoring services balance essentials, such as safety, with convenience, and they have cutting-edge tutoring suites. Here’s what I found is important to consider as you choose an online tutoring service:
Most services employ tutors who are currently enrolled in college or have a degree in their field of expertise. However, a few sites, such as MindLaunch and Skooli, require that their tutors have graduate degrees or teaching certification. If you are looking for long-term help with college prep or a particular course, I recommend using sites that have higher standards for their tutors.
One downside to using these highly accredited services is the price – they typically charge more because they’re worth more. Another problem is there are often fewer instructors available on sites with rigorous hiring standards, so if you want to work with one, you have to schedule an appointment several days in advance. If you just need quick feedback on a paper, sites with tutors who are enrolled in college or have degrees, such as Chegg or TutorMe, are good option, and they have decent prices.
Safety is important, especially if you’re looking for a tutoring site for your child. One way some services protect customers is by keeping a record of all student-teacher interactions that happen in their online tutoring suites. When you use a service that does this, you can review what the tutor said to your child during the session at any time. Additionally, sites can keep students safe by routinely performing background checks on the tutors they allow to use their platforms. On sites like Wyzant, you can see information from a tutor’s background check in their profile.
A lot of the services have a space on their site where tutors can connect with students, often called a learning suite. Sites that make it easy to record and keep track of your sessions are better than those that don’t because they allow you to review what you discussed with the tutor. Also, suites that have features like drawing pads or workspaces make it easier to collaborate with you tutor and work through problems in the virtual space.
Many of the tutoring services I reviewed have similar online workspaces. However, I encountered a few that need updates and have limited features. Some sites, including Skooli and Tutor.com, either let you test out the learning platform before paying for tutoring or offer a free trial, which is a good way to see if the service’s suite has the tools you need for the subject you’re working on.
The best sites let you connect with tutors in a variety of ways, including over online chat, video and voice chat. They also allow you to upload files and worksheets and share your screen with your tutor. Even though the tools in most online tutoring suites are better than they were even a few years ago, they continue to require patience on the students end – it takes time to drop files and share information or create graphs in the tutoring spaces, especially if you’re work on advanced math problems. Chegg, TutorMe and Skooli all have up-to-date learning suites that are comparatively easy to work in.
I also found sites that keep track of the tutors you work with to be particularly useful. This feature makes it easy to email or message your favorite tutors to schedule new appointments and is a time saver.
Tutoring prices vary widely – during my research, I even found a service that charges $649.00 an hour. As such, you want to keep an eye on the prices each site charges. In addition, a few of the services I reviewed let the tutors set their own fees, which is nice because you can find help in your price range. However, I preferred sites that charge flat rates for tutoring by the minute or hour – it helped manage expectations and made the selection process easier.
Others tutoring services allow you to pay as you go, so you only pay for the minutes you use. While there are pros and cons to both approaches, just paying for the time you need is usually the best way to get a good deal.
While there are sites that offer very low prices, the ones that fall in the middle of the range are usually the safest bet – these are typically the sites that require that their tutors have a college degree or that they be currently enrolled at a university. Services with prices around 50 cents per minute are the best ones to consider.
Some of the tutoring services offer 24/7 help for students and parents, in case you have trouble the night before an assignment is due. This open availability is one thing that sets online services apart from standard brick-and-mortar tutoring centers. However, late at night, you don’t get as big of a selection of tutors as during the day, and you might get matched with someone who isn’t as helpful as your regularly scheduled tutor. If you plan to use a tutor, even on these 24/7 sites, I recommend planning ahead. There’s nothing worse than striking out late at night before a huge assignment or test is due.
The best services let you browse and handpick the right tutor. Sites with filtering options that help you find tutors who work with language learners and students with disabilities as well as services that helped you find a tutor by region are the easiest to use.
People most frequently use online tutoring services for test prep and help with college applications. If you fall in this category, keep an eye out for a service with special college entrance prep features like video tutorials and handouts.
Help & Support
Because a lot of these sites let you instantly connect with a tutor, we found they deemphasized technical support access. Sites that provide easy access to both technical support and tutors are easier to use overall. The best services have contact information for live chat, phone or email support featured prominently on their sites. Most of the services I used have FAQs for students, parents and tutors, and those with more robust, searchable FAQs make it easier to find the information you need quickly.
Testing & Methodology
I set up appointments with a variety of tutors on each site to interview them about their experience working for the service. During testing, I also checked to see how long it took to be paired with a tutor and how much I was able to customize my tutor search. In addition, I reviewed the responses to the inquiries I sent out.
Because I can’t guarantee that everyone will have the same experience with every tutor they encounter on these platforms, I mostly based my recommendations on each site’s tools and features, including those for scheduling and in-suite learning, as well as hiring standards. I also used the sites’ messaging and payment systems.
I reviewed each service’s FAQs and searched its forums for reviews to see if other customers were satisfied with their experiences on the site. Finally, I conducted interviews with company staff and management and discussed their goals for their sites.