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Best online tutoring services 2021

Best online tutoring services
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are so many reasons why you may need to use one of the best online tutoring services. Most people sign up to supplement a school-level education, especially if their kids are behind in their academic grades, or if they've been forced to stay away from high school for a chunk of time. Given how disrupted things have been been over the past 12 months, you may find that your kids need a little help catching up on their school work. If that's the case, online tutoring services are a great option.

However, it isn't just parents turning to the best online tutoring services. Many adults use it to refresh their knowledge in certain subjects, or even to upskill themselves for job applications. There's no age limit on these services, and each one connects you to fully qualified tutors who can help you with a range of core subjects.

When you're choosing the right tutoring site for your needs, make sure you check a handful of things. First of all, it's important to know that all the tutors on a site have been verified, and that their qualifications are genuine. Without this, you may end up getting bad advice or tutoring that actually damages your education. All the providers in our list run tutors through these checks. You should also determine cost, as the price of tuition can mount up, depending on how many lessons you have. Just note that some charge you per lesson, while others charge for time.

Our list of good, reliable online tutors is below. For more educational help for your kids, we also have guides to the best typing software for kids and a look at learn Spanish online classes, if you're looking for more specialized help around languages. Most of those apps do all kinds of different languages, and they're perfect for students of all ages and abilities.


1. Wyzant: Best overall

Wyzant: Best online tutoring services for in-depth sessions

(Image credit: Wyzant)

Wyzant

Traditional tutoring, but online

Grades: Elementary through grad school | Price: Hourly rate set by tutor, some with group rates available | Subjects: 300 + subjects including math, writing, and SAT prep | Programs: Tutoring, test prep | Times availalbe: Dependent on the tutor

Detailed and personalized tutor profiles
In-person option, but limited
Can get expensive over time
Students claim mixed results

If you’re looking for a more traditional tutoring experience but online, Wyzant is the choice for you. There is very little that is as effective as regular one-on-one tutoring with an experienced tutor, and that’s what Wyzant has to offer. Wyzant works like a marketplace of tutors: these teachers advertise their credentials, knowledge, and experience, and earn clients this way. As a parent, you can browse profiles to find a tutor who will best meet the needs of your student and whose personality matches with them the best. 

Because Wyzant has a more traditional tutoring structure, it also has a more traditional payment system. Tutors set their own rates, which typically lie within the $30 - $70 range. 

We like that the company now operates with a 'Good Fit Guarantee', which means that if you spend an hour with a tutor and feel that they're not a good match, you'll get a full refund.


2. Skooli: Best for math

Skooli

(Image credit: Skooli)

Skooli

A great tutoring service for student struggling in math

Grades: Elementary, Middle School and High School, College | Price: $0.82 per minute, 15 minute minimum per session | Subjects: Primarily math, although other subjects are serviced | Programs: Tutoring, test prep, and more | Times available: Tutors available 24/7

Highly specialized in math tutoring
Simple and transparent pay-per-minute plan
Feedback loop between tutor and student
Limited learning tools
No tutors or subjects beyond college level

Generally, students need the most help from tutors in math topics. While Skooli has tutors for most subjects, we highly recommend that you choose this platform for your math tutoring needs, because it covers a broad range of topics within this particular subject.

It’s transparent pay-per-minute payment structure is also perfect for students who don’t want to commit to a subscription. You can use Skooli as little or as much as you need, and if you require more in-depth help from a tutor, that’s available, too. You’ll get feedback from your tutor and can improve on your skills in and outside the classroom. Plus, Skooli has a satisfaction guarantee - if you're not happy with your first 30 minute session, you can try out a different tutor for free. And if you're still not satisfied after that, you'll get a full refund.


3. SpecialEdTutoring.com: Best for special needs students

SpecialEdTutoring.com review

(Image credit: SpecialEdTutoring.com)

SpecialEdTutoring.com

Focusing on students with learning difficulties

Grades: Ages 4 through 65, regardless of grade | Price: Starting at $25 per session, rates personalized at the time of consultation | Subjects: ost subjects, with the exception of foreign languages | Programs: Homework help, supplemental learning tutoring, homeschooling help | Times available: Tutors work with clients’ schedules

Programs tailored to special needs students
Each tutor has a degree in Special Education
Free consultation
Cost not disclosed until consultation
Foreign languages not included

Not every student is given the same opportunity to learn, and not every student learns the same way. Some have different learning abilities and challenges that can make them fall behind in a classroom where they are not given the best opportunities and individualized attention. Special education hopes to change that, but with a burdened school system, even students with no diagnosed learning disabilities are falling behind. The parents of these students, whether special needs with an IEP or those who are experiencing an increasing amount of difficulty, should look into the services that SpecialEdTutoring.com can provide. You can’t browse tutor profiles or know for sure if the subject your child is experiencing difficulty in will be covered, but that’s where you can benefit from a free consultation. Every tutor has a degree in Special Education and can follow your student’s IEP, so you can be confident that the service is worth your time and money. 


4. Club Z!: Best for kids

Club Z! review

(Image credit: Club Z!)

Club Z!

Online tutoring with an in-person option

Grades: Pre-K through undergraduate | Price: Starting at $57.75 per hour for 1 hour; discounted rate for hourly packages | Subjects: English, math, science, and more | Programs: Tutoring, study skills tutoring, test prep | Times available: Availability dependent on tutor

Has online tutoring, online classes, after-school programs, and in-home tutoring
Good reputation, especially for tutoring for kids
Expensive
Needs increased attention to online tutoring service

Exploring the idea of online tutoring, but not sure if it’s the right fit for your student? Turn to Club Z! The service’s flexible programs - with in-home, online, and franchise-based options - can help your student learn outside the classroom. The online tutoring option mimics the in-person tutoring offered by Club Z!, making it a popular and attractive choice for busy parents. Plus, it has a fantastic reputation and is well-known across the country. Though this can be expensive, we recommend that parents look at Club Z! simply for its patient and qualified tutors keen on helping students succeed. 


5. Tutor.com: Best for high school students

Tutor.com review

(Image credit: Tutor.com)

Tutor.com

Backed by The Princeton Review

Grades: K through 12 | Price: Subscriptions starting at $39.99 per hour per month, One-time purchases starting at $349.99 for 10 hours over 6 months | Subjects: 40+ subjects including english, math, science, and more | Programs: Tutoring, test prep | Times available: Availability dependent on tutor

Free tutoring for students in military families
Backed by the Princeton Review
Mixed results with tutors
Unused time expires at the end of your billing cycle
Confusing website and offers

Backed by The Princeton Review, the go-to source for students planning for higher education, Tutor.com is a good choice for high school students. It has all the subjects high school students could potentially need help in, and right there on the website, you can get help with test prep. While Tutor.com won’t necessarily be everyone’s top choice, it should be for students in military families or students whose parents are offered tutoring packages through other institutions. For students who have a parent in the military, online tutoring through Tutor.com is free, so it’s a no-brainer option. Other students who will be paying full price for the service may see a hefty cost, but will benefit from a very generous money back guarantee, known on the site as the Good Grades guarantee, even though it’s relatively restrictive. 


Why trust us for Online Tutoring

We realize the experience you have with online tutoring comes down to the effectiveness of the individual tutor that you’re working with. But because we can’t find the single most amazing tutor online from thousands of online profiles, the best that we can do is evaluate the platforms that host them. We compared pricing and payment plans to find you the best deal on tutoring services. We’ve also made sure the services we recommend offer support and are easy to contact if you encounter any problems.  

How we tested

To find the best tutoring services, I began by researching online forums looking for services that treat students and tutors fairly, and I perused dozens of sites to get acquainted with the best tutoring software available on the web. After creating a login, profile, and account at each site, I read through the application processes for tutors to find out the requirements for each site.

I scheduled online sessions using the software and met with tutors online to discuss their experience with the programs. I browsed tutoring profiles and checked privacy and safety features, and I also read the honesty and academic learning policies each site has in place to encourage real improvement in students’ performance. Because academic institutions take dishonesty very seriously, it was important to ensure these sites have an ethical code that prevents tutors from doing the work for students.

Choosing an Online Tutoring service

Accreditation
We think the best sites are those that hire their tutors based on their credentials, like Skooli or MindLaunch. You’ll want to find someone with teaching and tutoring experience before entering a session. You’ll also want to check out the safety and privacy policy of the tutoring service in order to protect both you and your students and to manage your payment options securely.  It’s also worth it to check to see if the site you’re using has a guarantee that protects you from having to pay for a bad first session with a tutor.

Features
There’s a lot of technology that makes sharing information easier than ever. That said, even the most cutting-edge tutoring suites require some patience and know-how to use. Make sure you use the free trials and the demo learning suite tools to make the most of your experience before signing up for a certain number of minutes or entering into a payment plan.   

Scheduling
If you’re looking for help with a problem immediately, you’ll want to use the drop-in tutoring features of Chegg and TutorMe, another peer-to-peer tutoring service. These sites’ employment standards aren’t as high as others, but if you’re in a time crunch or low on funds, these are good go-tos. If you have a bit more time or need more involved help, you can schedule ahead with someone who has more teaching experience on sites like Skooli, or Mindlaunch, another site that requires teaching credentials before hiring.

Payment
You’ll want to watch for payment plans that require you to pay a lot upfront. Though pay-as-you-go plans tend to be a bit more expensive than purchasing a package of hours, it might be worth it to use this option to make sure you’re happy with the service and your tutor.