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Best online tutoring services 2021

Best online tutoring services
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Making use of the best online tutoring services can really give learners a boost, as it provides a budget-friendly way to get one-to-one tutoring. It’s convenient, too, as you don’t have to travel and a lot of these websites provide some kind of 24 hour service. As such, you can hop online in the middle of the night and get instant feedback on your essay or help with your tricky maths homework.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing the best online tutoring service is the vetting process for the tutors themselves. In our list, below, we’ve given extra points to the services that have a clear outline of how they screen their employees. The best ones, like eTutorWorld and Smarthinking, use a mix of interviews and qualifications to approve their tutors. 

Price is another factor that comes into play. But as with a lot of specialized goods, you’ll likely find that the services with stricter vetting processes (and usually tutors with higher qualifications) charge a little more. Sometimes, though, you don’t need a tutor who has a PhD, which is why we’ve included some low cost options, like Preply, for people who need quick help on early school topics.

These sites cater to different ages, and some are more appropriate for adult learners while others are great for kids. If you’re a grown-up who is just starting out with remote learning, we have numerous guides that can help you. Our round-up of the best online learning platforms gives a great overview of where to start, but for anyone looking for more specific help we have guides on things like the best ASL online courses and the best coding courses online too.  


1. Wyzant: Best online tutoring service overall

Wyzant logo

(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

Reasonably priced, with tutoring available across over 275 subjects, this is our top pick for online tutoring. It offers great flexibility, with prices starting at $10 and lessons available for the same day if you need. This is one of the few options that offers you the chance to meet your tutor online or in-person if you prefer. We like that the online platform offers plenty of learning tools, including an interactive whiteboard screen and the option to record and save lessons for future reference.

Its clean, easy interface makes it easy to use. The set-up process for finding a tutor is relatively straightforward, too. You simply put in what subjects you need help with, your current education level, when you’re available, and you’ll be presented with a huge pool of tutors who can help you. You can then browse through and pick the instructor who most appeals.

There are also learning resources readily available on the platform before you even start lessons, so you can use the site simply to browse through worksheets on subjects like English, math and science. User reviews for the platform are mostly very positive too, with people praising the patience and knowledge of tutors. The platform also offers a ‘good fit’ guarantee, which means that if you think that the tutor you’re using isn’t the best for you, then Wyzant will refund the first hour-long session. 


2. Revolution Prep: Best for test preparation

Revolution Prep logo

(Image credit: Revolution Prep)

Revolution Prep

Founded in 2002, Revolution Prep has coached over 1 million families across 100+ academic subjects and test prep for the SAT, PSAT and ACT.

Grades: K-college | Price: From $39.80+ an hour for real-time live tutoring with up to three students in any subject; from $41.50 an hour for 12 hours of group test prep | Subjects: Over 100 academic subjects plus SAT/ACT/PSAT test prep | Programs: 1:1 private live tutoring or test prep, 3:1 tutoring, group test prep (up to eight students) all available | Times available: Schedule-ahead tutoring, drop-in Homework Help, seven days a week

1:1 and group options available
Full-time tutors with a lot of training
Same tutor every time so you develop a rapport
Fewer subjects than competitors
Not 24/7/365
Minimum purchase of 5 hours+

Revolution Prep caters to students from K-college, however it’s particularly well-regarded for its test prep success, which includes a combination of tutoring, mock testing and rigorous feedback. The platform offers different types of online tutoring options to suit different needs and budgets, from 1:1 test prep and academic tutoring to 3:1 academic subject tutoring as well as group test prep sessions with up to eight students. 

In addition to live lessons, students can access on-demand videos, practice tests and more. There’s even a Homework Help tutoring option for grades 6-12 where students can drop in during “office hours” and discuss their work with a tutor. You can also access webinars on topics like reducing stress ahead of exams and finding out about financial aid options for free on the website, too. 

The company follows a “growth mindset” mentality centered on improving kids’ results and confidence while enhancing an interest in the subject, all in a low-pressure environment. One of the key factors that sets Revolution Prep apart from competitors in this field like Wyzant and Smartthinking is that Revolution Prep’s tutors aren’t part-time, tutoring around other obligations: they’re full-time employees of the business, with rigorous annual training and development. 

Any downsides? Revolution Prep doesn’t offer quite the scope in subjects and range as some of its competitors, and it doesn’t have the 24/7/365 option that some online tutoring companies now offer and parents have come to expect.


3. eTutorWorld: Best for individualized lesson plans

eTutorWorld logo

(Image credit: eTutorWorld)

eTutorWorld

A strong focus on a personalized approach makes this a great option for anyone who’s working towards a specific goal.

Grades: K-12 | Price: From $24 for a one-off session | Subjects: English, Math, Science | Programs: SSAT, SAT, ACT, PSAT, NMSQT and AP exams, as well as Accuplacer, HSPT, STAR-TASK, Math Olympiad and TJ tests | Times available: 24/7 (tutors discretion)

Comprehensive dashboard with everything a child needs
Focus on individual development
Rigorous assessment
Can't choose tutor

‘Individual’ is the real buzzword on this platform, as the company boasts about its completely personalized approach to learning. This means that from the get-go, pupils (or their parents) will be quizzed about learning goals and preferred teaching methods. The personal ‘curriculum’ that’s designed for pupils will then be based around the student’s competencies and the areas where they most need to improve.

You don’t get to pick your tutor on this platform, as instead you’ll be matched with one that best suits your needs. This might not appeal to people who like to have total control over their learning environment, but eTutorWorld does have a thorough vetting process that guarantees all tutors are experts in their area. In fact, 90% of tutors on the platform have over five years of teaching experience, as well as expert knowledge of their specific subject.

User reviews of the platform are glowing on TrustSpot, with a 4.6 rating out of five overall. There’s only a handful of subjects covered here though (math, science and English) but tutors are able to cater to any specific goals surrounding these topics.


4.  Smarthinking:  Best for high-quality teaching 

Smarthinking review 2021: image shows smarthinking logo

(Image credit: Pearson)

Smarthinking

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service best for those in middle school, high school, college and beyond.

Grades: Middle school through grad school and beyond | Price: From $40+ an hour for real-time live tutoring; $30+ per essay submission/résumé review | Subjects: Over 150 subjects including nursing and health service | Programs: On-demand live tutoring, scheduled tutoring, essay and writing reviews all available | Times available: 24/7/365; schedule tutoring 24 hours in advance

1:1 and group options available
Highly vetted tutors 
Integration with top universities like BU
Pricier than competitors
No options for younger children

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service best-known for on-demand live tutoring services for those in middle school, high school, college and beyond. The platform covers an extensive range of subjects, with 150 options across topics including writing, math, nursing, computing and Spanish. 

A couple of things set Smarthinking apart from its online tutoring competitors: firstly, the selective vetting process, which ensures every tutor is rigorously checked and assessed (even after they’ve completed Smarthinking training). Over 90% of Smarthinking tutors have a master’s degree in their specialist area, and 15% of tutors have PhDs. 

Secondly, Smarthinking is part of the Pearson family; as such, Pearson products are integrated into the tutoring experience (you also might be able to access Smarthinking for free thanks to its partnerships with various schools and colleges). It’s easy to use on a range of devices, and in addition to live tutoring, you can submit questions or essays for review. 

For soon-to-be graduates, interview prep, résumé help and business writing is also available, so it offers a careers-style service as well as tutoring. As well as live, on-demand tutoring and writing review, you can also schedule lessons with a specific Smarthinking tutor up to 24 hours in advance. Unusually, and as an added bonus, you can opt for group sessions, either to work collaboratively without a tutor on the Smarthinking platform (no charge) or to have a tutor’s guidance on a particular topic.

Any downsides? Smarthinking is more expensive than some of its competitors, and while it does cover a lot of teaching ground, it’s not suitable for younger kids.


5. TutorMe: Best online tutoring service for immediate help

TutorMe Logo

(Image credit: TutorMe)

TutorMe

TutorMe offers 24/7 access to its tutors, so you can get help with an assignment or organise a quick revision session anytime you need.

Grades: Kindergarten through grad school | Price: From $26 per hour | Subject: 300+ subjects, including math, writing and ACT/GRE prep | Programs: Tutoring, paper review, test prep | Times available: Get 1:1 help anytime

Plenty of virtual tools
Easy-to-use interface
Can connect to a tutor immediately, 24/7 
No group options
No option to book lessons in advance with new tutors 

TutorMe’s main USP is that you can access a tutor whenever you need. It promises to connect you to an expert “within 30 seconds” of your initial query, so you can get help with that tricky math problem or organise some last minute revision, even if you’re dropping them an email in the middle of the night.

On top of this, it also has an award-winning ‘Writing Lab’ feature, where students can submit essays or papers then receive feedback within 12 hours. It’s a good way to get some tips if you’re struggling in a particular topic and want to make sure your next assignment doesn’t get you a bad grade.

You’ll also find that the tutors are top quality, having gone through an extensive vetting process (the site claims that it only accepts 4% of applications it receives from tutors.) Throw into the mix an excellent bunch of features, like white board tools and video chat, and it’s easy to see why this platform is so popular.

It’s not necessarily the cheapest option, although there is the opportunity to have lessons billed at a $1 per minute rate (this could quickly add up, but it might be useful if you only need a five minute chat with an expert.) There are no group tutoring options though, and it’s also tricky to book lessons in advance, which is why it hasn’t quite netted the top spot on this list. 


6. Skooli: Best for price-per-minute plans

Best online tutoring services: Skooli

(Image credit: Skooli)

Skooli

A great tutoring service with a clear price-per-minute structure.

Grades: Elementary, Middle School and High School, College | Price: $0.82 per minute, 15 minute minimum per session | Subjects: Math, languages, humanities, science and business. | Programs: Tutoring, test prep, and more | Times available: Tutors available 24/7

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

Skooli covers a broad range of topics; although it previously focused on math, it now covers everything from Spanish to economics.

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.


7. SpecialEdTutoring.com: Best online tutoring service for special needs students

Best online tutoring services: SpecialEdTutoring.com

(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. 


8.  Learner: Best online tutoring service for math 

Learner logo

(Image credit: Learner)

Learner

With highly qualified tutors, this math-focused platform can help anyone who's struggling with numbers.

Grades: Elementary through grad school and beyond | Price: Usually $40 - $80 an hour | Subjects: Math | Programs: Tailored, live tutoring available. | Times available: Tutor discretion

Careful matching with tutors
Tutors are high calibre 
Pricing is obscured on website
Extensive set-up process 

The tutors on Learner are there to help with one subject only: math. A tricky topic, it’s one that a lot of pupils need help with - and Learner tutors can certainly be very helpful, as many of them are Ivy League graduates with specific areas of math-related expertise. 

Like plenty of other online tutoring services, Learner allows pupils to connect with tutors via video call, where they can use whiteboard features to scribble down problems and discuss answers. You can access the first lesson for free – without providing card details – and lessons are recorded, so you can watch them back if needed. Tutors and pupils provide feedback after each lesson, to track progress, and the platform matches pupils with tutors who fit their specific needs.

The only real negative about the site is its hidden pricing structure. To get a quote for a lesson, you’ll have to connect with a member of the team. When we inquired, we were told that most lessons cost between $40 - $80. A little expensive, but you are paying for top quality tutors. 


9. Preply: Best online tutoring service for languages

Best online tutoring services: Preply

(Image credit: Preply)

Preply

Grades: All ages and grades catered to | Price: Varies, but usually around $40 | Subjects: Over 50 languages covered | Programs: Tutoring, advanced placement exams, and more | Times available: Tutors available 24/7

Clear pricing
Verified language tutors
Have to book lessons in blocks

This online tutoring service is exclusively for language students. Lessons are offered in 50 different languages, including Spanish, French and Italian. When we were testing out the platform, we found it really easy to navigate through, and the helpful scheduling tool meant that we could quickly see when tutors were available for lessons. The site puts more emphasis on your language proficiency, rather than your educational grade – it caters for all ages, but there's no way to filter tutors by grades.

If there’s any downside to this platform it’s that there’s an abundance of tutors, so narrowing down your search can feel like a mammoth task. And although a lot of tutors offer very reasonable prices on this site, lessons have to be booked in blocks (so there’s no option to sneak in a short and sweet session as a one-off before an exam.)

That said, we did like that the platform offers a ‘free trial’ period, where you can ask for your money back if you don’t think the tutor was a good fit for your learning needs. But with so many tutors available, we think it’s likely that you will find someone who can help you with your language skills. 


10. Tutor.com: Best for US military families

Best online tutoring services: Tutor.com

(Image credit: Tutor.com)

Tutor.com

Online round-the-clock tutoring for instant help

Grades: K-12 up to college | Price: $39.99 for 1 hour; discounts for packages | Subjects: 40+ subjects including English, math, science, languages, business and social sciences | Programs: Tutoring, homework help and test prep | Times available: Tutors available 24/7

Lessons at times to suit the student
Targeted help to tackle problems as they arise
No consistency with tutors
Unused time expires at the end of your billing cycle
Need credit card details to sign up 

Part of the Princeton Review, Tutor.com is aimed at high school and college students in the United States and Canada. Lessons are available at any time of the day or night and don’t need to be booked in advance. Instead, students can ask for help with a particular problem and they will be connected with a tutor straight away to talk them through it in an online lesson.

Flexibility and convenience are key factors with Tutor.com. The platform has tutors teaching more than 40 subjects so there’s likely to be someone available who can help with any homework or revision issues. There are no set lesson lengths – sessions are as long as they need to be, even if that is just five minutes. But while this approach means students can get the help they need quickly, it does mean there is no consistency and one person might work with a number of different tutors.

If you’re a parent looking for a tutor who will get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses to help them fulfil their potential, Tutor.com is not for you. However, if you’re a student who often has questions about your work and would love to have some expert advice at your fingertips, this platform might just be the answer. 

Customers pay per hour either through a monthly subscription or a package and the costs are typical for online tutoring. One major plus is that the service is free for members of the US military and their dependents.


Why trust us for online tutoring

We realize it's impossible to review every individual tutor on these platforms, so instead we’ve ranked them according to things like features, pricing, ease of use and public user reviews. We also gave a higher ranking to platforms that offer some kind of guarantee, which means that you should be able to find an instructor to fit your learning style.  

Choosing an Online Tutoring service

Accreditation
We think the best sites are those that hire their tutors based on their credentials. 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.

Ruth Gaukrodger

Ruth has worked across both print and online media for five years, contributing to national newspaper titles and popular tech sites. She has held a number of journalist roles alongside more senior editorial positions, and is now the Digital Learning and Hobbies editor at Top Ten Reviews.