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Best online tutoring services 2021

Best online tutoring services
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best online tutoring services have changed the educational landscape, offering pupils the chance to catch up on lost hours in the classroom from the comfort of their living room. With tools like whiteboards and the option to chat via messenger, it presents a new kind of online learning environment that can be adapted to suit students’ needs.

But there are so many options available, it can be hard to choose the best online tutoring service for your child without going down a research rabbit hole. That’s where this guide can come in handy, as it outlines the areas where each platform excels. Skooli, for example, offers a pay-per-minute option, which is great for students who need to chat with someone for five minutes. Other platforms, like Learner and eTutorWorld, are great for those who want to build long lasting relationships with their tutors.

It’s worth noting that we have a separate guide to the best online learning platforms. That guide focuses on websites where you can pick up new skills and hobbies, whereas the tutoring options below are focused on providing one-on-one help. If you’re looking to work your way through a course and master a new language, we also have guides to the best learn Spanish online courses and the best learn French online apps and websites

But if you’re looking for one on one help, for you or your child, then read on.


1. Wyzant: Best online tutoring service 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

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. 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.


3.  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. 


4. 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.


5. 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. 


6.  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. 


7. 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. 


8. Club Z!: Best online tutoring service for kids

Best online tutoring services: Club Z!

(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. 


9. Tutor.com: Best online tutoring service for high school students

Best online tutoring services: Tutor.com

(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. 


10. TutorEye: Best for quick, easy access tutoring

TutorEye Logo

(Image credit: TutorEye)

TutorEye

You can access a tutor in minutes through this service.

Grades: K-12 and college | Price: $15 - $30 an hour | Subjects: Math, Science, English, Languages | Programs: Test prep, proofreading, homework help | Times available: 24/7

Tutors available around the clock
Written help with homework as well as live classes
Clear pricing with pay as you go option
Student won’t always have the same tutor
Credentials of tutors vary

TutorEye makes it super easy to access tutors. While a lot of platforms make you go through something of an 'introductory' process, filling out forms and chatting with a company representative, TutorEye can connect you to a tutor very quickly with minimum admin. It also has one of the clearest pricing structures available, with one-off lessons starting at $30 an hour and monthly packages starting at $49.99, granting you access to 120 minutes of tutoring. This flat rate means that you won't get the rock bottom prices offered by other platforms, such as Preply, where tutors are free to set their own rate. But it does mean you can accurately budget for the service.

There's a real focus on core subjects here (English, math and science) so if you do opt for that monthly package you can get help across a small, but important, range of topics. And pupils have access to the standard online tools such as video chat, white board features and quizzes.

Our main gripe with the platform is that you're not guaranteed to have the same tutor for successive sessions. There's also a lack of clarity on how tutors are vetted; although the company only selects tutors with degrees, it's not clear how they narrow down their pool of applications. If you just need occasional help with bits of coursework, this might not be too much of an issue for you. But if you're someone who likes to establish a relationship with your tutor, you might want to look elsewhere. Overall, it's not quite as sophisticated as some of our higher ranked platforms, but it's a good option for someone who needs no-frills tutoring.


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.