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Best online tutoring services

Best online tutoring services
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s difficult to pick the best online tutoring service. There are so many platforms available now — a lot of them with similar features — there’s almost too much choice for learners. On the positive side of things, this means that you’ll definitely be able to find a tutor that suits your needs, whether you’re a K-12 pupil or a college student. But you’ll also have to spend some time searching through your options.

This guide to the best online tutoring service should help you whittle down those choices. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best tutoring sites for things like test prep and grade boosting, along with platforms that are suited to those with special educational needs. We’ve also highlighted the drawbacks of platforms, where they don’t quite meet the mark, so you know which ones to avoid.

If you’re also interested in independent learning, you might want to look through our guide to the best online learning platforms. These websites and apps offer a wide range of courses, in things like languages and sciences — although you won’t get the same level of attention as you would with an individual tutor. We also have guides to the best coding courses online, along with a breakdown of the best learn Spanish online courses. But if it’s definitely one-on-one tutoring you’re after, then read on.


1. Wyzant: Best online tutoring service overall

Wyzant logo

(Image credit: Wyzant)
Traditional tutoring, but online

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed and personalized tutor profiles
+
In-person option, but limited

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get expensive over time
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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.  Remind Tutoring: Best for a consistent approach 

Remind Tutoring Logo

(Image credit: Remind)
Online math tutoring with experienced teachers

Specifications

Grades: 2-12
Price: $40 for 40 minutes, $60 for an hour
Subjects: Math including algebra, calculus, geometry and trigonometry
Programs: Personalized tutoring
Times available: Mon-Fri: 12pm to 8pm, Sat/Sun 7am to 6pm

Reasons to buy

+
Free trial session to test platform
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In-depth feedback after lessons 

Reasons to avoid

-
Lesson times are limited
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Less flexibility than some competitors 

Remind Tutoring offers math tutoring to school-aged children in the United States who need a bit of extra support in the subject. The platform offers the same sort of service you would get from employing a tutor to come to your home, except the lessons take place on a video call and use an interactive whiteboard.

Students are matched with a coach, who will teach them on a regular basis – usually at the same time each week. The price is similar to traditional in-person tutoring at $60/hour so it will be beyond the budget of many families. However, we liked the consistent and personalized approach.

Coaches are all qualified teachers with real classroom experience and they set their students clear goals to work towards which take into account the areas where they need most help. Parents are encouraged to come onto the sessions to help with goal setting and detailed feedback and advice is given at the end of each lesson.

Remind’s strength comes with building long-term relationships to help students get results. There are no gimmicks or guarantees, just a free 40-minute trial session. After that, the lessons are priced at the same rate whether you book 10 or 100.

Some families will prefer the flexibility of other platforms where lessons can be arranged at a moment’s notice at any time of the day or night. But if you want the personal approach of face-to-face tutoring without having to invite someone into your home, Remind Tutoring could be the company for you.


3. eTutorWorld: Best for individualized lesson plans

eTutorWorld logo

(Image credit: eTutorWorld)
A strong focus on a personalized approach makes this a great option for anyone who’s working towards a specific goal.

Specifications

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)

Reasons to buy

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Comprehensive dashboard with everything a child needs
+
Focus on individual development
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Rigorous assessment

Reasons to avoid

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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. Revolution Prep: Best for test preparation

Revolution Prep logo

(Image credit: 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.

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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1:1 and group options available
+
Full-time tutors with a lot of training
+
Same tutor every time so you develop a rapport

Reasons to avoid

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Fewer subjects than competitors
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Not 24/7/365
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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.


5.  Smarthinking:  Best for high-quality teaching 

Smarthinking review 2021: image shows smarthinking logo

(Image credit: Pearson)
Smarthinking is an online tutoring service best for those in middle school, high school, college and beyond.

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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1:1 and group options available
+
Highly vetted tutors 
+
Integration with top universities like BU

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than competitors
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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.


6. TutorMe: Best online tutoring service for immediate help

TutorMe Logo

(Image credit: 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.

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of virtual tools
+
Easy-to-use interface
+
Can connect to a tutor immediately, 24/7 

Reasons to avoid

-
No group options
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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. 


7. ArborBridge: Best for test prep and mentoring

ArborBridge

(Image credit: ArborBridge)
Online academic tutoring and test preparation

Specifications

Grades: K-12, college and graduate
Price: $160/hour K-12 tutoring, $225/hour for college-level tutoring and test prep; discounts for packages
Subjects: Covers all academic school subjects
Programs: Tutoring and test prep for ACT, SAT and other exams
Times available: Lessons held at mutually convenient time

Reasons to buy

+
Tutors act as mentors to students 
+
Money-back guarantee if not happy after three lessons 

Reasons to avoid

-
Hourly rates are very high 
-
Website lacks information 

When it comes to ArborBridge, the tutoring and test prep services come with a high success rate. The platform is results driven and the site claims that most of its students perform extremely well in tests – with nine out of 10 coming in the top 5% of those taking SAT and ACT tests. Students are matched with an experienced top-level tutor and a program manager who devise a personalized learning plan just for them.

Online lessons are accompanied with interactive tools like whiteboards and screensharing and detailed lesson notes are given out at the end of each session to help students and their families monitor progress. Students build a relationship with their tutor and program manager who get to know their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses. But this comprehensive and personal approach comes at a high cost and the price of the lessons means ArborBridge is beyond the budget of the vast majority of families.

One thing we liked about the platform was that it offered test prep for a wide range of exams, including graduate-level tests. And while it represents a major financial commitment, you won’t be expected to pay unless you’re happy with the service as you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied after three lessons.


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

Best online tutoring services: SpecialEdTutoring.com

(Image credit: SpecialEdTutoring.com)
Focusing on students with learning difficulties

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Programs tailored to special needs students
+
Each tutor has a degree in Special Education
+
Free consultation

Reasons to avoid

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Cost not disclosed until consultation
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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. 


9.  Learner: Best online tutoring service for math 

Learner logo

(Image credit: Learner)
With highly qualified tutors, this math-focused platform can help anyone who's struggling with numbers.

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Careful matching with tutors
+
Tutors are high calibre 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricing is obscured on website
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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. 


10. Preply: Best online tutoring service for languages

Best online tutoring services: Preply

(Image credit: Preply)

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Clear pricing
+
Verified language tutors

Reasons to avoid

-
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. 


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 has worked across both print and online media for more than 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 for the Top Ten Reviews brand.