Online tutoring services are a great way to improve your understanding of class material, score higher on tests, and prepare for standardized exams such as the SAT and the ACT. While tutoring services can provide you with the tools and knowledge to overcome a standardized test, most services can help you with college and even graduate-level courses.
So which tutoring service provides you with the best service and value? In my research I examined the success rate, subjects offered, and prices of each tutoring service. Customer support and communication channels, however, were also at the top of my list. I have reviewed the top online tutoring services that offer a plethora of services to fit your needs.
Key Considerations When Choosing an Online Tutor
Many studies have supplied evidence that tutoring is highly beneficial for a student. According to the Department of Education's "Evidence That Tutoring Works" publication:
"An Oregon tutoring program that included two weekly 30-minute sessions, led to increases in words per minute read aloud from 45 to 61.5 by the end of second grade, and increases from 77 words to 91 words by the end of the third grade."
Not only that, but frequent and regular tutoring sessions, with each session lasting between 10 and 60 minutes daily, also resulted in better outcomes.
So it's no lie that tutoring is highly beneficial, but what tutoring service would satiate your needs as a student? There are several factors to take into consideration when deciding upon the best tutoring service. Different sites will provide different tutoring services for various subjects, at different prices. Here are some aspects of online tutoring services that deserve an approach:
The Success Rate
The success rate of the online tutoring services is essential in determining whether or not you should adopt the service. For instance, with Chegg, over 90 percent of Chegg Study users report better grades, according to a December 2016 Chegg Study user survey.
The Subjects Offered
How varied are the subjects offered in tutoring sessions? What do the tutors excel in in terms of subjects?
Statistics show that paid tutoring may lead you to higher academic achievement. According to a study published in Research in Middle Level Education, "students who received tutoring performed higher on standardized test scores in the areas of mathematics and language arts than students who did not participate in tutoring."
So not only is tutoring essential, but paid tutoring provides you with a greater quality of service. In other words, the phrase "You get what you pay for" stands true.
Nevertheless, you should consider the value you're receiving with online tutoring services. How are the prices? Do the services offer a trial period or a Money Back Guarantee? This is what you should look for when determining an online tutoring service that fits your piggy bank.
What formats are the tutoring sessions delivered in? Most services offer to tutor through a chat-focused user interface, video, or voice chat. Another question to ask yourself is, "Are there any additional features that I can take advantage of?" Those are the questions you should ask yourself when determining the service that suits you best.
The Best Online Tutoring Services
- Offers services beyond tutoring in a textbook rental, test prep, and more.
- Amazing security
- Various subscription plans and rates, complete with a trial period
- Broad range of subjects and skill levels within each subject
- Easy-to-use system
- Help is limited to junior high, high school, and college students
- Customer support may not be reliable
Chegg is one of the best online tutoring sites that you can utilize in your studies. Chegg offers tutors (24/7, mind you) who have been screened to guarantee their knowledge and ability to teach. Chegg, which is originally known as a textbook provider, provides students with not only the ability to buy, rent, and even sell textbooks, but also grants students with study tools, ACT preparation and online SAT tutoring, college tools, and even internships.
With Chegg, you'll find tutors who place emphasis and priority on the students. Chegg offers quality and secure tutorial services under four total plans, which can be canceled or switched at any time: weekly, monthly, a second monthly, and pay-as-you-go. Not only that but new students also receive 30 minutes free of charge. You'll find subjects of all sorts at Chegg, including but not even remotely limited to accounting, biology, chemistry, programming, electrical engineering, college admissions, essay writing, and more.
Chegg is also fantastic in terms of its user-friendliness. First, you're able to choose the subject and select the tutor (complete with reviews) that you'd like. After you secured a tutor by sending them a profile message, you'll be transported to a virtual lab, complete with a whiteboard feature where both students and tutors can work out any answers visually. Students can also discuss their subject issues via video. Additionally, students can chat via typing with a tutor.
- Offers tutoring services to grade-school students
- Online tutors are available 24/7
- Highly-ranked tutors
- Doesn't specialize in college courses, though you can receive help as a college student
- A little more expensive compared to services like Chegg
- Doesn't offer as many subjects as Chegg
Tutor.com is another valuable website that strives to help improve the student's grades by ensuring that the students understand the material. The online tutors are available 24/7, 365 days a year. You'll receive the best tutors as well as personalized one-on-one sessions. You can also choose from a wide array of subjects, though it appears that the subject list isn't as vast compared to Chegg - it doesn't offer animation art, for instance.
Tutor.com boasts a session count of 14,660,700 at the time of this writing. There's a good reason for that: the interface is quite user-friendly, complete with a whiteboard and virtual classroom, and the tutors do their utmost best to ensure that you understand the content, though if a tutor struggles with the content you're asking about, then you may be passed onto another tutor.
Furthermore, the services are considered rather expensive, measured in hours, though you will have the better grades guarantee on your side if you select the 2-hour per month plan and beyond. These plans come complete with 24/7 access, mobile access, unlimited number of sessions, and no long-term contracts.
- Available on mobile and desktop
- Incredibly vast array of subjects
- The service is expensive
- No additional features like blogs or videos
Skooli, which was founded in 2014, is a newer online tutoring service that connects both K-12 and college students (this includes Ph.D. students) with professional tutors in an online classroom. Like Tutor.com or Chegg, students are able to book sessions, but they can also schedule a session. Students are able to select their own tutors or search for a tutor based on the subject and grade level.
Skooli tutors who have had their backgrounds verified are marked with a purple badge. Over 75 percent of tutors who are either licensed teachers in the United States or licensed teachers in Canada are marked with a golden apple on their profile. Again, like Chegg or Tutor.com, tutors are reviewed by the students. Those who receive poor reviews are subsequently removed from Skooli.
The Skooli virtual classroom relies on video communication, text chat, an interactive whiteboard, session recordings, and, advantageously, Google Drive integration. When you sign up to receive tutoring, you'll find that the list of subjects is huge: you'll find subjects ranging from AP Japanese Language and Culture to Egyptology. Online math tutor? You can find one. Online writing tutor? You bet! In fact, Skooli provides students with a Spanish tutor online or even a Chinese tutor.
Unfortunately, despite the subjects offered, the plans are expensive - even more, expensive than Tutor.com. You purchase these plans by either pay as you go or by a select number of hours: 5, 10, or 20 hours. However, if you purchase certain plans, you may be eligible for free tutoring credit.
- Tutors from high-ranking colleges
- Virtual lab that you can demo
- Mobile access
- Exclusive Test Prep Services
- More expensive compared to Chegg
- Some common languages aren't included in the subject list, i.e. Chinese or Italian
TutorMe isn't as well known as the other online tutoring services, but that doesn't mean it is bad. TutorMe is user-friendly and streamlined, featuring tutors from high-ranking colleges such as Berkeley, the University of Southern California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Yale.
As a student, you can merely request what you need aid with by relying on the smart matching system. You then receive live one-on-one help with the virtual lab, which comes complete with the virtual whiteboard (that you can demo), audio and video chat, screen-sharing, a text editor, and more. After the session is complete, you can then review the tutor (and the tutor can review you). You'll receive on-demand service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You'll also be able to connect with an expert in under three minutes. If you're new, you're also eligible for a free trial that consists of 30 minutes of tutoring. Plans otherwise range between pay-as-you-go to 120 minutes per month. plans are a little more expensive compared to services like Chegg, but you'll have access to a vast variety of subjects, ranging from Android Programming to Test Prep subjects such as the LSAT, MCAT, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. While TutorMe is expensive, it's also a useful and reliable tutoring service.
- Choice between offsite or online tutoring
- Flexibility of subjects
- Features additional resources such as blogs, videos, and more
- Money Back Guarantee
- Prices may vary due to individual standards set by tutor
- Money Back Guarantee is limited only to the first hour
Wyzant is a service that focuses on tutoring, but online and offline. In other words, students are able to search for or request tutors for either face-to-face interaction or online tutoring. You only need to answer a few questions regarding what you want to learn, when you're available, and where you want to meet. You then pick your instructor (who has credentials that you can check), who charges you individually.
Finally, you will meet with your instructor with the help of the messenger on desktop or mobile. You only pay your tutor once you have completed your lesson. In other words, Wyzant provides you with great control and flexibility over your sessions, complete with a Money Back Guarantee for the first hour.
Wyzant also provides you with a broad range of subjects ranging from MCAT preparation to programming to art theory. If you need an online chemistry tutor, Wyzant has you covered. Wyzant also provides you with resources relating to college scholarships, answers, lessons, blogs, and videos. While Wyzant has tutors charging their own hourly rates, you will have flexibility in subjects and the opportunity to meet with a tutor face-to-face.
The Pros and Cons of Online Tutoring Services
With everything in life, there are a set of pros and cons. However, just what are the pros and cons of online tutoring services?
Pros of Online Tutoring Services
Online tutoring services are typically more convenient than hiring a face-to-face tutor, who is required to meet with the student at a home or near your home at a specified time (which they may or may not be available for in the first place).
Online tutoring services may be cheaper compared to other tutoring outlets, but it depends on what service you're looking for. According to Care.com, private high school tutors can run you between $10 and $15 per hour, but certified teachers can charge you to $75 per hour. Tutoring agencies, which help match you with a tutor, charge a registration fee as well as a fee for individual tutors, which could start at $25 per hour. Tutoring centers with a full class that meets once a week may cost about $50 per month, but you're not receiving the benefits of private tutoring.
Online tutoring services are also more flexible when it comes to time. Whereas other tutoring services provide you with aid for an allotted time (typically an hour), you can use an online tutoring service between just a few minutes to a few hours.
Cons of Online Tutoring Services
Unfortunately, with several online tutoring services, you may miss any connection that face-to-face interaction may provide.
Not only that, but some online tutoring services do not even have a human involved. In that case, you may not receive the attention that an actual tutor would give you. Fortunately, the top services I have selected all have humans for tutors.
Determining the Best Online Tutoring Service
I analyzed several online tutoring services - including Presto Experts, Varsity Tutors, Pearson Smarthinking, and more - in order to consider which services stood out on top. I've narrowed down the selection by analyzing the following factors:
- Reputation among the community - How well does the community rate the service? The best services feature extraordinary reviews among both the company and its tutors.
- Features - The best services not only focus on excellent tutoring (both offsite and online are preferential) but also additional features that would serve the student well. Can parents monitor the student's progress? Does the service feature blogs? A scholarship program?
- Subjects offered - The best services offer a vast array of subjects, even rare subjects that not many people understand. If the service offers something for every student, then it deserves a high ranking.
- Pricing and value - What does the service charge you? What are you receiving for the services? This helps narrow down the tutoring services.
If you're not satisfied with online tutoring services, then seeking a tutoring program where you meet with an actual person may be a good alternative. According to a study by Walden University, peer tutoring has been used across academic subjects and has been found to improve academic achievement for students within a wide range of content areas.
For parents concerned about the academic standing of their young students, some positive outcomes of peer tutoring include an increased sense of responsibility for achievement, less disruptive behaviors in class, and improved social skills.
Overall, there are plenty of online tutoring services available, but you have to find the service that suits you best. If you're interested in one-on-one tutoring in a more personal setting, you should consider Wyzant, but if you're interested in a service that provides you with free online tutoring and top-notch security, then you should instead turn your attention to Chegg.
While an online tutoring service may act as the gateway towards a more successful future, you may want to consider your financial future as well. In that case, you should certainly take a peek at our review of the best student loan companies.
You can also save money by renting textbooks rather than purchasing them. If you're considering renting textbooks, then you should take a moment to read our textbook rental comparison article.