Online tutoring has existed for decades, but it has expanded rapidly since 2020 with the huge boom in online learning overall.

With online learning, students can work with the very best tutors in the nation, wherever they may be.

That said, not all online tutoring is equally effective. Some companies have taken advantage of the situation to rake in the profits with lackluster tutoring by untrained instructors.

Our Ivy-League educators have scoured the country and investigated the many online tutoring services that exist in 2022. 

We’ve carefully evaluated and ranked each tutoring service based on instructor background and training, pricing, and other features. 

Keep reading to learn about the top 16 online tutoring services in 2022!

What is the Best Online Tutoring Service?

  1. PrepMaven – best online tutoring overall
  2. Pearson’s Smarthinking – best large tutoring company
  3. Skooli – best super-quick tutoring
  4. Wyzant – alternative tutoring for families on a budget
  5. Learn To Be – best free tutoring (for qualifying families)
  6. Schoolhouse – best free peer math tutoring

The best of the rest:


Best Online Tutoring in 2022

#1 – PrepMaven

Our Verdict — Best Online Tutoring Overall

Price: $66–349/hour

PrepMaven offers high-quality one-on-one tutoring at an incredibly reasonable price, given the impressive qualifications of its instructors.

Nearly all of PrepMaven’s tutors are Ivy-League grads (with a few tutors from other top-30 universities), and many have prestigious masters or doctoral degrees. Tutors are also carefully vetted and evaluated on their ability to communicate and connect with students. PrepMaven’s individualized touch means that students are paired with tutors who match their personality traits and often share interests, allowing for a stronger level of connection that studies have shown leads to better learning outcomes.

PrepMaven’s experienced tutors can customize learning sessions to meet the needs of each individual student. Depending on the student’s goals, tutors can help students work through homework assignments, review material from class, or provide additional enrichment and challenge material. PrepMaven’s attentive tutors can find any gaps in a student’s knowledge and fill in those gaps to lay strong educational foundations.

PrepMaven’s elite tutors are also top-1% scorers on key college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT and can help students prepare for those exams. Students aiming at a private high school can also prepare for the SSAT or ISEE with their tutor.

PrepMaven’s tutors have a higher level of education than other tutors at most competitors, and can easily help students with advanced subjects like AP US History, AP Calculus, AP Macroeconomics, AP Physics, and other challenging classes.

Founded by brothers and Princeton grads Greg and Kevin, PrepMaven focuses on delivering consistently high-quality tutoring to students. All tutors undergo a thorough training program and can use proprietary teaching materials to help students reach their goals.

To make high-quality tutoring accessible to more families, PrepMaven offers tutoring at several different price points. At the most affordable rate, students can work with current Ivy-League undergraduates with subject-area expertise. At higher rates, students can work with experienced coaches who hold advanced graduate degrees.

Best for:

PrepMaven’s one-on-one tutoring is the best option for any student wanting high-quality tutoring.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $66–349/hour, depending on tutor qualifications; minimum $450 package
  • Tutor qualifications: Ivy-League tutors, all experienced and highly trained, some with master’s or doctoral degrees

What we like:

  • Ivy League experience — most of their tutors are Princeton grads or current students, with some from Harvard and other Ivies
  • Different pricing options to meet different families’ circumstances
  • Smaller, boutique company offers more individualized approach customized for each student
  • Able to cover advanced subjects, since tutors have Ivy-League backgrounds and have aced AP tests themselves

What we don’t like:

  • Because they take the time to pair each student with the tutor that will be the best fit, sessions are not instantaneous and usually it takes 1–3 days to schedule with an Ivy-League tutor

Princeton University
Princeton University

#2 – Pearson

Our Verdict — Best Big Tutoring Company

Price: $38–42/hour

Pearson’s name might sound familiar — they’re a massive publishing conglomerate. You may also have heard of them from the controversy that ensued when the standardized tests that they were commissioned to create for the state of New York were found to contain over 30 errors and invalidated (whoops!).

Pearson has brought their enormous resources to produce Smarthinking, an online tutoring platform. Tutoring is convenient and can be on-demand (with whichever tutor is currently available) or scheduled in advance, and is offered at reasonable prices. Our inside sources have mentioned that the Smarthinking platform itself is over two decades old and can be buggy, so we hope that Pearson updates their platform soon.

Pearson’s tutors have a stronger educational background than many of the other competitors, with 90% of their tutors holding a master’s degree or doctoral degree. However, Pearson pays its tutors below-market wages ($11–13/hr), so it’s difficult for them to retain good teaching talent. It’s not possible to view any specific information about their tutors. There is no requirement for tutors to have graduated from top schools.

Best for:

  • Pearon’s Smarthinking is a good option for families who specifically want to work with a very large company.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $42 for one hour, $150 for 4 hours ($37.50/hr)
  • Tutor qualifications: college graduates, 90% of whom also hold master’s degrees or doctoral degrees — but not necessarily not from top-tier universities

What we like:

  • Higher educational experience — most of their tutors hold advanced degrees
  • Instant tutoring — on-demand tutoring is available 24/7, and just enter your credit card information to start immediately
  • Reasonable pricing

What we don’t like:

  • Tutors aren’t necessarily from top schools, and it’s not possible to see any information about their tutors
  • Online tutoring platform is two decades old and has technological problems
  • Low pay means they struggle to retain good teaching talent

How can effective learning now pave the way for future success? Jump below.


#3 – Skooli

Our Verdict — Best Super-Quick Tutoring

Price: $39–49/hour

Skooli is a newer online tutoring platform and the only one we’ve found that offers tutoring charged by the minute.

Families can purchase packs for 8, 16, or 32 hours, or purchase individual hours. Students can then use these hours in as little as 15-minute increments. This might be handy for students who want to ask a tutor quick questions, and who don’t care about developing a relationship with a consistent tutor.

Tutors for Skooli have college degrees, but haven’t necessarily graduated from a top-tier school. It’s not possible to see more details about individual tutors until after giving credit card details.

Their online interface is slick and modern, although according to our inside sources it crashes frequently.

Best for:

  • Students who want to work with a tutor to answer quick questions (sessions as short as 15 minutes).

At a glance:

  • Cost: $1248 for 32 hours ($39/hr), $672 for 16 hours ($42/hr), $352 per 8 hours ($44/hr), or $49/hour for individual hours, billed by the minute ($0.82/minute, minimum 15 minutes)
  • Tutor qualifications: college graduates

What we like:

  • Tutoring available in very short increments, with a minimum session length of just 15 minutes
  • Instant tutoring — on-demand tutoring is available 24/7, and just enter your credit card information to start immediately
  • Reasonable pricing

What we don’t like:

  • Students can’t work with the same tutor consistently, which is less effective for learning
  • Tutors aren’t necessarily from top schools, and it’s not possible to see any information about their tutors
  • Online tutoring platform has some technological problems and crashes frequently

#4 – Wyzant

Our Verdict — Alternative for Families on a Budget

Price: $20–600/hour

There are plenty of large platforms with large stables of part-time tutors and coaches available to work with students. Wyzant is one of the largest such platforms, with more than 65,000 tutors providing services through their website. Students and families can pick individual tutors to work with from their roster and arrange tutoring services directly.

One benefit of this model is that tutors can set their own rates, which vary hugely. Families on a budget can find online writing tutors as low as $20 per hour.

However, these tutors might not have any teaching experience or training, and they may not have graduated from a top school. Some tutors on Wyzant with more qualifications may have much higher rates — as high as $600 per hour!

Best for:

  • Families on a budget who are willing to work with a freelance tutor directly.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $20–600/hour
  • Tutor qualifications: varies

What we like:

  • Marketplace platform means that some tutors list low rates for tutoring, which can make tutoring more affordable
  • Families can choose their own tutor directly out of over 65,900 tutors listed

What we don’t like:

  • No training for tutors — which leads to uneven quality of instruction
  • Families are hiring individual tutors, which means tutor qualifications vary enormously, and there are no guarantees
  • Choosing the right tutor out of 65,000+ is one more task for busy families

What can students learn with online tutoring? Read more below.


#6 – Learn to Be

Our Verdict — Best Free Tutoring (for qualifying families)

Price: free (or voluntary contribution of $9–30 per month)

Learn to Be is a fantastic non-profit organization improving education for underserved youth in the US. Students work with the same tutor consistently, which allows them to build a strong relationship and allows for mentoring as well as learning.

Students working with Learn to Be have seen an average increase in test scores of 15.8% and an average GPA increase of 1.6 — nearly two full letter grades (for example from a C to an A-)! Tutors are volunteers who are passionate about educational equity, and range from current high school and college students to professionals or retirees.

The program works primarily with foster youth, homeless youth, and other lower-income families. Possible qualifications for free tutoring with Learn to Be include: student attends a Title 1 school, receives free or reduced lunch at school, comes from a single-parent home, is a foster child, is homeless, or qualifies for food stamps. It’s possible to work with a Spanish-speaking tutor through Learn to Be.

Best for:

  • Students who qualify for free tutoring (foster youth or low-income families).

At a glance:

  • Cost: $0
  • Tutor qualifications: varies

What we like:

  • Non-profit helping underserved youth
  • Completely free tutoring for qualifying families
  • Students work with the same tutor consistently, which builds trust and leads to a better individualized educational experience

What we don’t like:

  • Tutor qualifications vary — some tutors are high school students as young as 14 years old, and all tutors are volunteers
  • Only for qualifying youth in the US (low income or foster youth)

#7 – Schoolhouse

Our Verdict — Best Free Peer Math Tutoring

Price: free

While Learn to Be provides free or low-cost tutoring to only qualifying families, Schoolhouse is free and available to any student age 13+.

Created by Sal Khan, who is also the founder of well-known educational non-profit Khan Academy, Schoolhouse is an innovative platform for peer tutoring.

Students who are strong in math can take a short test to check their knowledge. Qualified students can then volunteer to host small-group tutoring sessions online to help their peers who might be struggling.

Schoolhouse’s peer tutoring is designed to reinforce and practice what students are learning in school. There’s no adult or experienced instructor leading the tutoring sessions, and all sessions are in groups open to any student worldwide to join, so we wouldn’t recommend it for students who need targeted help learning specific math concepts. However, it can be a fun way for students to practice math alongside their peers.

Best for:

  • Students age 13+ who want to practice math problems in a group with their peers.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $0
  • Tutor qualifications: current students age 13+ — students take a quiz to prove their knowledge but no other required qualifications

What we like:

  • Completely free and open to any student worldwide age 13+
  • Students can work with their student peers, which some might find more approachable

What we don’t like:

  • Tutors are other young students and have no experience or qualifications
  • Small-group setting doesn’t provide individual attention to students
  • Not a substitute for learning guided by an experienced instructor
  • Only math, and not other subjects

Read below: how strong grades & test scores are essential for college admissions


Best of the Rest for Online Tutoring

#7 – Princeton Review / Tutor.com

Our Verdict — Disappointing Quality from Test-Prep Giant

Price: $60–75/hour for scheduled tutoring, minimum package $450; lower-quality instant tutoring at $26–35/hour, minimum package $350; monthly subscription instant tutoring at $36–40/hour

Back in 2014, Tutor.com acquired the well-known test-prep company The Princeton Review.

(Note that the Princeton Review has no connection to Princeton University.)

They now offer subject-area tutoring in over 80 different academic areas. The range of tutoring options is a little confusing, but it basically breaks down to three different models: families can choose between (1) packages of 6–60 scheduled tutoring hours with more highly-qualified tutors through “The Academy”, (2) one-off tutoring packages of 10–50 “instant tutoring” hours that can be used over a six-month period, or (3) a monthly subscription for 1–5 instant tutoring hours each month. Tutors are available 24/7 for instant sessions.

For students enrolled in The Academy’s scheduled tutoring sessions with packages of 24 hours ($1620) or 60 hours ($3600), they advertise a “guaranteed A.” This promise turns out to be a little deceptive, as the guaranteed “A” only applies to students who already have at least a B; for students who start with a B- or lower the guarantee is for one full letter grade. For students who work with a tutor through their Homework Help packages at least 2 hours each month for 3 months in one subject, they guarantee a grade increase of at least a half-step letter grade. (This guarantee doesn’t apply for students who already have an A- or A.) Of course, there’s a lot of additional rules in the fine print for these guarantees!

Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the quality of this offering from The Princeton Review. In contrast to their operations for standardized test prep (like SAT and ACT prep), their platform for subject-area tutoring does not provide instructors with training, so there’s very little consistency. Tutors are also capped at 2 or 3 sessions per day, so they’re by design part-time instructors who are teaching a little on the side.

While The Princeton Review / Tutor.com claims to count Ivy grads and experts with advanced degrees among their tutors, we found this to be misleading. Most of their tutors have only a BA, and most have graduated from local schools that are not even in the top 200 universities. Pay for tutors is minimum wage, so it’s difficult for them to attract good teaching talent.

Surprisingly for The Princeton Review, their subject-area tutoring is a tutoring marketplace platform (similar to Wyzant). Families select individual tutors to work with based on their bios and arrange the tutoring sessions individually. For us, this obviates the point of working with a large company like Princeton Review, where in theory the advantage is quality control and a standard curriculum, even if it comes with a more corporate feel. With this marketplace model, tutor quality and qualifications vary considerably, especially given that tutors do not receive any training or teaching materials.

Our inside sources tell us that their online teaching platform is outdated and has many technological bugs that make it crash frequently, and at least one year ago it only worked on PCs, not Macs!

At a glance:

  • Cost: The Academy tutoring packages: $450 for 6 hours ($60/hr), $1620 for 24 hours ($67.50/hr), or $3600 for 60 hours ($60/hr); Homework Help packages that can be used over a period of 6 months: $350 for 10 hours ($35/hr), $950 for 30 hours ($32/hr), or $1450 for 50 hours ($26/hr); Homework Help tutoring subscriptions: $40 for 1 hour each month, $115 for 3 hours each month ($38/hr), or $180 for 5 hours each month ($36/hr)
  • Tutor qualifications: college graduates

What we like:

  • Reasonable pricing for tutoring and a range of payment models
  • Tutors are available 24/7 for instant Homework Help packages

What we don’t like:

  • Tutor qualifications vary — most are from local or state schools, not competitive colleges
  • Online platform is buggy and crashes frequently
  • Challenging for them to attract good teaching talent as pay is minimum wage
  • Low quality of teaching, surprising for a big-name player in test prep

#8 – ArborBridge

Our Verdict: Pricey Service with Mystery Tutors

Price: $165+/hour, minimum package $2400 for 15 hours

Featuring crisp, minimalist visuals and a younger team, ArborBridge calls itself “the next generation of test prep.” They’ve always been remote and online, so they haven’t suffered the growing pains with the shift to online learning that many competitors with outdated platforms (like Pearson and Princeton Review) have experienced.

That said, their tutoring is quite expensive! Their rate is always at least $160 per hour, and the minimum package is a hefty $2400 for 15 hours of tutoring. They also advertise a “concierge” tutoring service with a more customized experience — price upon request.

Is it worth the price? We’re not so sure.

ArborBridge claims to have hired the “best” tutors but they do not list any specific qualifications for their tutors or provide any bios for their tutor roster. On their (slightly-defunct) Instagram page they have provided some fun facts about a few of their tutors, but they don’t list any educational background, years of experience, or relevant professional credentials, just favorite foods and television shows. There’s no indication that their tutors have graduated from top colleges, have teaching experience, or any other relevant qualifications — unlike services like PrepMaven or Tutoring Service of New York that only hire Ivy-League tutors. In fact, our sources have mentioned that their tutors don’t receive much training prior to teaching.

They also, unlike the Princeton Review, don’t offer any guarantees for raising grades or scores.

In the end, we’re not sure why ArborBridge has such high prices without offering particularly high-quality tutoring in return. Their website looks nice, though!

At a glance:

  • Cost: $160/hour, minimum package is $2400 for 15 hours (+ 1 bonus hour); $4800 for 30 hours (+ 3 bonus hours); $7200 for 45 hours (+ 6 bonus hours) — or “concierge tutoring” with “highest level of hands-on care,” price upon request
  • Tutor qualifications: unknown

What we like:

  • Known for good customer service
  • Younger, more modern tutoring service that’s built with technology from the get-go

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive, with a minimum cost of $2400 for 15 hours of tutoring
  • No information about tutor qualifications provided
  • No guarantees for grade or score raises
  • Seems more design than substance

#9 – Learner

Our Verdict — Tutoring that Includes ESL Learners

Price: $55–80/hour, minimum $400 package

Learner is another newer online tutoring platform. Unlike many of the other services on this list, Learner also provides tutoring services to adults, especially for non-native English speakers.

While they advertise that their tutors have degrees from “top universities,” it seems that the only necessary qualification for tutors at Learner is a college degree (not just from top schools).

We found their sign-up sequence to be frustrating. New clients start by answering a series of questions about their students. While it repeatedly seems like they’ll show a selection of tutors that may be a match, this is a bait-and-switch tactic, and they never display any actual tutor profiles. Instead, new clients must first make a payment before they can view any tutor details.

Learner has a “satisfaction guarantee,” which simply means that they’ll allow families to request a switch to another tutor if it’s not a good fit.

Their rates are on the pricier side for “average” tutors who do not have teaching experience or degrees from elite universities.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $400 for 5 hours ($80/hour), $700 for 10 hours ($70/hour), $1200 for 20 hours ($60/hour), or $1650 for 30 hours ($55/hour)
  • Tutor qualifications: college graduates

What we like:

  • Explicitly offers tutoring for ESL learners

What we don’t like:

  • No specific tutor qualifications beyond a college degree
  • Prices are high given quality of service

#10 – Revolution Prep

Our Verdict — Individual and Small-Group Tutoring Online

Price: $116/hour, minimum $1398 for 12 hours

Revolution Prep is a larger platform providing online tutoring with a focus on interactive learning.

Revolution Prep is one of the only services that we researched that offers small-group tutoring in addition to one-on-one tutoring. This allows them to provide tutoring with up to three students at a time for a lower price of $40/hour (minimum purchase of $199 for 5 hours). This rate might be more budget-friendly for families than their individual tutoring, which has a hefty minimum purchase of $1398 for 12 hours.

Their individual tutoring rate of $116/hour is quite high, especially given the backgrounds of their instructors. While we like that all of their tutors are full-time staff, versus tutoring part-time alongside another career, their tutors do not have any other specific qualifications. These rates are comparable or higher than other services that provide more customized learning with Ivy-League tutors, like PrepMaven or select tutors on Wyzant.

At a glance:

  • Cost: individual tutoring $116/hour, minimum $1398 for 12 hours; small-group tutoring $40/hour, minimum $199 for 5 hours; group classes $499 for 12 hours
  • Tutor qualifications: none specified

What we like:

  • All tutors are full-time staff
  • Small-group tutoring provides lower prices

What we don’t like:

  • No specific qualifications for tutors
  • Tutoring rates are high for the type of service

#11 – Tutoring Service of New York

Our Verdict — New Service with Higher Minimum Package

Price: $112–160/hour ($1200 5-session minimum)

Founded by a former tutor with the now-defunct Ivy Global tutoring service, the new Tutoring Service of New York offers subject-area tutoring online.

Most of their tutors are current graduate students, many at Columbia University and NYU. The higher prices of the Tutoring Service of New York reflect the more elite educational background of the tutors. However, their minimum of $1200 for at least 5 sessions is high, especially since many other services have smaller minimum packages (compare $510 minimum at PrepMaven or $450 minimum at The Princeton Review), or else allow families to purchase one-off tutoring sessions (Pearson, Skooli, and others).

At a glance:

  • Cost: $1200 for five 90-minute sessions; $2000 for 10 sessions; $2700 for 16 sessions
  • Tutor qualifications: college graduates, mostly current graduate students at Columbia or NYU

What we like:

  • Qualified tutors with mostly Ivy-League backgrounds

What we don’t like:

  • New service, so client reviews are still limited
  • Higher minimum tutoring packages

#12 – Mathnasium

Our Verdict — Tutoring Franchise to Help with Math Homework

Price: varies (franchise), typically $200–425/month

Math is one of the most important core subjects, and so it’s not surprising that there are learning programs devoted specifically to math.

Mathnasium is a franchise with locations throughout the US and even internationally. As their name might suggest, they’re focused on fostering math skills only. Pricing varies by franchise location and by grade level, but most Mathnasium centers offer a flat monthly fee that allows students to attend math tutoring sessions regularly (whether online or in person), usually two or three times per week.

While other programs might focus on drills and exercises, Mathnasium typically focuses on helping students with their math homework and other math assignments. Mathnasium does not assign homework or create customized curricula for students.

One significant downside of Mathnasium’s approach is that students do not necessarily get to work with the same tutor each time. This disrupts continuity and makes it harder for students to learn, since a good tutor will track students’ progress over time and create assignments that target the needs of each individual student. There are also no specific qualifications for math tutors, so there’s no guarantee that the tutors are great teachers or have a high level of expertise in math.

Since each of the Mathnasium centers is locally owned and operated, the customer service experience can vary significantly.

At a glance:

  • Cost: varies (franchise), typically $200–425/month (costs are higher for high school levels)
  • Math tutor qualifications: none specified

What we like:

  • Focus on math, and can help students understand their math homework and other school assignments

What we don’t like:

  • Tutoring isn’t necessarily one-on-one
  • Not the same tutor every time, which is not ideal for learning
  • Covers only math, while some other tutoring services can provide tutoring for other subjects as well
  • Tutors do not have any specific qualifications

#13 – Kumon

Our Verdict — Tutoring Franchise Drilling Math and Reading Basics

Price: varies (franchise), typically $100–200/month

Kumon is an international tutoring franchise that focuses on reaching math and reading through rote memorization.

Founded by Toru Kumon in Japan in 1958, Kumon centers all follow the same learning approach based on worksheets that very gradually increase in difficulty. Students enrolled in Kumon’s program begin with a diagnostic assessment for math and reading comprehension skills. They are then usually placed in a level lower than where they scored, so that they can reinforce existing skills with additional practice. However, this also means that students have to spend time on material that they have already learned.

Students at Kumon are not able to bring in homework or material from their current classes for additional help. Instead, all Kumon sessions focus on the rigid Kumon material. The goal of the Kumon Method  is “to teach students to learn independently,” and so instructors observe students as they complete worksheets and provide guidance.

Students are also assigned homework from Kumon, in order to continue practicing at home. Students typically receive about 30 minutes of homework per day.

Since each of the Kumon centers is locally owned and operated, the customer service experience can vary significantly.

Pricing also varies by location, but runs typically about $100–200 per month. Students are encouraged to attend Kumon sessions twice per week.

At a glance:

  • Cost: varies (franchise), typically $100–200/month (costs are higher for high school levels)
  • Tutor qualifications: high school graduates

What we like:

  • Repetition of core skills can lead to a thorough understanding of the basics

What we don’t like:

  • Rigid curriculum is not personalized for the learning styles and speeds of each student
  • Rote repetition and endless worksheets may be boring or frustrating for students
  • Students can’t bring in outside homework for help with their current classes
  • Assigns a lot of extra work for students (typically 30 minutes of homework daily)

#14 – Varsity Tutors

Our Verdict — Uneven Quality Without Budget Pricing

Price: $60–95/hour

Varsity Tutors is an enormous tutoring platform offering online instruction in all academic subjects and test prep, including writing. These days their marketing has been ubiquitous!

However, Varsity Tutors’ size has many downsides — most notably, very uneven quality of teaching.

Tutors at Varsity need only a high school degree, and there is no requirement for tutors to have a college degree or teaching experience, let alone a top-tier educational background or professional writing credentials.

Tutors can join the Varsity team very quickly and are paid lower rates than nearly any other tutoring company (just $12–15 for sessions that cost families up to $95), so it’s difficult for Varsity to attract and retain good talent. Lucky families might get assigned a good tutor, but that’s not at all assured.

Varsity Tutors also does not provide any tutor materials, curriculum, or training, so it’s up to individual tutors to create everything from scratch, contributing further to the unevenness of quality.

With rates higher than the competition with similar types of tutors (no specific qualifications beyond a college degree), Varsity is significantly overpriced. We’d recommend that families either consider a more budget-friendly option that would offer the same quality as Varsity in the $30–40/hour price range, or else consider a service like PrepMaven (starting at $66/hour) or Tutoring Service of New York (starting at $112/hour) that pairs students with highly-qualified tutors with advanced degrees and Ivy-League backgrounds.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $60–95/hour
  • Tutor qualifications: high school graduates

What we like:

  • Large number of tutors, so certain to find a tutor to fit your schedule

What we don’t like:

  • No education or training requirements for tutors, along with low pay rates for instructors, means tutors are less-qualified than alternative tutoring services
  • Uneven teaching quality due to lack of resources for instruction
  • Overpriced given the lack of required qualifications for tutors

#15 – Preply

Our Verdict — Lower-Cost Tutoring Marketplace Platform

Price: $10–40/hour

Preply is a lower-cost marketplace platform. It’s significantly smaller than Wyzant.

Among those tutors listed, most don’t have high educational backgrounds. Preply is a more international platform, and some of the tutors are from other countries or located outside the US.

One benefit of Preply’s platform is that rates are very low, ranging from $10/hour to $40/hour. These rates are actually comparable or higher than the pay rates for most of the larger platforms on our list (like Pearson, The Princeton Review, Varsity Tutors, and TutaPoint), so don’t necessarily take these numbers on their own as indications of lower quality — just that tutors are earning a larger share.

That said, the tutoring available through Preply does appear to be lower-quality than other options.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $10–40/hour, depending on rates set by individual tutors
  • Tutor qualifications: varies

What we like:

  • Families can choose individual tutors on their marketplace platform

What we don’t like:

  • No specific qualifications for tutors and no quality control
  • Task of choosing the right tutor can be stressful

#16 – Chegg

Our Verdict — Message Board Help with Math Questions and Essays

Price: $20 per month

Chegg is one of the biggest tutoring platforms, so families may be familiar with their name already. We should note that they’ve pivoted several times in the past few years, so their service may have changed from what families have read.

Whereas previously (first as InstaEDU, then as Chegg Tutors) Chegg offered live tutoring instruction online, Chegg no longer offers one-on-one tutoring.

Instead, they now offer two subscription levels that allow students to view instructional videos, access answer keys for common textbooks, and receive asynchronous written feedback to homework questions. These questions are primarily answered by “subject matter experts” located in India.

Their “Chegg Study Pack” includes the option to submit papers for limited written feedback with a 48-hour turnaround time. Students can submit up to 15 short papers per month, up to 3000 words each (about 6 pages double-spaced).

That said, this is not the same as active writing tutoring with live discussion and exercises directly with a tutor. The written feedback provided by Chegg’s essay review service is limited. Moreover, the essay reviews are done by different tutors every time, so there’s no opportunity to grow through working with one tutor consistently.

This service might work for students who want merely a quick check of their grammar or other small details on school assignments and don’t care about long-term improvements as a writer. Read more about the best online writing tutoring services here.

With their Chegg Study Pack subscription, students can also post up to 20 math questions per month and receive a written step-by-step solution to the problem within 24 hours.

This is not the same as active tutoring with live discussion and exercises directly with a tutor. The written math help provided by Chegg’s essay review service is very limited. Moreover, the math problem answers are written by different tutors every time, so there’s no opportunity to grow through working with one tutor consistently.

Honestly, this service is little better than posting a math question to a helpful community forum, and it’s hard to see how it’s worth the monthly subscription fee.

At a glance:

  • Cost: $15 per month for Chegg Study subscription, which provides homework resources only; $20 per month for Chegg Study Pack subscription which provides essay reviews (up to 15 short papers per month, up to 3000 words each) and math question help in addition to the homework resources
  • Tutor qualifications: none specified

What we like:

  • Students can get help with specific math questions within a 24-hour turnaround time
  • Large number of written essay reviews per month, up to 15 short essays

What we don’t like:

  • Limited to 20 math questions per month
  • Asynchronous, written feedback is not an effective way to learn
  • No education or training requirements for tutors, and no information about who the essay or math question reviewers are

Top 75 Online Tutoring Services Considered

  • PrepMaven
  • Pearson’s Smarthinking
  • Skooli
  • Wyzant
  • Learn To Be
  • Tutor.com/The Princeton Review
  • Learner
  • Club Z! Tutoring
  • Sylvan Learning
  • Varsity Tutors
  • Yup
  • Tutor Doctor
  • Schoolhouse
  • Mathnasium
  • Kumon
  • Revolution Prep
  • Prodigy
  • Chegg
  • Paper
  • TutaPoint
  • Preply
  • Kaplan
  • TutorMe
  • StudyPoint
  • Lehman Tutoring Center
  • Spires
  • TeacherOn
  • UPchieve – free tutoring for underserved youth in the US
  • SpecialEdTutoring.com
  • Outschool 
  • Suprex Learning
  • Superprof
  • UniversityTutor.com
  • Huntington Learning Center
  • MathTowne
  • Cluey Learning
  • Galaxy Grades
  • Clever Fox Education
  • Nurturing Wisdom
  • Themba Tutors
  • Tutoring Service of New York
  • Kaplan Tutoring Services (not Kaplan)
  • ArborBridge
  • INC Education – focus on BIPOC kids
  • Central Park Tutors
  • Special Education Resource
  • Parallel
  • Aralia
  • Prepclass
  • Studypool
  • Remind Tutoring
  • eTutorWorld
  • Growing Stars
  • eTutor.co
  • TutorEye
  • Wize
  • Tutorful
  • GoPeer
  • Takelesson
  • Zeqr
  • Clascity
  • Revision Centre
  • Tutor House
  • Fleet House
  • Superprof
  • First Tutors
  • MyTutor
  • Teach9
  • TutorClass
  • Bigfoot Tutors
  • Owl Tutors
  • Keystone Tutors
  • Mentor Education
  • Kings Tutors
  • Think Academy


What can students learn with online tutoring?

Students can find online tutoring for any subject, from fundamentals in reading, writing, and math to advanced high school APs or college-level subjects.

Of course, many tutoring services offer SAT and ACT test prep or coaching through the college essay writing process

Online tutoring has also allowed students to connect with tutors for more niche subjects like creative writing, Italian language, statistical analysis, coding, gender studies, molecular biology, the sociology of fan fiction… with the internet, it’s possible to find a specialized instructor for just about anything!

Some marketplace platforms like Wyzant or Preply allow families to search for and select individual tutors by subject-area expertise.

Other more boutique educational services like PrepMaven or the Tutoring Service of New York might be able to find and pair students with an elite Ivy-League tutor in that particular subject.

An experienced tutor can also create enrichment projects for students to supplement their school curriculum and provide positive challenges and growth opportunities that can allow students to distinguish themselves in prestigious competitions and on college applications.

As class sizes continue to increase each year, even well-meaning teachers are unable to provide individualized attention to their students, and more advanced or gifted students are often left feeling bored and unchallenged in their classes. A great tutor can meet a student at their level and help them reach new heights.


Building Skills for College Admissions Tests (PSAT, SAT, and ACT)

Many students are focused on college admissions, which can have a significant impact on their opportunities for the rest of their lives.

The SAT and ACT standardized tests remain an important part of college applications in the US. Even with some schools creating temporary test-optional admissions policies during the Covid-19 pandemic, high test scores are still the norm at top schools throughout the US, and (apart from at a small handful of test-blind schools) a good SAT or ACT score will always improve a student’s chances of admission.

Both the SAT and ACT measure “college readiness” and test students on their abilities in math, reading, and writing. The ACT also includes a section on science, which focuses on students’ abilities to evaluate experiments and interpret data.

SAT section range from 200 to 800. To give an idea of what kind of SAT scores students might need, the average SAT score at the Ivy League is between 1450 and 1570, and the average SAT score at the top 50 public universities is between 1320 and 1500.

Meanwhile, ACT scores range from 2 to 36, and the average ACT score at the Ivy League is between 33 and 35.

While a great SAT or ACT score alone won’t get you into the Ivy League or another top-tier university, it’s very hard to get into a top-tier school without strong scores on the SAT or ACT.

Furthermore, high test scores can win students big scholarships through programs like the National Merit competition.

With scholarships worth $300,000 on the line, there’s a lot of incentive for students to strengthen their core math, reading, and writing skills!


Why work with a private tutor?

You may want to consider a working with a private tutor if:

  • You want to improve your grades in your classes at school
  • You want to build confidence in your abilities to learn
  • You want to get into a private school and need a good score on the SSAT or ISEE
  • Your current teacher isn’t meeting your learning needs and you want to work with an instructor who is hand-picked to match your learning style
  • You want to improve your performance on AP tests to earn college credit while in high school (and impress college admissions officers)
  • You want to improve your performance on important college admissions tests like the SAT and ACT
  • You’re tired of conflict between students and parents about homework and you want someone else to take charge of tracking assignments and progress
  • You’re aiming at a competitive college (not just the Ivy League!) and know that you need high test scores
  • You want to learn foundational skills in math and writing now so you can succeed in your later career
  • You know that if you develop strong math skills now, you’ll do better on every STEM-related class, assignment, and exam for the rest of your life!
  • You know that if you develop strong writing skills now, you’ll find written exams a breeze from now on
  • You need to write college application essays but you’re not sure where to start or how best to highlight your accomplishments for a competitive advantage
  • You want to pursue a specific interest or passion that isn’t covered by your school 
  • You want to earn scholarships and awards

Any of these are good reasons to consider working one-on-one with a private tutor.


What makes a good online tutor?

A good tutor should be an amazing teacher with experience, a strong educational background, and the ability to plan customized exercises that target an individual student’s weak spots.

Look for experienced tutors with strong educational backgrounds (i.e. who attended top universities) who have specific training in teaching that subject.

Studies have shown that students will learn better when they can establish a relationship with their tutor. Look for a tutoring service where students can continue with the same tutor and build a sense of rapport.

A good tutor can help students to succeed on any homework and assignments they may have for school. They can teach students how to work through their homework and study for important tests.

Great tutors will track student progress and help students to build confidence and motivation. We’ve found that many of our students start to enjoy school much more after working with our elite tutors!


Summary

Best overall: The one-on-one tutoring from PrepMaven is the best out there both in terms of tutor quality and price. While PrepMaven’s tutors can certainly help with school assignments, they can also create targeted practice to fill any gaps in a student’s current knowledge. Starting at just $66/hour, students can work with current undergraduates at Princeton, Harvard, and other Ivy-League universities to improve their skills. Families can also work with experienced, professional educators and Ivy-League graduates at $149/hour. As a boutique tutoring service, PrepMaven offers careful attention to each student and boasts amazing customer reviews.

Best of the big companies: The Smarthinking platform developed by publishing giant Pearson provides reasonably-priced tutoring both on-demand and scheduled in advance, and it’s better than the tutoring provided by other large companies. Their tutors have a higher level of education than many other options — the majority hold advanced degrees. That said, most of their tutors aren’t from top-tier universities, and they struggle to keep good teachers. In addition, their online platform is older and prone to crashing.

Best super-quick tutoring: If students want short-term tutoring available instantly, they might consider Skooli. Skooli is the only tutoring service we reviewed that offers tutoring by the minute. Tutors aren’t necessarily from top schools, and students can’t work with the same tutor consistently, so the quality of tutoring is lower, but on-demand tutoring can start as soon as you enter your credit card details.

Alternative for families on a budget: For families on a tighter budget, we’d suggest looking for an independent tutor on Wyzant. It’s a tutoring marketplace platform, so the quality varies hugely and there’s no oversight or qualification requirements, but you might find a decent tutor under $40/hour.
However, in our experience a good tutor can accomplish more with a student in one hour than an average tutor can do in five hours. With that in mind, it might be more effective to choose fewer hours of reliably high-quality tutoring.

Cornell University
Cornell University


Next steps

Ready to improve skills with one of our experienced tutors? Schedule a free tutoring consultation with Jessica (Director of Tutoring) or one of our founders to see what would be the best fit for your family.

Regardless of your current abilities and planned career path, building a strong educational foundation will pay dividends throughout your life.

Remember that high test scores can be used to earn scholarships as well as college admission, so a few months of tutoring now can pay off with up to $300,000 in tuition saved later.

To start working with an Ivy-League tutor today, set up a quick free consultation with our team.


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Emily

Emily graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and holds an MA from the University of Notre Dame. She was a National Merit Scholar and has won numerous academic prizes and fellowships. A veteran of the publishing industry, she has helped professors at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton revise their books and articles. Over the last decade, Emily has successfully mentored hundreds of students in all aspects of the college admissions process, including the SAT, ACT, and college application essay.