The Best Online Tutoring

Hiring the right tutor can be a difficult task, especially in an area without access to a large candidate pool. Online tutoring services are a convenient solution, connecting you to a worldwide network of specialists in a variety of subjects and delivering instruction virtually, on your time. We tested out 16 of the top online tutoring platforms around — and found three that had everything we were looking for.

The 3 Best Online Tutoring Platforms

Best Tutors
Skooli
Pros
Highly qualified tutors
Well-rounded services
Flexible packages
Cons
High price tag

Why we chose it

Highly qualified tutors

Skooli was the only service to receive the highest possible score in our credentials metric. All of Skooli’s tutors are fully-credentialed teachers, so you can take comfort in knowing that all of their instructors are fully qualified. Even when you need to find a tutor on-demand, you’re guaranteed to always have a qualified tutor, no matter the circumstance.

Well-rounded services

Skooli offers K-12 and college tutoring in over 70 key subjects using a virtual classroom. In addition to scheduled learning sessions, it also offers instant homework help at any time of day. Skooli is also one of the few services with a full-featured mobile app, so you can access the help you need from anywhere.

Flexible packages

While most of the companies we looked at charge a flat rate for one-hour sessions, Skooli offers four separate options: pay as you go, 5-hour packages, 10-hour packages, and 20-hour packages. The more sessions you purchase upfront, the more money you save. Skooli also has a free trial, so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you before committing to any of its programs.

Points to consider

High price tag

While you can save by purchasing a number of sessions at once, Skooli is still on the pricier side at $49 per hour. That’s because all of its tutors are fully-credentialed teachers, something we didn’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for the absolute best online tutors, you’ll have to pay a little more.

Largest Curriculum
Club Z!
Pros
Extensive curriculum
Virtual classroom
In-person options
Cons
Lacks on-demand sessions

Why we chose it

Extensive curriculum

Club Z! had the highest rated curriculum offerings in our review. It provides tutoring for Pre-K through Undergraduate students in hundreds of subjects, as well as test preparation for the SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, and even the ASVAB. No matter what age the student or subject you’re looking for help with, Club Z! will have tutors trained specifically for your needs.

Virtual classroom

Club Z! had some of the most impressive learning tools in our tests. Tutoring sessions are conducted in a virtual classroom that utilizes a digital whiteboard, audio and video chat, and easy document and screen sharing. All of its sessions are also recorded so you can play them back whenever you need to review that particular material.

In-person options

Club Z! is known primarily as a nationwide chain of after-school learning centers, and although we thought its online tutoring program is one of the best around, we liked that you have the option for face-to-face tutoring as well. If at any point you want to get extra, in-person attention, you can always visit one of its 400+ locations.

Points to consider

Lacks on-demand sessions

The only major drawback to Club Z! online tutoring is the fact that it does not offer instant homework help or on-demand sessions. While it does have all-day availability (even on weekends, holidays, and during school breaks), you will need to schedule all of those sessions in advance.

Best for Special Needs Students
SpecialEdTutoring.com
SpecialEdTutoring.com
Pros
Tailored specifically to special needs students
Partner with your child’s school
Comfortable environment
Cons
In-home tutoring may be more beneficial

Why we chose it

Tailored specifically to special needs students

Like the other companies in our review, SpecialEdTutoring.com offers one-on-one online instruction in a virtual classroom setting using all of the latest digital tools. However, all of its curriculum is tailored specifically to the needs of students with learning disabilities, and all of its tutors hold degrees in Special Education. It’s the only online service we saw that’s dedicated entirely to special needs tutoring.

Partner with your child’s school

If your child has already been approved for special education services in their school, a dedicated tutor from the company can work with both you and the school to support your student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). It also offers tutoring designed to help children (and their parents) who are homeschooled – the tutors can either work with your current curriculum or provide you with complete lesson plans tailored to your child.

Comfortable environment

Some special needs students can really benefit from online tutoring because it takes place in a familiar setting. It can take a lot of time for some children to open up to a new teacher, and being in an environment they’re already comfortable with can expedite the process. That means some students will find it easier to hit the ground running with their new tutor.

Points to consider

In-home tutoring may be more beneficial

An online tutoring service might not be right for every student. If you think your child would benefit more from a private, in-home tutor, there are a lot of great options. During our research, we found some resources that we thought were really beneficial. We highly recommend checking out Varsity Tutors and Care.com. They both have search filters that can help you find experienced teachers living in your area who specialize in your student’s disability. You can also inquire with your state’s department of education – most have a list private agencies that offer tutoring services for students with disabilities.

Tips for a Successful Tutoring Experience

Plan ahead

Try to identify subjects, assignments, and tests that will require a tutoring session as early as possible. As the semester goes on, tutors get busier and their schedules get harder to coordinate. The best online services will still be able to find you a tutor on-demand, but there is no guarantee that your preferred tutor will be available if you wait until the last minute to book an appointment.

Take notes in class

Tutors are supplemental teachers. Your primary source of learning should always be your classroom instructor. Your tutoring session will be much more effective if you attend classes regularly, take notes, and attempt your assignments. Your tutor can use your classwork to identify your trouble areas and formulate the best plan to help you improve.

Try your homework before your session

Your tutor is more than willing to work through your homework with you, but remember that your time each session is limited. If you attempt your homework ahead of your appointment, your tutor can quickly review it to identify the areas where you need help. If you wait until your session to start it together, you could end up spending the entire session working through problems that you understand before you get to the ones you don’t.

Bring your materials

It might sound obvious, but make sure you bring your textbooks, class notes, assignments, and anything else that will be useful during your sessions. If you don’t have the materials you need, your tutor will not be able to effectively teach you what you need to know. Save time by having them laid out, organized, and ready to go for your session. If your school utilizes a coursework website, send your tutor the link ahead of time (if possible) so they can see exactly what you’re working on for themselves.

Log in early

For each session, power up and log on at least 5 to 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This will give you time to fix any last-minute problems that might cause a delay, such as lengthy system updates or a bad internet connection.

Take notes during your session

You will most likely have a virtual whiteboard to work on problems with your tutor, but you should also bring a notebook to take physical notes during your session. Those physical notes can help you in your classes and on future assignments.

Be vocal

Tutors want to teach in a way their students best understand, so it’s important that you not be passive during your sessions. If your tutor’s style isn’t working for you, speak up and say so. If certain activities make it hard for you to stay focused, let your tutor know so you can try a different format in a future lesson. Your tutor can’t make changes if you don’t voice your concerns.

Take breaks

If you have a long session, you might start to lose focus after a long time of sitting and staring at the computer screen. Let your tutor know if you need a quick break. Take a minute or two to get up, stretch, get a drink, and do whatever you need to quickly reset your mind and body for the rest of the session.

Schedule regular sessions

Tutoring often works better as an ongoing process rather than the occasional cram session. Regular appointments can help you keep up with your school material and avoid the stress of last-minute studying.

Consider small groups

If you are uncomfortable with one-on-one tutoring, or are having trouble engaging in your sessions, consider small-group tutoring. Some people learn better in a multi-person environment where they can exchange ideas with their peers. Small groups offer you more of a “classroom” experience, while still giving you the personal attention that you might not get at school.

Set realistic expectations

Successful tutoring takes time. Just like you wouldn’t expect to learn an entire year’s worth of knowledge in the first few weeks of school, you also can’t expect to raise your grades from a “D” to an “A” after only a few tutoring sessions. It’s important to set realistic expectations before you start so you don’t get discouraged or frustrated along the way.

Online Tutoring FAQs

What is a tutor?

Tutors are private teachers who work with students either one-on-one or in small groups outside of the regular school system to strengthen their understanding of course materials and help them succeed in their studies. They do so by teaching concepts, problem-solving methods, effective studying techniques, and test-taking strategies using methods best suited to each student’s individual learning style.

What are online tutoring services?

Online tutoring services connect students and parents to a worldwide network of tutors trained in a variety of subjects and grade levels. These live tutors work one-on-one with students either through online chat or in a real-time virtual classroom setting.

What’s the benefit of online tutoring?

Online tutoring services have all of the educational benefits of traditional, in-person tutoring with an added level of choice and convenience. And with more options to choose from than local, in-person services, it’s the simplest way find the tutor that matches both your specific content needs and learning style.

For students who have trouble finding the time to schedule a traditional in-home session, or who may have difficulty traveling to a nearby learning center during operating hours, most services have 24/7 availability. You can schedule an online lesson at any time of day when it is most convenient for you.

Online tutoring also tends to be cheaper than in-person tutoring. Because tutors don’t have to travel to clients, they have fewer expenses and can fit more appointments into their day. This translates to lower costs per session for you.

How do online tutoring services work?

Every service is different, but most follow the same basic model. Once you’ve registered, you simply select the topic and grade level you need help with, and the system will give you a list of qualified tutors. From there, you can view a detailed profile of each, send an introductory email, submit a question, or schedule a future session. If you’re using an on-demand service, the system will automatically pair you with an available qualified tutor and drop you right into a live session.

The Best Online Tutoring: Summed Up

Skooli
Club Z!
SpecialEdTutoring
The best
Tutors
Curriculum
For special needs students
Tutor requirements
Teacher credentials
Tutor certification
Degree in special education
Recorded sessions
Mobile app