The 8 Best Online Tutoring Services of 2020

Find the best educational resources

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

It's no secret: Many parents are turning to online tutoring services for their children in grades K-12. Whether your household is full of newfound homeschoolers or if you're looking to help supplement your child's in-person learning, online tutors are more in-demand than ever.

But it’s important to find the tutoring program that fits your child’s needs and learning style, as well as your family’s budget, goals, and schedule. That’s why we’ve combed the market and compiled a list of the best online tutoring services, whether you’re hoping to enrich your child’s learning with a fun elective or are trying to help them achieve their dreams.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Chegg Tutors

Chegg

Chegg

We selected Chegg Tutors as the best overall online tutoring service for its combination of affordability, flexibility, tutor availability, and subject variety.

Chegg tutors come from top colleges and universities, and they mentor students of all ages in hundreds of subjects—from engineering and test prep to essay writing, AP classes, ESL and foreign languages, and even music. They’re also available 24/7 on Chegg’s online platform, making it easy to start learning or get some extra help ASAP.

A single, online chat lesson with a Chegg tutor costs about $11 for instant help. If you think you or your child will need more long-term assistance, you can subscribe to Chegg Tutors for unlimited lessons for roughly $20 per month. Or, if you prefer a more personalized touch with video calls, you can get an hour per month with a Chegg tutor for a subscription fee of roughly $30.

Best Budget: Learn To Be

Learn To Be

Learn To Be

While online tutoring programs can be invaluable for many students looking to achieve their learning goals, they’re often pricey and unattainable for many families. The nonprofit Learn To Be aims to bridge that gap with a "choose if you can pay" model for their one-on-one online tutoring in a digital classroom.

The company's tutors have served more than 2,000 students since the nonprofit was launched in 2012. The program offers tutoring in math, science, reading, and English to K-12 students from qualified families. Parents regularly report that their children’s test scores and GPAs improved significantly after enrolling in Learn To Be.

If your family is in need of affordable tutoring, head to Learn To Be’s website to fill out an enrollment form. If you’re approved, your child will be matched with a tutor by email and they will create a personalized study plan from there.

Best Variety: Tutor.com

Tutor.com

Tutor.com

Tutor.com—which acquired the The Princeton Review in 2014—is one of the most comprehensive online tutoring services on the market.

The company's tutors—who are available online and on the Tutor.com mobile app 24/7—offer homework help and live learning sessions for everyone from kindergarteners to adult learners in more than 250 subject areas.

Subjects include math, science, history, drama, and the humanities (taught in both English and Spanish), as well as ACT, SAT, P/SAT, and GED test prep, AP and IB courses, student success skills (like note-taking, organization, and time management), nursing and health, business, technology, essay and cover letter writing, and even career support.

Tutor.com’s prices depend on the package you choose. If you subscribe on a month-to-month basis, prices range from about $40 for an hour of tutoring (usually broken up into three, 20-minute sessions, on average) to roughly $115 for three hours of tutoring. Meanwhile, one-time packages range from around $350 for 10 hours of tutoring across six months to about $1,450 for 50 hours of tutoring across six months.

Tutor.com also offers free tutoring for students from U.S. military families, funded through the U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Best for Language Learning: Preply

Preply

Preply

Preply, one of the best online tutoring services for language learners, boasts thousands of native-speaking tutors from about 185 countries around the world. Students can use Preply to grow their working vocabulary, complete foreign language homework assignments, or even work toward becoming fluent in one of over 20 languages.

Each Preply language tutor sets their own prices and schedule, so you can search for them by availability, nationality, language, or cost. After scheduling a first session that fits both your and your tutor’s schedule, you’ll meet with your new tutor to discuss your goals and take your first lesson.

You can also browse language tutors’ profiles to read reviews from other parents and students to make sure you find the best fit for your child. Students who aren’t satisfied with their first session with a new tutor can get another Preply tutor for free or receive a full refund.

Costs vary depending on the type of tutor and frequency.

Best Homework Help: Skooli

Skooli

Skooli

Skooli’s flexible pay-as-you-go learning model—at around $1 per minute, with a minimum of 15 minutes in one sitting—makes it one of the best online tutoring services for instant homework help.

You or your child can ask a specific question or start chatting with a tutor to see if you get along. Within seconds, you can begin a live video session from any device with a tutor in popular subjects like trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, or physics. Skooli’s interface is also uniquely interactive, with a virtual whiteboard that allows students to work through tricky word problems alongside their tutor.

Skooli offers tutoring help for elementary, middle school, high school, and college students in math, science, languages, the humanities, and business. Students can rewatch their tutoring sessions anytime to jog their memory about what they learned.

Best for Writing Improvement: Pearson's Smarthinking

Pearson

Pearson

Pearson’s Smarthinking is one of the best online tutoring services available for students who want to improve their writing skills.

Although Smarthinking’s tutors—90% of whom have master’s degrees or Ph.D.s in their chosen subject—can teach middle school, high school, and college students in almost any area of expertise, they truly shine when it comes to helping learners achieve their potential when it comes to writing.

Smarthinking’s prices are also reasonable, especially considering their tutors’ level of expertise. Four hours of on-demand, online tutoring in your choice of over 150 subjects costs about $150, while an hour costs roughly $45.

You can also submit your or your child’s sample SAT or school essay assignment for a comprehensive review by an expert writing tutor. Fees for this service range from around $13 for an SAT essay to approximately $32 for a standard-length essay and around $50 for an essay over 10 pages long.

And, for older students looking to land a job or start college, Smarthinking’s resume, college admissions essay, and cover letter review services could help them reach their goals.

Best Test Prep: TutaPoint

TutaPoint

TutaPoint

Staffed primarily by retired teachers, college and and university professors, and teaching assistants, TutaPoint offers some of the best online tutoring services on the market for SAT and ACT test prep.

TutaPoint packages for SAT and ACT test prep start at about $425 (includes three hours of online tutoring, a full-length practice test, and an individualized study plan), with the most expensive, all-inclusive packages coming in at roughly $1,895 (includes 10 hours of one-on-one tutoring, unlimited practice tests, and a year’s worth of access to a wealth of online prep resources).

Each online test prep student gets guidance in test-taking strategies and a customized prep guide built around their specific strengths and weaknesses. Most packages also include access to an online portal with quizzes, practice drills, and TutaPoint’s test prep workbook. Students with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, or learning disabilities can access live sessions with TutaPoint tutors who have specialized training in helping students with learning differences.

Best for Math Tutoring: Mathnasium

Mathnasium

Mathnasium

Mathnasium is a neighborhood-based, math-only learning center franchise with over 1,000 locations. Mathnasium@home is an online alternative that offers the same customized, one-on-one math tutoring programs taught by the same expert instructors.

Designed to help both students who struggle with math and advanced students who want to be challenged and up their STEM game, Mathnasium’s program starts with a detailed assessment of each elementary, middle school, or high school student’s current grasp of relevant math concepts. Then, a private tutor will design a personalized plan that caters to that student’s particular strengths and weaknesses. Homework help and test prep are baked into the curriculum, and regular evaluations are used to periodically assess each student’s progress.

Prices for Mathnasium@home programs vary by zip code, but current estimates online range from about $200 to $300 per program.

How We Chose the Best Online Tutoring Services

We selected these programs for our list of the best online tutoring services based on the variety of available subjects, tutoring and teaching expertise, along with quality, affordability, flexibility, tutor availability, and user-friendly technology.

We chose some tutoring services because they had a mix of all or many of these qualities, according to users. Others made it onto the list because of a specific benefit that made them stand out.

For example, Preply earned a spot on the list because of its laser focus on assisting language learners of all stripes. Likewise, Smarthinking is ideal for students who need to sharpen their writing skills. Meanwhile, Skooli was chosen due to a mix of affordability and tutors’ availability for instant homework help at any time, day or night.

What Are Online Tutoring Services?

With online tutoring services, qualified teachers, tutors, subject matter experts, or mentors teach students in one-on-one sessions via video chat, phone, or even online chat and email. You might build a long-term relationship with a specific tutor over time, or you might use a tutoring service that allows you to contact a variety of instructors at any time of day or night. 

How Much Do Online Tutoring Services Cost?

The costs of online tutoring services vary widely, depending on the tutor’s level of expertise, training, and education. In general, however, you might expect an hour of one-on-one online tutoring to cost $30 to $80, on average. A larger online tutoring package, which might include test prep and access to online resources as well as multiple hours of live instruction, might cost more than $1,000.

Minute-by-minute online tutoring services—for students who have a specific question or need homework help—are becoming increasingly popular. Usually, these services cost around $1 per minute—usually with a minimum amount of time per session.

Some online tutoring services have steep discounts available for people who buy monthly subscriptions to a certain total number of hours of tutoring (or even unlimited hours per month). These services are often more affordable. And, students from military families or those who demonstrate financial need might be able to access free or low-cost online tutoring.

Who Should Use Online Tutoring Services?

Many families seek out online tutoring services for their children when they are falling behind in a given subject and need to beef up their understanding in a given area. Students often greatly benefit from an online tutor’s targeted, one-on-one attention in a subject area they struggle with.

Some students seek out online tutoring services for a particular, targeted purpose, such as standardized test prep. Others might want help for a one-time need, such as an essay review or assistance in crafting a college admissions essay.

Gifted students who want more of a challenge, or who are interested in an AP course or elective that isn’t offered at their school might also find online tutoring services enriching.

Finally, online tutoring services can also help students who need instant homework help. Some online tutoring services give students access to immediate assistance from a subject matter expert at any time, day or night, which can be particularly helpful if you have a specific question on an assignment.

Was this page helpful?