Students and parents now have a plethora of tutors available day or night. Instead of trekking to the local library to meet your tutor or asking friends for tutor referrals, online tutoring services give you access to thousands of tutors right from your computer.
You can sign up for homework help, one-on-one lessons or small group instruction. Here’s what to consider when searching for the best tutoring service for your child.
How to find the best online tutoring service for your child
Compare the following features to find an online tutoring service that rises above the others:
- Qualifications. Inquire how the tutoring service vets its teachers, including prior experience, credentials and teaching style.
- Personalized instruction and learning tools. The tutors should customize the lessons to fit your child’s needs, including adapting their teaching style, using interactive learning tools and personalizing the content itself.
- Cost. Find out the pricing per class and if the company commits you to a minimum number of sessions.
- Website platform. See if the system is intuitive and easy-to-use for you and your child.
- Subjects, tests and homework help. Virtual tutoring services may focus on academic subjects, test prep or instant homework help. Consider what topic you need and how often you would like a tutor available.
- Money-back guarantee. A company should make sure you’re satisfied with every aspect of the tutoring experience, including the service, the content and the tutor.
- Reviews. Peruse customer testimonials to see how other parents and students feel about the company, the platform and the service.
How does online tutoring work?
Online tutoring takes many forms. For traditional homework help, tutors are usually available 24/7. Although you generally don’t need an appointment for instant tutoring, you’ll probably need a tutoring package first.
Many tutoring services offer one-on-one private sessions as well as small group instruction. The tutor and students share an interactive whiteboard and workspace and use video chat to help maintain a personal connection — as if they’re in the same room.
Many tutors send a progress report after each session to highlight areas that your child did well and areas they need to work on. The video recording may also be available for additional review.
What subjects and tests can my child receive tutoring for online?
Online tutoring services offer a vast array of subjects, tests and certifications.
- Elementary subjects, including math, English and science.
- Middle school subjects, including geometry and basic computer science.
- High school subjects, including algebra, physics and American history.
- College-level subjects, including calculus, computer programming and organic chemistry.
- Languages, including Mandarin, Spanish and French.
- Test prep, including the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT), ACT, SAT and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
- Certifications, including the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) test and Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law) exam.
Are online tutors required to hold a teaching degree or equivalent certification?
No, online tutors aren’t required to have a teaching license or certificate. The company sets its own tutor qualifications and vets its applicants before hiring.
Depending on the service, tutors may have anything from a high school diploma to a full-fledged teaching license. But the interview process should evaluate the tutor’s knowledge, teaching style and personality, ensuring that its tutors know the material and effectively connect with students.
How much does online tutoring cost?
Online tutoring costs anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour. While in-person tutoring is generally more expensive than online tutoring, the final cost depends on the subject complexity, grade level and bulk purchase deals.
What types of pricing structures do online tutoring companies offer?
Online tutoring services offer a few types of payment structures:
- One-time session. Purchase tutoring sessions whenever your child needs a bit of help on a specific topic.
- Bulk sessions. Tutoring packages generally offer a better price per session.
- Monthly subscription. Pay a monthly fee for a specific number of tutoring sessions per month.
Do online tutoring services come with a money-back guarantee?
Maybe. Some virtual tutoring services, like the Princeton Review, offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t get better grades after attending all your class sessions and completing all the assignments. Other providers may offer a different type of guarantee, such as a tutor satisfaction guarantee that will match you with a different tutor if you’re not satisfied.
Pros and cons of online tutoring
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of virtual tutoring:
- Cost. Online tutoring is generally more competitively priced than in-person tutoring.
- Flexible and convenient. With no commute time, all you need is a compatible device and Internet connection to get immediate help. And many services are available 24/7.
- Recordings for review. Some services record the session, allowing you to review the video after.
- Access to more tutors. While in-person tutoring limits you to tutors in your local area, virtual tutoring platforms can connect you with more qualified tutors at one time.
- Limited face-to-face interaction. Despite interactive tools and video chats, online tutoring doesn’t have the same personal touch.
- Requires self-discipline. Students need to be self-driven to stay focused during the tutoring session.
- Inconvenient to share assignments. Especially for homework help, you’ll need to upload the assignment or material for your tutor to see before each session.
Are there online tutoring services that specialize in helping children with special needs?
Yes. Online tutoring services like Special Ed Tutoring offer personalized instruction to help increase test scores for children with special needs.
How to sign up for an online tutoring program
Ready to sign up? Follow these steps to get your child enrolled in a tutored program today:
- Go to the tutoring website. Search for your subject and tutoring solution, including one-on-one tutoring or small group instruction.
- Create an account. You’ll likely need to enter information about your child, their grade level, what type of school they attend and what subjects they’re looking for tutoring on.
- Enter your payment information. Many online tutoring companies offer free trials, though you might still need to enter your payment information now for billing when the free trial expires.
- Sign up for classes. Sit down with you child and discuss what subjects they’re finding the most challenging. Then choose the best tutoring class for their needs and learning style.
Who should use online tutoring?
Online tutoring is generally geared toward students struggling in a specific subject. However, students looking to reinforce their learning or trying to get ahead of their studies can also benefit from remote tutoring.
Frequently asked questions about online tutoring
Find answers to even more questions you had about online tutoring here.
What happens if I don’t have a webcam for video?
While many remote tutoring services prefer video, some lessons don’t require it. For example, Chegg Tutors offers a chat lesson plan that doesn’t use audio or video.
Do online tutoring services offer free trials
Yes, many services like eTutorWorld and WootTutor offer free trials before signing up.
Do I pick my own tutor?
Depends on the service. Some online tutoring companies like Varsity Tutors automatically connect you with a tutor, while other providers like Wyzant lets you search and choose the tutor that’s right for you.