Standardized tests and the college admissions process are making it increasingly important for students to ace their classes. Tutors can help students get better grades by helping them develop a mastery of course material. Different tutoring centers have different approaches, so parents and guardians can find the service that matches their students’ learning style.

Top 10 Best Rated Tutoring

TutorZ is an online referral service that helps students/parents locate professional tutors in their area. The service is 100% free for parents/students, while a nominal referral fee, per job is charged to tutors.
Best for parents who don't live near a Sylvan center and are looking to supplement their child's math, reading or writing skills. Teens can get tutoring in ACT/SAT or college writing prep, and an SAT/ACT practice test is free.
Best for students looking for personalized tutoring, Tutor Doctor uses in-depth assessments and a specialized matching process to pair a qualified tutor with your child based on academic needs and personality traits.
Good for families in the San Diego area looking for an in-home tutor with a background in education and psychology. TutorTutor offers help with the sciences, math, foreign languages, language arts, test prep and study skills.
With a 20-year track record, Club Z! is an ideal choice for someone looking for an in-home or at-school tutor in a major U.S. city. Thousands of students have benefited from the customized learning programs created by tutors.
The site is best for students looking for a complete online experience and help with the Common Core standards. Those looking for off-line help will like the site's series of textbooks, which includes Math Made Simple.

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What features matter most?

Test-taking strategies

Many tutoring services help students boost their test-taking skills so that they increase their confidence and their chances of passing standardized tests.

  • Sample test questions: Tutoring sessions sometimes offer students the ability to practice answering similar questions to what they will see on a test.
  • Focus on strategy rather than knowledge: Test-taking sessions help students learn strategies for successfully answering questions rather than focusing on what they actually know.
  • Different strategies for different formats: Test-taking strategy sessions focus on how to answer multiple choice, short answer and matching questions correctly and may also focus on strategies for answering questions in a particular subject area.

Special needs modifications

Students with special educational needs such as those with ADHD, autism and other disabilities may not be able to grasp information the way it is taught in school. Tutoring services often present information in alternative ways for these students.

  • Tutor expertise in certain disabilities: Tutors may be specially trained to work with students who have certain conditions.
  • Distraction-free environment: The tutoring environment may be set up to minimize distractions for ADHD and other special needs students.
  • Shorter assignments, manipulatives and other modifications: Tutoring centers may offer modified assignments or special tools to help special needs students learn successfully.

Focused sessions

Typically, each tutoring session focuses on one topic or theme. Tutors work with the student on this area to make sure he or she understands all major concepts.

  • Practice sessions: Sessions may consist entirely of practice questions or drills to help solidify concepts.
  • Redirection: If the student asks off-topic questions or engages in irrelevant discussion, the tutor redirects his or her attention.
  • Homework assignments: The tutor may assign homework to help solidify concepts.

Progress reporting

The tutor regularly tracks the student's progress so that the student--or the student's parents--can see what is being accomplished.

  • Online reporting systems: Some tutoring systems allow students and their parents to set goals and check progress online.
  • Mini-goals: Tutors may report progress towards small goals as the tutoring relationship progresses.
  • Student/parent conferences: The tutor may meet with students or their parents before or after a tutoring session to discuss progress.

Regular contact

The tutor must stay in regular contact with the student in order to maximize progress towards goals.

  • Online chat and email: Some tutors email students or chat with them online between sessions to make sure all their questions are answered.
  • Regular sessions: Tutoring sessions are usually once or twice a week and follow a consistent schedule.
  • Video sessions: Some tutors meet regularly with students over video chat.

Curriculum-aligned teaching

Students are often required to demonstrate mastery of state educational standards; thus, tutors need to be able to teach in alignment with specific school curricula.

  • Knowledge of state educational standards: Tutors often demonstrate superior understanding of state educational standards.
  • Consultation with teachers: Some tutors consult classroom teachers about curriculum so they can match their sessions to what's being covered in class.
  • Practice test questions based on standards: Tutors can focus test taking practice sessions on helping students demonstrate mastery of state standards.

What are different types of tutoring services?

In-person tutoring

The tutor meets with the student one-on-one in person. Most in-person sessions take place in tutoring centers, though some may take place at the student's home or school.

Video tutoring

Video tutoring requires and Internet connection and web camera. The tutor conducts the session via Internet video chat, allowing the student to stay in his or her own home.

Group tutoring

Some tutors work with small groups of students to help them achieve specific goals. Group tutoring usually takes place at a tutoring center.

Who's it for?

College-bound teenagers

Teens who want to go to college may want tutoring to help them pass the SAT, ACT or other standardized tests. Tutoring may focus on test taking strategies for the specific exam as well as on gaining knowledge needed to pass the exam.

Special needs students

Special needs students may have a hard time understanding concepts the way they are taught in class. Tutors present material in alternative ways that they can better understand.

Kids who are failing

Students who are failing one or more subjects may use a tutor to help them learn material and improve their grades. Tutors help these kids review material, develop test taking strategies and increase their knowledge of the subject matter being taught.

Kids who are taking state exams

If a student is required to pass a state exam in order to be promoted to the next grade, tutoring can help ensure a high enough score. State exam tutoring focuses on test taking strategy and mastering state standards.

Company reviews

  • Sylvan Learning Centers

    Sylvan Learning Center is one of the best-known tutoring companies in the United States. This company has tutoring centers in many cities across the country.

    • Best for Kids who are failing, kids who are taking state exams and college-bound teenagers.
  • Tutor Doctor

    Tutor Doctor has been offering in-home tutoring for the last 10 years. It has grown into an international franchise, giving students extra help in countries all over the world.

    • Best for Special needs students, kids who are failing and kids who are taking state exams.
  • TutorTutor

    TutorTutor is a San Diego tutoring company that offers one-on-one tutoring services to elementary through secondary school students.

    • Best for College-bound teenagers, special needs students, kids who are failing and kids who are taking state exams.
  • Club Z!

    Club Z has offered in-home tutoring services to over 300,000 students since 1994. It offers a variety of services to students ranging from pre-K age up through high school.

    • Best for Kids who are failing and special needs students.
  • Eduboard

    Eduboard is an online tutoring service that helps students get answers to their academic problems online. Students can ask questions about their homework as well as hire a tutor.

    • Best for Kids who are failing and special needs students.

  • TutaPoint

    TutaPoint is an online tutoring service that has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. It has offered tutoring services since 2007 and also offers supplemental educational materials to help teachers n the classroom.

    • Best for Special needs students, kids who are failing and kids who are taking state exams.
  • InstaEDU

    InstaEdu is an online tutoring service designed to give students instant answers to their questions. It has been profiled by TechCrunch as well as the San Francisco Chronicle.

    • Best for Kids who are failing and special needs students.

  • offers one-on-one, personalized tutoring over the Internet. It focuses mainly on middle school and high school students.

    • Best for Kids who are failing and college-bound teenagers.
  • MindLaunch

    Mindlaunch is a startup that combines passion for education with technology to offer unique online tutoring options.

    • Best for Special needs students and kids who are failing.

  • eTutor

    eTutor is a virtual classroom that can be used for tutoring as well as for supplementing children's primary classroom experience. It has offered tutoring services to students since 1997.

    • Best for Special needs students, kids who are failing and kids who are taking state exams.

  • WyzAnt

    Wyzant is a one-on-one tutoring company that grew out of a recent college graduate's desire to find tutoring clients in his field. This company has helped more than 73,000 students since its inception in 2005.

    • Best for Students who are failing classes, students who have trouble with testing,, and people going to college.

  • Oxford Learning

    Oxford Learning offers tutoring services in Canada. It specializes in individualized programming for students in grades 1-12, including kids who are overwhelmed by academic expectations, kids with special needs and kids seeking enrichment.

    • Best for Students with special needs, college-bound teenagers and kids who are failing their classes.
  • BenchPrep

    BenchPrep offers online courses to help students pass standardized exams. It is run by a former strategic consultant for Capital One.

    • Best for Students going to college and graduate students.
  • A-List Tutoring

    A-List Tutoring provides assistance for students taking standardized tests as well as offering services directly to schools. Since 2005, it has grown from just 5 students to over 20,000 throughout the United States and Europe.

    • Best for Students who are going to college, students who are failing classes, and students who want to do better in school.

  • TestMasters

    TestMasters is the world’s leading provider of live and online preparation for the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, PSAT, and ACT. Founded in 1991, their comprehensive classes and tutoring packages serve students worldwide and have helped over 150,000 students achieve their academic goals.

    • Best for students preparing for the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, PSAT, or ACT.
  • Learning Ally

    Learning Ally's mission is to help blind, visually impaired and dyslexic students achieve academic success. The company began in 1948 as an organization that recorded audio versions of books for blinded World War II vets.

    • Best for Blind students, visually impaired students and dyslexic students.

  • JEI Learning Centers

    With their acclaimed Self-Learning Method, JEI Learning Centers help children learn at their own pace. Each child's strengths and weaknesses are assessed to determine strong suits and areas for improvement. Once this report is complete, the child begins the JEI Learning Centers curriculum for math, English, reading and writing.

    • Best for Students who require personalized attention to help them thrive in the educational environment.
  • TutorZ

    A former Associated Press executive, editor and reporter, he has covered just about everything imaginable and a few things that seemed unimaginable until they happened.

    • Best for Parents and/or students looking for an experienced tutor in their local area, as well as for professional tutors looking for prospective students.

11 – 18 Best Rated Tutoring has a thorough vetting process, including practice exams and mock tutoring sessions, along with 3,100 tutors available 24/7. It also includes subjects ranging from calculus and literature to physics and AP world history.
Oxford Learning has locations all throughout the provinces, the United States and the Middle East. K-12, ACT/SAT prep and ADHD tutoring is available, along with the option to be tutored in French.
BenchPrep is ideal for those students who love looking at and studying data. BenchPrep uses advanced data to track improvement and give visual feedback in all of its test-prep programs, including for the GRE, SAT, LSAT and ACT.
With options including classroom, online, private or custom group courses, TestMasters uses dynamic learning and specializes in technical subjects such as engineering, graduate-level courses and college admissions.
Students who thrive on personal attention and a step-by-step learning experience will do well at JEI Learning Centers. Founded in 1977, JEI Learning Centers are popular worldwide due to their acclaimed Self-Learning Method.