The 6 Best Online Chemistry Tutoring Services of 2020

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Wyzant

Wyzant

Wyzant

Wyzant boasts more than 80,000 tutors on its platform. To connect with an online tutor, simply input your subject of interest and you’ll be provided with a filterable list of vetted instructors who can provide instruction in that area, along with ratings and reviews for each.

Pricing is hourly and varies by tutor, with certified chemistry tutors starting as low as $10 to $15 per hour. Chemistry tutors on the lower end of the price range tend to include university students studying science and engineering at accredited institutions, whereas more expensive tutors often hold advanced chemistry degrees or are professional educators.

Lessons take place in a virtual classroom with a video chat and interactive whiteboard, which you can download to view after the session. Unlike some other sites, Wyzant does not provide 24/7 instant access to tutors. However, their “Instant Book” tool can match you with an instructor as soon as one hour from the time you create the reservation.

Along with its large pool of tutors and varied pricing, another feature that makes Wyzant stand out is its wealth of freely available supplemental resources. The site’s tutors showcase their expertise by writing lessons and answering specific questions on a wide range of basic and advanced topics.

Best Value: Skooli

Skooli

Skooli

While some other platforms might have lower absolute prices, Skooli is the best guaranteed value because of its emphasis on high-quality tutors with straightforward, reasonable pricing.

Many of Skooli’s tutors are licensed K-12 teachers, while others are certified tutors with advanced degrees in their subjects, which include AP Chemistry, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and many other specialized topics.

Skooli charges a flat, pay-as-you-go rate of about $1 per minute (which works out to around $49 per hour), with a minimum lesson time of 15 minutes (which is about $12). The platform allows students to browse online tutors within a given subject and read reviews before starting a lesson. Students can also input a specific question and be matched with a tutor instantly.

All tutoring sessions take place in an interactive virtual classroom with video, chat, and a shared whiteboard. The virtual classroom is also supported on smartphones, which can be useful for students who have limited computer access or are on the go. The platform also allows students to record and rewatch their tutoring sessions at any time.

Best for on the Go: Varsity Tutors

Varsity Tutors

Varsity Tutors

As the company name subtly suggests, Varsity Tutors aims to help busy students—many of whom may be juggling varsity sports, classes, and part-time jobs—get the academic help they need in the brief windows of time available to them. The Varsity Tutors tutoring platform is fully integrated with the company's mobile app, giving students complete access to all of Varsity Tutors' resources even while riding the bus to a game.

Pricing varies based on subject, time, and type of tutoring desired. Students or parents must input significant personal information (full name, zip code, and email address) in order to receive information about pricing. The service matches students with qualified tutors and creates tailored learning plans that include live, one-on-one sessions in a virtual classroom, with session recording available.

Due to the opaque pricing and emphasis on customization, the paid features on this site are a better fit for students looking for longer-term instruction rather than one-time homework help.

However, the Varsity Tutors mobile app and website also offer a wealth of free resources, such as practice problems, flashcards, and hundreds of complete practice tests. There are even separate level- and subject-specific apps, including those covering high school Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Organic Chemistry.

Best for Homework Help: Chegg

Chegg

Chegg

Chegg requires all tutors to pass a subject proficiency test to ensure knowledgeability. Most tutors on the platform are college or graduate students studying at accredited universities.

Chegg offers multiple options for connecting with a tutor. If you request help ASAP, the site’s algorithm will match you with the highest-rated available tutor in your subject. If you prefer to select your own tutor but still want a lesson immediately, you can search and select from instructors who are online at that moment. Otherwise, you can browse all tutor profiles, and message your preferred tutor to schedule a lesson in the future based on your availability.

Chegg pricing distinguishes between types of lessons. Live tutoring starts at about $7 for a one-time chat lesson or roughly $15 per month for unlimited chat lessons, making this site one of the cheapest and most flexible options for students who can ask their questions and understand answers in written form.

However, chat lessons do not use the site’s interactive virtual lesson space, putting visual learners at a disadvantage. The price jumps to approximately $30 per month for 60 minutes of learning that takes place in an audio/visual-enabled virtual classroom, complete with a whiteboard and text editor.

Best for Students with Special Needs: SpecialEdTutoring.com

SpecialEdTutoring.com

SpecialEdTutoring.com

SpecialEdTutoring.com provides individualized, one-on-one tutoring for learners of all ages, from elementary- and high school-aged to adults who are taking classes or trying to understand tough subjects. All tutors on this site have degrees in Special Education, which can be difficult to find on other tutoring platforms.

Families who are interested in connecting with a tutor sign up for a free, initial consultation to determine the student’s needs, level, and best tutoring fit. Pricing is determined on an individual basis and is therefore not advertised on the site but rather is discussed during the consultation.

Since this site puts such an emphasis on catering to individual students, it is a good fit for people looking to form longer-term tutoring relationships rather than answer a one-time question.

If you’re a parent who is homeschooling a child with special needs, SpecialEdTutoring.com also provides resources tailored specifically to your situation. The organization will even help you design a curriculum.

Best for Advanced Topics: Smarthinking

Smarthinking

Smarthinking

Smarthinking is the tutoring arm of academic publishing giant Pearson Education. According to its website, over 90% of the tutors it employs have advanced degrees in their subjects, and they help students all the way up through graduate and professional school.

If you’re struggling with high-level topics in advanced chemistry courses, this may be the site with the highest likelihood of finding a tutor who is qualified to assist you. Smarthinking guarantees support for topics covered on the AP Chemistry exam and the Organic Chemistry portion of the MCAT.

Smarthinking offers on-demand online tutoring priced by the hour, with options to purchase one hour for about $35 or four hours for roughly $125. Payment is required in order to browse tutor profiles, so the site asks for a high level of commitment upfront.

Like most other platforms, tutoring takes place in an interactive virtual classroom with a whiteboard that allows content to be shared between the student and tutor.

How We Chose the Best Online Chemistry Tutoring Services

We assessed some of the most popular online tutoring platforms, looking specifically at their chemistry tutors and resources. We selected sites that ensure their tutors are knowledgeable in their subjects and qualified for the grade levels at which they are teaching.

For instance, Wyzant earned the best overall title for its wide pool of tutors, pricing tiers, and free, supplemental resources. SpecialEdTutoring.com was our top pick for special needs because all tutors on the site have degrees in special education.

Some sites were ruled out because they specialized in non-STEM areas or were aimed primarily at younger children unlikely to be studying chemistry. We also looked at the variety of resources offered, affordability, and flexibility. Finally, we evaluated the websites themselves based on transparency, ease of use, satisfaction guarantee (if applicable), and customer support.

How Is Online Tutoring Different From In-Person Tutoring?

Many people find that online tutoring has all the benefits of in-person tutoring plus some extras. You can still meet in real-time with a qualified tutor in your subject, but you can do it from the comfort of wherever you choose. Since online tutors can be anywhere in the world, help is available 24/7, so you can work around your other commitments or get last-minute assistance as needed.

Some students may find virtual lesson spaces difficult to navigate. Many websites offer a demo lesson space with tutorials, so if you’re feeling unsure about using the technology, it might be a good idea to practice in the demo space before logging into a lesson. That way, you won’t waste valuable tutoring time learning the ins and outs of the platform.

Online tutoring is often less expensive than in-person tutoring, with prices starting as low as roughly $7 per session. One-on-one tutoring sessions in-person can often cost hundreds of dollars.

Some students struggle with distractions during online tutoring sessions. Students and parents can work together to eliminate these distractions by closing other tabs or apps on the device in use, finding a quiet place for the tutoring session, and putting cell phones in another room.

Who Can Access Online Chemistry Tutoring Platforms?

Anyone who has Wi-Fi and a device with an internet browser can access tutoring platforms. For most online tutoring platforms, it is ideal to access them using a desktop or laptop computer, since those devices are best suited to host the virtual classroom environment. However, some sites like Skooli and Varsity Tutors enable access on smartphones or tablets.

You’ll also need to be prepared to pay for live, online chemistry tutoring with some form of electronic payment—most take credit and debit cards, and some also allow other payment methods, such as PayPal.

However, even if your budget doesn’t allow for live tutoring sessions, some websites like Wyzant and Varsity Tutors offer free, high-quality resources for everyone. Those resources might save the day and help you understand difficult chemistry questions.

How Do I Know Which Chemistry Tutoring Website Is Best for Me?

Are you shy about video meetings, preferring text chat, or are you a visual learner who would like to watch someone explain concepts on a whiteboard? Is it important that your tutor has the training to explain concepts in memorable ways, or do you want someone who is more of a peer to work through homework problems with you?

Consider how frequently you think you’ll want to meet with a tutor. If you’re stuck on a specific test subject or homework problem, but aren’t sure if you’ll need tutoring again in the future, you’ll probably want to stick with a website that lets you pay by the lesson or by the minute rather than signing up for a monthly plan.

Websites that offer on-demand, one-time help include Skooli, Chegg, and Wyzant. However, if you’d like to find a tutor who can commit to helping you learn over a longer period of time, you may want to use a platform that offers individualized tutor matching, such as Varsity Tutors or SpecialEdTutoring.com. Alternatively, you can browse tutor profiles on multiple sites until you find one that seems like a good fit.

Some tutoring sites offer more affordable options than others. Create a plan that lays out your ideal budget and how much tutoring time you think you’ll need, and then compare pricing options between websites to find the best fit. You can also mix and match—you can answer some of your questions using the free resources on one site, but then turn to another site for an affordable lesson with a tutor who can walk you through a problem that’s still giving you trouble.