Want the best TOEFL iBT Online or Private Tutor? Here they are!
You’re looking for the best TOEFL iBT online tutor, or the best local private tutor to help you prepare for the TOEFL exam. Maybe you’re just looking for a TOEFL speaking tutor, or someone to help you with a particular skill.
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to give you some specific names and ways to contact the best of the best, but before we do that below, we want to give you a good idea of what you should be looking for.
Don’t just skip to the bottom of this article to find these knockout-artist tutors! Stop rushing!
You should first find out what makes a good TOEFL online or private tutor.
This article will inform you about the characteristics you need to be looking for in your tutor, and what you need to be avoiding.
It will also outline which type of student needs a tutor, and which type might not.
So let’s dive into things…
Is it Really Worth Hiring a Professional TOEFL Tutor?
The TOEFL iBT test analyses your grasp of the English language through the use of academic English.
Quite different in terms of tenses and sentence structure than regular English, academic English is more complex and formal, and can be problematic for those who are not well-versed when speaking, writing or reading the language itself.
This is where proper TOEFL tutoring services come in handy.
The right TOEFL instructor can do wonders for your chances at getting a higher TOEFL score.
Their teachings target your study skills, your general fluency in the English language and your overall understanding of the language and its extended vocabulary.
A good TOEFL tutor will also be very well grounded in giving you all the right tips and strategies for writing the actual exam. This is key.
They use various resources, books and guides, and ensure that their student has everything that matches their particular needs. They’ll often be going through practice tests with you to give you lots of on the spot guidance of how to better approach the exam.
Yet, this method of teaching isn’t something you can expect from all tutors. To get the best tutor, there are some factors you must keep in mind before hiring them.
Your Needs Come First
Focus on your needs before hiring anyone. Let’s say that you’re highly motivated and have a good understanding of the English language.
In this case, a tutor with less experience might work relatively well for you.
However, if you’re in need of greater assistance and someone to motivate you, your best option would be to find a more experienced tutor to suit your specific needs.
Qualities of a Professional TOEFL iBT Tutor
Now that you’ve thought about what a reliable candidate would look like, let’s get into the details of what qualifies them to be a good tutor. Yes, their experience should speak for itself.
But aside from that, it’s their attitude and ability to provide a good learning experience that makes them stand apart from the rest.
Here are some of the qualities that a good TOEFL teacher should possess:
Qualifications and Working Background
Make sure when looking for a TOEFL tutor, that he/she has a strong educational background with at least an undergraduate degree. An MA or PhD would be preferable, as it shows that they have a high degree of academic acumen.
Skip the tutors who only hold certificates. That’s not to say that you can’t find any good ones out there; just that you can find so many great TOEFL tutors with relevant degrees that there’s no need to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Don’t worry. You’ll see below that we’ve scooped only the top of the barrel for you when selecting our top TOEFL online and private tutors! Many hours went into forming our selection rubric and going through the actual selection process.
Check to see whether your tutor has a strong background in teaching TOEFL. Although it’s fine for him or her to have degrees in education or degrees in teaching language, the most important thing is that he/she have lots of experience actually teaching TOEFL. After all, that’s what you need.
The good thing is that you will be able to contact the tutor you are thinking of hiring from our list below, and can ask him/her these questions.
A Professional Working Environment
While most tutors prefer a quiet environment; there are some who may not consider this factor important.
If your teacher consistently teaches in loud cafes or coffee shops, they may not be the best choice. Aside from being unprofessional, this can affect your level of concentration, and ultimately, your learning experience.
So, pass on this type of instructor.
There is nothing worse than an unfocused tutor. TOEFL requires your tutor’s undivided attention, especially if you’re not well-versed in English.
Your teacher should be prompt and professional; they should follow a logical flow and curriculum, rather than jumping from one topic to another.
They should provide meaningful and constructive feedback on your homework and progress, and should pay attention when you make any errors.
At the same time, a good language instructor should not only focus on accuracy, while not also allowing you to work on your natural fluency. Too much nit-picking on correcting your spoken errors can be a sign of a poor TOEFL speaking tutor.
Mental organization is important, especially since your tutor will need to focus on accents, vocabulary, tenses and grammar, when they teach you.
The TOEFL iBT test is an important aspect in your life. As such, your tutor should take it as seriously as you. A professional TOEFL instructor should understand the pressure and stress you’re under, and should be accommodating of your schedule so you can be efficient with your study plan.
If they’re unavailable for any reason, they should inform you several days in advance and should have a proposal for different days so you can study, even if they are not there to guide you.
You can’t stop studying just because they’re not able to make the scheduled lesson, so they should be able to advise you on what to do in their absence.
Furthermore, your TOEFL teacher should be assigning you homework between sessions so that you can follow a clear progression of positive change. If your tutor isn’t assigning you work to do between sessions, you should seriously think about moving on to someone else.
Open to Feedback and Suggestion?
A good language teacher is always very receptive to feedback, advice and suggestions.
This is because part of the training an English Language Instructor receives is to be reflective in their teaching approach, which helps them gain flexibility and good self-analysis abilities.
If something isn’t working out, he/she needs to be ready to listen to you and change (if necessary).
If you don’t find that they have this quality, you may have to look elsewhere.
User Reviews for Checking Tutoring Skills
Make sure to take a close look at the reviews your prospective tutor will have received. Don’t bother looking at the five-star reviews.
Instead, look for any negative reviews, but of course, take into account that some of these might be unfair. Often, the most beneficial reviews are the four and three-star ones, and not the one or five-star ones.
How Much Will It Cost? The Fee Structure
While there is an extensive list of tutors available both online and locally, your choice should be based on their experience and expertise, rather than the rate they charge.
Freelance tutors offer lower rates, i.e. around $20–$40, but these rates sometimes reflect their lack of experience. A tutor charging around $50–$70 should be offering you a lot of experience and would be able to offer more in terms of resources and teaching.
You can also find tutors charging much higher prices than this, but as you will see later in this article, it’s not always necessary to go expensive.
This is important to keep in mind.
Some tutors go as high as $500 per hour, but don’t worry, we haven’t included anyone like that in our list, because we think that a price like that for a TOEFL tutor is completely unjustified.
Do I Personally Need a tutor?
This is the million-dollar question.
In general, the answer is yes, that it is highly recommended to get a TOEFL tutor to help you prepare for the exam – but it is more recommended for some types of students than others.
To understand whether or not you personally need a tutor, let’s take a quick look at the two main ways a tutor can help you:
- A tutor can give you important guidance in your efforts to improve your English proficiency; meaning your ability to understand, write, read and communicate in the language. Depending on your current level of English, this could be the most important aspect of preparing for the TOEFL exam.
- The writing of the TOEFL exam itself is actually a bit tricky in certain respects. The TOEFL iBT not only requires a certain level of English proficiency; it also helps a whole lot if you go into the exam being familiar with the test and the very specific skills that the test writing process requires. A tutor who is well grounded in these test writing skills can definitely help you score higher on the test; often to a very considerable degree.
So Beginner and Intermediate Level Students are highly advised to use the assistance of a tutor to help navigate them through their English language learning, and also, to guide them through the test writing process and the skills that they require in these regards.
As for those who can truly be considered Advanced Level Students, it is still recommended for them to use the help of a tutor in most cases.
Let us say for the sake of argument, that you, as an Advanced Level Student, don’t need help improving your language skills, a tutor can at least give you the guidance and support you need to become accustomed to in the test-writing skill-set required to do well on the exam.
Therefore, Beginner and Intermediate Level Students are highly advised to use the assistance of a tutor to help navigate them through their English language learning, and also, to guide them through the test writing process and the skills that they will need when sitting the exam.
As for those who can truly be considered Advanced Level Students, it is still recommended for many of them to use the help of a tutor. If they truly don’t need help improving their language skills, a TOEFL tutor can at least give them the guidance and support they need to become accustomed to the test-writing skill-set required to do well on the exam.
Now, we’re ready to take a look at our list of the best TOEFL iBT tutors out there.
Alright, here we go!
Here They Are: These Are Some of the Best TOEFL Tutors Out There
Each person has their own needs and financial capabilities, so we are going to split this section into three categories.
The first category will be for those who are willing to pay more for their tutor, the second section will be for those who want to pursue a middle path as far as hourly fees are concerned, and the third category will be for those who are shopping for a real bargain.
Please keep two things in mind here. The first thing is that we are only including really good tutors in each of these categories, and we will be receiving a small affiliate return at no cost to you if you click on one of our links below.
This is what helps allow us to continue bringing excellent information to you on a regular basis, and rest assured that we have done your homework here for you in selecting these candidates.
The good thing is that all of the tutors mentioned below come with a guarantee such that if after the first hour, you do not feel that he/she is a good fit for you, you can have your money refunded.
Just click on the links below from our selection of best TOEFL tutors to find out more about this guarantee.
Category 1: Pricey, Yet Worth It for Those Who Can Afford It ($51 and Above per Hour)
Firstly, you need to ask yourself whether the small gains in education, experience and talent you might benefit from by paying for this higher price bracket merit your selecting any of the tutors we’re suggesting here.
Unless money is no object to you, you might want to consider moving to the next price bracket, which is something of a middle way.
Here are our suggestions for the $51 and above category. We have only selected five-star teachers who have a strong background specifically in teaching TOEFL preparation, so they can not only act as a TOEFL speaking tutor as many instructors specialize in, but cover all of the components of the exam.
Each one of these online and private tutors is very highly rated, with plenty of experience in TOEFL preparation training. To the best of our abilities, we have separated the TOEFL specialists from the other teachers who teach English generally, and just do a bit of TOEFL on the side.
Of course, this level of specialization does vary as not all TOEFL teachers were ‘born’ the same!
Are you ready?
Although there are some TOEFL tutors who we have decided not to include here who actually charge as high as $500 per hour, Olya is actually worth more than them. She’s an elite teacher that only elite students will be able to afford, which is too bad.
Olya has taught TOEFL at the university level. What we like about Olya is her customization of programs to fit around the student’s specific needs.
With a strong background in English literature, she can also take her students to high places on a linguistic level.
Like we said, though, Olya T. is probably too highly priced for most of our readers, so we recommend you look below to find somebody more reasonably priced.
We have a great instructor for you as our second choice: Mariana S.
The good news is that her hourly fee is a more affordable $60 per hour. As you can see, the prices are starting to get more reasonable here.
Mariana’s understanding of the needs that speakers of other languages have is a great plus, as is her experience in teaching students from all over the world.
Oh, and the reviews. She gets raving reviews from her students, and compared to her colleagues, her ratio of full five-star reviews is rather extraordinary.
Plus, Mariana S. has plenty of experience teaching the TOEFL, which is one of our main factors in selecting all of the tutors we have included in this article.
Our third choice for this category is Laura L., who charges $60 per hour. Although her post graduate degree is in counselling and not teaching English, she has lots of experience teaching TOEFL to international students, which is an important requisite for most of the people writing the TOEFL iBT.
She is also very accommodating for her students’ cultural needs, because she has had experience travelling around the world and teaching people from different backgrounds.
What stuck out for us was Laura L.’s passion to make her TOEFL classes interesting by using a variety of digital and print resources. This is actually a huge plus.
Now, let’s say that you weren’t able to hook up with any of those tutors because they are, for example, all booked up. In that case, we have some runners-up, all of whom are pretty much on a par with our top three choices.
You can consider hiring Jeremy S. ($75/hour) or Christine K. ($60/hour). Both of these tutors also met our criteria for being listed in our best TOEFL tutor list. They can be your dedicated online tutor, or meet you locally, which would make them your own private tutor.
Let’s move on to our next category, which is what we think will be sufficient for most people who are not too financially strained.
Category 2: Affordable, Yet Really Good ($41 to $50 per Hour)
For this middle category of private and online TOEFL teachers that charge between $40 to $50 per hour, we had to lower our criteria level a little bit, particularly in regards to the amount of time these instructors have spent specifically teaching TOEFL.
So the good news is that all the teachers here are still well educated, five-star teachers with raving reviews from their students. They all have some specialization in teaching TOEFL; just not to the same degree as those in the more expensive category above, perhaps with the exception of our number one choice.
Our first choice for the second category is Judy W. As far as time and experience being put into teaching TOEFL preparation goes, she could easily have been put into the first category, which usually attracts more experienced teachers due to it’s higher hourly pay bracket.
But you can get Judy W. at a slightly less expensive $50 per hour. So as you can see, her experience and hourly rate put her in the cusp of being from the first category of teachers.
What we also like about Judy W. is that she is well educated and has her own method of customizing lessons for her students.
Our second-place choice is Christophe D. ($50/hour) Christophe has been teaching English and TOEFL for approximately 7 years, and we really like his way of making sure that he actually takes the TOEFL exam.
We know that doing this helps the tutor be able to keep up with the format of the exam, get a native feel for it, and truly understand what types of pressures and issues their student will be facing.
Christophe D.’s student feedback is outstanding, so don’t hesitate to try your first lesson with him, as the first lesson for these tutors is guaranteed with our partner’s Good Fit Guarantee.
Our third choice for category 2 is Francina S. Although Francina ($45/hour) hasn’t been teaching TOEFL quite as long as Christophe D., she has been actively doing so for the last three years, which is definitely sufficient to give her the type of experience that you’ll need.
Plus, keep in mind that she has 11 years’ experience teaching English in general, which is a big asset.
There are two things that stand out when you check out Francina’s profile. The first thing is that Francine is not just a five-star tutor after the reviews have been averaged out. She has nothing but five-star reviews. Just look at the reviews to see the degree to which her students are happy with her.
Secondly, we couldn’t help but notice when reading through Francina S.’s profile that she is seriously focused on teaching TOEFL. She isn’t just teaching TOEFL on the side.
Okay, did you try hooking up with some of these TOEFL tutors, only to find that they were already booked up? They might be, because we have picked the best of the best for each category, and it could be that these tutors will get more and more attention as time passes, especially as this article will be bringing further attention to them.
If you didn’t find any of these three tutors available, we still have five other possible suggestions for you: Tiffany S. ($45/hour), Trang T. ($47/hour) , Megan H. ($50/hour), Stephanie S. ($50/hour) and Gabriela A. ($50/hour).
Category 3: A Real Bargain for What You’ll Get ($10 to $39 per Hour)
Although the level of experience and expertise does generally go down with each of these three categories we’ve assigned here, you’d never know it with the top couple of selections we’ve made for you here.
Let us be clear and say that our number one choice for this lowest priced category does not deserve to be here. He is seriously underpricing himself, so take advantage of his capabilities while you still can at this low price.
We chose Alton R. ($35/hour) as our number one instructor here due to the fact that he is a full five-star rated teacher, has a post graduate degree, and most importantly, has plenty of experience teaching TOEFL.
What makes him stand out from the rest, including many in even the more expensive categories above, is that he does not just have experience as an online TOEFL tutor. Rather, he was a designated TOEFL instructor for four years at Harvard IEL in Cambridge Massachusetts, as well as other centers across the world.
If you can get booked with Alton R., we’d highly suggest you do so before others beat you to it.
Our second choice for this third category is Sarah W. ($30/hour). Sarah has a post graduate degree, an overall five-star rating with her students, and spends a fair amount of her teaching time tutoring students on the TOEFL.
Another thing that we like about Sarah is that she is active in taking the actual exam, which is always a good sign for a TOEFL tutor.
This means that your TOEFL tutor is more likely to understand your needs, and will also be up to date on any changes that might occur in the test structure. Sarah W. is a highly qualified TOEFL instructor.
Our third choice for this category is Zsanine A. Although Zsanine’s educational background is actually in anthropology, she trumps just about everyone on this page for the number of hours she has put in to teaching TOEFL online.
With over 700 hours teaching TOEFL on just our partner’s teaching platform, she has a wealth of experience you can tap into.
And at $25 per hour with an overall five-star rating average from her students, this proposition is a bit of a steal.
There are others we could have easily ranked in third place, such as Karen W. ($25/hour), Adam M. ($28/hour), Jolene B. ($32/hour), Brian K. ($30/hour), Moire L. ($30/hour), and Brian D. ($30/hour).
Other excellent TOEFL tutors to also consider in this third category are Jane C. ($35/hour), Angela W. ($30/hour), Thomas R. ($35/hour), Sharon S. ($30/hour), Nancy O. ($35/hour), Thomas G. ($39/hour), Julia C. ($35/hour), and Kaye K. ($38/hour).
This concludes our run-down of the best tutors for the TOEFL iBT.
Other Tutoring Possibilities
In the extremely remote chance that you weren’t able to find what you were looking for above, we would like to present you with some other options.
Preply: Also a Great Choice
One thing we like about Preply is that they allow you to actually read more of the reviews that students have left behind. It’s just too bad that they didn’t link the reviews with the star grading system they have.
Still, their system is still a bit more transparent than Wyzant’s is, and transparency is always a good thing.
Unlike Wyzant, though, Preply could do with a re-design of their website.
The main reason that Wyzant is superior to Preply is due to the better selection of tutors to choose from, so we recommend that you go with the individual tutor suggestions we have provided above.
Yeh! for Professor Corey Lay
Now that we’ve got the two ‘big guys’ out of the way (Wyzant and Preply), we would definitely like to tell you about Professor Corey Lay.
Look, this man has been around for a long time (as you can see from his dated website), and his reputation precedes him in the TOEFL community.
So, if you’re looking for someone special at what can be considered a very reasonable price ($36.50 per hour or less if you purchase a package), then check him out here.
Live Lingua: A Very Established Online Language School
Livelingua.com is also another option for you. The good thing about Livelingua is that they only hire native speakers, and their prices are also quite reasonable, ranging from $29.99 to $34.00, depending on how many hours of tutoring you order.
Livelingua uses Skype as their teaching portal, and you can try to schedule your classes around the times that suit your time zone, which is a big plus for international students.
NextStep Test Prep: A Good Customization Process
Although NextStep Test Prep does specialize more in providing coaches for the MCAT, LSAT, GRE and GMAT exams, they do also have a TOEFL coaching service you can consider using.
NextStep Test Prep offers private, on-site tutoring, usually in library centers or quiet cafes. Just remember that whatever tutoring service you choose, we always recommend meeting your private tutor in safe, public places such as libraries.
If you’re looking for a TOEFL tutor that won’t just be following a one-size-fits-all system when instructing you, NextStep Test Prep has an interesting method of analyzing your past TOEFL scores, your score on their diagnostic exam, and how you fare in their own skills assessment process.
Manhattan Review: A Reliable TOEFL Prep Provider for 20 Years
If you are looking for online or private TOEFL tutoring, Manhattan Review can also be considered. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than a lot of other institutions.
Manhattan Review coaches are carefully chosen, and they teach their students to apply critical thinking approaches to writing the TOEFL iBT. They also have their own course materials, and ensure that their teaching staff is given training to help them use these in-house resources.
Again, we suggest that if you are aiming to meet up for private lessons with your tutor, that you make sure to meet in a quiet, but public place like a library. Better safe than sorry.
TOEFL Tutoring Portals We’re Not So Hot About
So far, we’ve given you recommendations of particular tutors and institutions where we think your TOEFL test preparation needs will be taken care of.
There are other places where you can also find TOEFL instructors, although we don’t really recommend that you use them – not because you could never find any good tutors on these websites – only because it’ll be difficult for you to distinguish between who’s good and who’s not.
You see, the problem with the following websites is that they don’t make it easy for you to know who has had success with their tutors and who hasn’t.
That’s why we started this article with our partner Wyzant. In truth, they have the best selection of tutors out there, and it’s easy for you to gauge each candidate’s track record by looking at the large selection of user reviews.
Some of these websites we are about to mention don’t have any type of review system, or do have one, but you’ll find a lot of the tutors only have a review or two to their account.
Obviously, it’s very hard to gauge how good or bad a prospective teacher is going to be like that.
Here is a short list of the websites we don’t think you’ll need to visit (if you take advantage of our recommendations above):
So there you have it. We’ve outlined all the best (and not so best) places to find TOEFL tutors, and more importantly, we’ve given you a great selection of specific instructors you should really think about hiring.