Research Papers on the Efficacy of Tutoring

Below are links to various research papers on the efficacy of tutoring from leading institutions across the globe.

The Effect of Private Tutoring on University Entrance Examinations in Turkey


There is an excess demand for university education in Turkey. Highly competitive university entrance examination which rations the available places at university programs is very central to the lives of young people. In order to increase the chances of success of their children in the university entrance examination parents spend large sums of money on private tutoring (dersane) of their children. In this study, we investigate the factors that determine participation in private tutoring and the effect of private tutoring on getting placed at a university program. We further examine the impact of private tutoring on the scores of the applicants in the university entrance examination. The results indicate that controlling for other factors those students who receive private tutoring perform better in the university entrance examination.

Tansel, A. and Bircan, F. – Middle East University

How to Interpret the Growing Phenomenon of Private Tutoring


Private tutoring is now a major component of the education sector in many developing countries, yet education policy too seldom acknowledges and makes use of it. Various criticisms have been raised against private tutoring, most notably that it exacerbates social inequalities and may even fail to improve student outcomes. This paper surveys the literature for evidence on private tutoring—the extent of the tutoring phenomenon, the factors that explain its growth, and  its cost-effectiveness in improving student academic performance. It also presents a framework for assessing the efficiency and equity effects of tutoring. It concludes that tutoring can raise the effectiveness of the education system under certain reasonable assumptions, even taking into account equity concerns, and it offers guidance for attacking corruption and other problems that diminish the contributions of the tutoring sector.

H.A. Dang and F.H. Rogers – The World Bank

Effective Tutoring: Assembling the Pieces


Researchers who identified 29 studies conducted between 1975 and 1998 examined the effectiveness of adult-delivered tutoring to children experiencing reading difficulties. All studies covered intervention in Grades 1-5 and included some type of control group.

They found that one-on-one reading tutoring, led by trained adults, can have a significant and positive effect on student reading, particularly for younger students. In fact, the average gain among students was equivalent to moving from the 50th percentile to the 65th percentile. They also discovered that tutoring programs that included decoding, word recognition, and comprehension, as well as programs focused specifically on comprehension, were the most effective.

Gibbs, S. – University of N. Carolina at Charlotte