Tuition Centres in Singapore 2018 – 17 Popular Yet Affordable Tutor Options

Tuition Centres in Singapore 2018 – 17 Popular Yet Affordable Tutor Options
Tuition Centres in Singapore 2018 – 17 Popular Yet Affordable Tutor Options

In meritocratic Singapore, education is our ticket up. That’s why we’re willing to do just about anything to make sure our kids get into the best schools and score As all the way. Little wonder 4 out of 5 parents send their kids to tuition in Singapore, and Singaporeans reportedly spent over $1 billion on tuition in 2013 (you can bet that number’s higher now).

If you’re considering tuition for your kid, read this through before you carry on. We’re here to tell you what kind of help there is out there, how to know who’s reliable, and how much getting ahead academically will set you back financially.


  • Why go for tuition in Singapore? And what are the options?
  • Tuition centre vs private tutor – which should you choose?
  • How to pick the right tuition centre for your kid
  • Top 3 tuition centres in Singapore for schoolgoing kids
  • Top 3 Chinese tuition centres in Singapore
  • Top 3 maths & science tuition centres in Singapore
  • Top 5 private tutors in Singapore for all subjects
  • Top 3 learning centres for preschool kids
  • Getting a study coach in Singapore

Why go for tuition in Singapore? And what are the options?

Why pay for tuition if our kids are already being taught by trained teachers in school? Aren’t teachers good enough?

There are 2 main reasons for you to send your kid to tuition. The first is when he’s not doing well in school. The point of tuition is to help him to catch up with his peers – maybe he needs a little more help in certain subjects or individualised attention.

The second reason is that you want him to be ahead of the pack. Yes, this is a Tiger Mom thing and it’s surprisingly common. Singaporean parents have been known to give their primary school children Physics and A Maths tuition.

Knowing what exactly you want to address will help you know where to go for help. Different types of services will address different needs. In Singapore, these are some of the common forms of external help that kids can get.

Tuition centres: These are private education institutions that work alongside schools to help your child academically from pre-school to junior college. They have classes, much like schools, but usually with a lower teacher-to-child ratio, and set times for lessons.

Private tutors: These are individuals who teach either one person or a small group. Unlike tuition centres, they will come to your home and work around your schedule. If you cannot don’t know of one, engage a tuition agency to match you to one that suits your child’s needs.

Enrichment classes: These focus on equipping your child with non-academic skills such as music, dance, speech and drama, art, robotics, cooking and any number of sports.

Study camps: These school holiday programmes are usually topical, immersing your child in anything from language to science, maths, entrepreneurship, robotics and coding. Often, they emphasise both the fun and hands-on factor.

Study coach: This is a person who teaches your child how to study rather than the content of the studies itself. Not so common here.

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For most parents in Singapore, the first question is not whether your child needs tuition, but whether you should send her to a tuition centre or spring for a private tutor. Sad but true.

Private tutors run the gamut from students hoping to make a quick buck, to former teachers with an amazing track record, to even Chinese nationals who realised how badly Singaporean kids need help in Chinese.

You might think that the former teachers are the best tutors, but this writer has hired the range and will tell you it’s not always true.

In fact, one university undergrad turned out to be a very reliable and relatable maths tutor who turned an “E” student into an “A” one. (In case you’re curious, he’s no longer tutoring.) Another who has never taught in school actually managed to spark some interest in Mandarin – a feat that no NIE-trained teacher has been able to do!

Private tutors are generally more expensive than tuition centres because they can’t bank on economies of scale the way tuition centres can. Expect to pay about $30 to $60/hour (or $120 to $240/month) for a typical tutor. If it’s an ex-teacher, the pay scale goes up to $40 to $100/hour (or $160 to $400/month).

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As long as a tuition centre has 10 or more students, it must be registered with the Ministry of Education (MOE) which will check the academic qualifications of the tutors. There are some 850 MOE-registered tuition centres. Add to that those who aren’t registered, and what this means is you’re spoilt for choice.

The market is so saturated that some tuition centres boast a unique pedagogy that have given them stellar results with their students. But there is no sure-fire formula for success.

So, how do you choose? Here are some guidelines:

In 2014, owner of a tuition centre, Kelvin Ong, made the news for all the wrong reasons – he had faked his credentials and gotten away with it for a while.

You won’t have the same problem with MOE-registered centres because they have tutors MOE has checked out and considers qualified. Plus, you know their business can’t be that bad since they must have at least 10 students.

Do your research, read up and ask others. Has the centre been around for long? Does it hire only NIE-trained teachers? Do their teachers have degrees in the subjects they’re teaching? Do they regularly produce good results?

Be mindful of those who tell you their tutors used to teach in elite, brand-name schools. Those might not be the ones you want to help your failing (or flailing) child, because they are more accustomed to highly motivated high achievers who only need a nudge here and there.

Similarly, it is less important that a tuition centre tells you it has produced A students, than that it has managed to help a student improve his grades. Having lots of A students may simply mean they have attracted already good students who only want help to stay ahead of the game.

A tuition centre has set schedules and are often quite strict about letting you make up for classes you’ve missed. You also have to travel to them. And, they teach the students in groups.

If your child has a predictable schedule, thrives on interacting and learning with others, and you have the time to chauffeur him around (or he can travel on his own), tuition centres will work for him.

This is sort of a secondary concern as you’d be more interested in finding one that can help your child more.

But do bear in mind you’re going to have to travel to the centre, sometimes more than once a week. It’s wise to pick one near your home or near your child’s school to make the commute easier.

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If you want to try sending your child to a tuition centre but don’t know where to start, we picked 3 of the best-known tuition centre chains which are reputable and not too expensive.

The Learning Lab is a chain of tuition and enrichment centres has been around for over 16 years and few parents would not have heard of it. They help pre-schoolers to junior college kids, including those in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) and Integrated Programmes (IP).

Their teaching model is based on 3 elements: knowledge or content, skills to tackle both the topic and exams, and the disposition of the learner so that your child will develop an interest in what he’s learning.

Cost: $80 (registration fee)
$120 (deposit per subject)
$290 – $360/month (pre-school, depending on subject)
$300 – $400/month (primary, depending on subject)
$420/month (secondary, depending on subject but Chinese is not available)
$440/month (JC, for GP and H2 maths)

Location: islandwide

Contact: 6733 8711

Whether your child is in primary school preparing for PSLE, working towards his O-levels or A-levels, Mavis Tutorial Centre is a chain that might be able to help. It has 12 branches and doesn’t charge fees that will make you fall off your chair.

Cost: $21.40 (registration)
$117.70 – 162.65/month (primary)
$165.85 – $219.35/month (secondary)
$301.75 – $326.35/month (JC)

Location: islandwide

Contact: 6282 4011

True Learning Centre  employs only NIE-trained teachers and they have their own curriculum written by their teachers, many of whom were once senior teachers, heads of department and award-winners. Their speciality is math and science, including at IP and IB math and A-level maths. The only issue is they only begin from Primary 3.

Cost: $150 – $180/4 lessons (primary)
$200 – $260/4 lessons (secondary)
$350/4 lessons (JC, H2 maths)

Location: Jurong, Kovan and Novena

Contact: call individual centres or email

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Chinese is probably the bugbear of most kids (and their parents). You’ll know from very early on if your kid is going to be stellar at the subject or struggle with it. If it’s the latter, there’s no shame in getting help and getting it sooner than later.

Han Language Centre is probably Singapore’s largest and most well-known chain of Chinese tuition centres. Around for 25 years, it has programmes to help pre-schoolers to adults with Chinese.

Your kid can get tutored in the language in general or you can pick areas of weakness – oral, listening comprehension, composition – and get him specific help.

The only problem is that their tuition stops at secondary school level. Presumably, if your child is still weak in Chinese by JC, they haven’t done their job well enough and you have to go elsewhere.

Cost: $50 (registration fee)
$105 – $150 (material fee)
$1,200 – $2,333/year or $300 – $583.44/term (primary)
$1,920 – $2,508/year or $480 – $627/term (secondary)
*prices may vary with different centres

Location: islandwide

Contact: call individual centres

Another language centre with 25 years of experience, Berries World has a proprietary syllabus that’s MOE-approved. They cater to pre-schoolers and primary schoolers. Hopefully by then, your kid will be proficient enough to go solo.

They offer a special feature called Home-Based Learning (HBL), which are online tutorials to make up for classes that fall on public holidays.

Cost: $35 (registration)
Up to $78.80 (material fee)
$35 – $55/session (each term of 4 months has 15 – 16 sessions)
$1,645 – $2,585/year

Location: islandwide

Contact: 6338 2916 /6338 9214

Tien Hsia Language School is nearly 30 years old, and over 25,000 students have passed through their doors. They start with nursery-aged kids and go all the way to secondary school. Spoken, written and academic Chinese, this school takes care of them all.

Cost: $320 – $380/10 sessions (preschool)
$415 – $435/10 sessions (primary)
$490/10 sessions (secondary)

Location: islandwide

Contact: 6238 8558

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If your kid struggles in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects – which are so important for surviving today’s world – there are some tuition centres that specialise in these topics.

Unlike language-based subjects, these topics are arguably more difficult to teach and you’ll find they are often quite pricey.

For younger kids, Science Studio Learning Lab is a tuition centre that emphasises hands-on activities. Each lesson revolves around experiments to bring science to life. Students can access the online portal for videos and interactive quizzes. The only down side is that it caters solely to primary school kids.

Cost: $30 (registration fee)
$70 – $85/session (44 sessions per year)

Location: Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #02-24E Singapore 588996

Contact: 6737 2720

Almost 20 years old, SmartLab Education Centre is a chain that keeps their class sizes small – between 8 and 10 – so their teachers can personalise their lessons and interact with their students.

Its specialty is in maths and sciences for PSLE, O-levels and A-levels, with programmes developed by two first class honours graduates from Cambridge University.

You might also be impressed by their full-scale MOE Science Lab and the fact that they’ll give you a full refund of the lump sum you pay if your child doesn’t achieve the agreed grade or improvement at the end of the year.

Cost: $3,500 – $5,800/year (P6 to JC2 per subject, for top results)
$2,540 – $4,400/year (P6 to JC 2 per subject, for improved results)

Location: islandwide

Contact: contact individual centres

The Physics Café specialises in IP, secondary and JC physics and maths. It made the news for its out-of-the-box methods and stylish offerings – its own lecture theatre, in-house cafe with free munchies (living up to its name), study rooms, digital library, scholarship programmes and shuttle bus.

To make sure the teachers are up to scratch, they have to go through a year of conducting mock classes before they’re allowed to take real students.

Cost: $100 (registration, per level, per subject)
$344 – $882/month (sec 1 – JC 2)

Location: Beauty World, Novena, Paya Lebar

Contact: or through contact form

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With private tutors, it can be very difficult to find a good one. Not all private tutors advertise. Some are so good they don’t have to, getting their clients purely by word-of-mouth recommendations.

Still, whoever you end up contacting, don’t be afraid to ask for his credentials and track record. If they’re good, he won’t be afraid to shout about them. If he’s evasive, run away.

Also, while the tuition centre lives by its philosophy and pedagogy, a private tutor survives by his personality. Find one who’ll suit your child. This writer made the mistake of hiring a too-fierce tutor for an already too-meek child – it was a disaster.

Here are some highly raved-about private tutors in Singapore:

Economics tutor Anthony Fok is what the media calls a super tutor – a tutor who rakes in over $1 million in annual income because he is that good and that sought-after. We don’t know how he does it but this former teacher has 3 centres and teaches every class personally.

Cost: $120 (material fees a year)
$400 – $440/month

Location: Bukit Timah, Tampines, Kovan

Contact: contact centres individually

Phang Yu Hon is another a super tutor, this time specialising in physics. The former research engineer with the Ministry of Defence has been a tutor for more than a decade.

The problem with super tutors is that, because of their reputation for being excellent at teaching and delivering results, their classes tend to be far larger than those of the average private tutor. In essence, they function like a one-man tuition centre.

Cost: $420 – $540/month

Location: Block 283, Bishan Street 22, #01-179, Singapore 570283

Contact: 6275 6800

Ann Tutor’s strong suit is her ability to customise her lessons to the child, adjusting her style and material to the individual. With 15 years of experience, she can take your child from primary to secondary school in English, maths and science.

Cost: $720/4 lessons

Contact: 9788 1221 or

NIE-trained teacher tutorchen offers small-group tuition classes in maths and physics, for upper primary to JC.

Cost: $400 – $560/4 lessons

Location: 175A Bencoolen Street #06-05, Burlington Square Office Tower, Singapore 189650

Contact: 6884 65668457 7888884

You won’t find this Chinese tutor on the Internet. He’s one of those gems whose contact is passed on in whispers from mum to mum. He’s patient, dedicated, and good-humoured – everything you need to teach Chinese to kids who don’t love the subject. He even gives out booklets of sample Chinese essays by his students for reference.

Cost: $300 – $450/month (primary to JC)

Contact: 9385 2949

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Pre-schoolers may be a little young for tuition. But if you feel yours needs extra help with reading, maths or developing a general love for learning, there are tuition and enrichment centres that specialise in early childhood education.

Sending your tiny tots to these places where they can interact with their peers and learn in a fun environment might inspire them.

Kumon is a Japanese method of learning developed over 50 years ago and is now used worldwide.

It focuses on individualised instructions tailored to each student, self-learning and small-step worksheets to reinforce concepts and skills. This student-centred pedagogy allows children to learn at their own pace and become independent and disciplined students.

Cost: $140/month (per subject, 8 x 35 min sessions)

Location: several islandwide

Contact: 6232 5855

Another Japanese pedagogy, Kuno method is an early childhood programme (nursery and kindergarten only) that has successfully transitioned kids from preschool to primary school for over 30 years.

Their experiential learning-cum-enquiry-based approach, with gamification thrown in, is aimed at not only developing logical and analytical thinkers but also socially and emotionally well-rounded kids. Students learn through a concept-based curriculum that emphasises numeracy, literacy and fundamental concepts.

Cost: $430 – $455/2 months (nursery, 7 x 75 min sessions)
$455 – $480/2 months (kindergarten, 7 x 75 min sessions)

Location: Northpoint City, 1 North Point Drive, #02-183, 768019

Contact: 6560 8588

If your child can’t read or has trouble reading by the time he goes to Primary school, he’ll have a harder time catching up because language is integral to all subjects.

Enrichment centre I Can Read specialises in early reading and has taught over 200,000 children to read in the last 16 years using phonemic awareness, phonics and blending sounds. They take kids from under three to 12.

Cost: $345/11 lessons (I Can Read Discover)
$511.50 – $588.50/11 lessons (I Can Read & I Can Read Plus)

Location: islandwide

Contact: 6591 8743 / 6484 1271

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If your kid isn’t struggling with any particular topic, but just needs motivation and structure, then there is another option – a study coach.

Study coach Daniel Wong works one-on-one with your kid (usually age 10 to 18) to motivate him, help him organise his work, and optimise his performance. He has some impressive credentials – straight A student, scholar, author, trained counsellor and coach.

Oh, and you’ll appreciate his money-back guarantee. He’ll give you a full refund if you decide coaching is not for your child after the first session (Daniel recommends just 8 sessions, though you can schedule more if you feel you need them).

Cost: $3,999/8 sessions

Contact: Click here to schedule an appointment with Daniel

How much would you pay for tuition? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Top private tutors in Singapore as voted by parents

Does your child need tutoring in Math, Science or English? Here are the top five tutoring agencies in Singapore, as voted by parents.

Ann Tutor

With 15 years of tutoring tucked under her belt, it’s not hard to see why many parents choose to hire Ann Tutor for their children. Understanding that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” method for tutoring, Ann has come up with the Ultimate 360 Program.

This program allows Ann to teach your child in accordance to their learning style so that it’d be easier for them to learn, understand and retain information, all while having fun!

With the customized program for your child in place, you can be assured that lessons are carried out in an encouraging and caring manner as to inspire your child to look at even the most difficult of subjects as a welcomed challenge versus something to be frustrated with.

Ann will also make sure that your child understands one concept before moving on to another, and will make it a point to regularly review past lessons to make sure that your child truly understood and retained what was taught.

Under Ann’s tutelage, you will be able to see a drastic improvement in your child’s attitude, confidence and academic performance.

“Teacher Ann is a very committed and responsible tutor who devises and customises her own program to help my child understand the concepts. Her methods are effective as she will spend time understanding the weakness of my child and thereafter cater the program in relation to his weakness.”

Elaine Loh, mum of Jayden Tan, P1

“My daughter seems more confident with her Science topics now compared to like 6 months ago. Hopefully she can answer the questions with confidence for her PSLE exams. Ann is a patient tutor. She has a structured programme for her students. It seems to be working for the current/previous students under her.”

Yasotha, mum of Meera Pathmanathan, P6

“Ann is a patient no-nonsense tutor who provides structured lessons to suit your child. It is important to build kids’ foundations in Math and we found that she has helped our kids do that. They are now able to understand concepts better and are able to handle questions independently. We have no regrets approaching Ann to tutor our kids and we have seen significant improvements since journeying with her.”

Emilie Yeo, mum of Ashleigh (Sec 1) and Andrew (P4)

“We only had 1.5 months to prepare for the S-AEIS, but through hard work and dedication, they finished what they needed to cover. Ann made sure my daughter was equipped and ready. I was amazed with how fast my daughter could solve the problems. I did not know she was that smart! Ann made us realise her potential. She allowed my daughter to realise that she is capable of so much more. I have seen my daughter grow in confidence and skill.”

Emilie Wong, mum of Alexi

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Fruition through One-on-One Home Tuition With Ann Tutor

Get back on track with an experienced home tutor who helps get grades UP, UP and UP!

If grades are dropping, the motivation to study is slowly diminishing and keeping up with school work is starting to overwhelm your child, don’t give up just yet, mama. The problem could lie deeper than what you may see on the surface, mama. Before you call it a day, Ann Tutor explains that providing excellent and targeted learning to address a student’s specific learning challenges helps put them back on the road to success in no time.

With more than 15 years of tutoring experience, Ann is familiar with the academic landscape here in Singapore, particularly the MOE’s syllabi in English, Mathematics and Science for children ages 6-14. She can help children deal with academic problems effectively, explaining concepts until they fully grasp them and feel confident to progress on to the next one. By working at the child’s pace, she aims to reduce unnecessary stress on the child while also focusing on what is important — tackling core difficulties.

Home tuition is all about giving students one-on-one learning sessions with undivided attention to the child. As the tutor identifies a student’s strengths and weaknesses in certain parts of the syllabus, they can focus on the topics in which they need the most help.

Personalised one-on-one tutoring is ideal for matching each child’s learning abilities to their strengths. Some children may feel shy or ashamed to seek help in front of their peers in class, but with home tuition, this dedicated time to focus on problem-solving skills, exam preparation and learning strategies in a positive and encouraging environment can  help them open up and learn comfortably.

As an enthusiastic tutor, Ann feels that once the students tackle the core problems in their subjects, they are able to enjoy the learning process more and are more likely to experience classroom success. If you’re pulling your hair out trying to help your kids buckle down and study, give her a call to see if she’s a good fit!

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