One of the most common statements I hear from potential students is….

“I really want to take lessons with you, but your lessons are too expensive.”

I understand their concern. After all, our tutors charge 60 USD per hour for private lessons. This is much more expensive than many other teachers. Most online ESL teachers charge 20-30 USD per hour.

So, why should you pay 60 USD per hour for private TOEFL lessons?

In this article, I will explain three main reasons:

My Specialty is TOEFL and TOEFL Speaking

Most online ESL teachers charge only 20-30 USD per hour. This is because they do NOT specialize in any one skill. Sure, they can help you become ‘more fluent’, help you ‘learn grammar’ and ‘use authentic resources’. They can even help you with general TOEFL preparation.

But they can’t help you solve a specific problem, like increasing your TOEFL Speaking score from 24 to 26.

It is similar to the difference between a general practice doctor and a specialized doctor.

As a patient, you go to the general doctor for check ups. He or she makes sure everything is working OK and that no major issues are present. Your blood pressure gets checked. You have to breathe in deep to check your lungs. Sometimes you get screened for breast or prostate cancer.

The general practice doctor can do a lot of things (just like the online ESL teacher who charges 20-30 USD per hour). But if you have any specific problem, the general practice doctor will ALWAYS refer you to a specialist.


Because the specialist has experience with fixing your certain problem. And he or she is VERY good at it.

In this situation, who makes more money?

Well, let’s look at the average salary for a general practice doctor compared to a specialist doctor (eyes, ears, and nose):

General Practice: $176,400

Eyes, Ears, and Nose: $369,000

The specialist makes twice as much as the general practice doctor!

This same principle applies to general ESL lessons versus TOEFL lessons.

We charge more money because we solve a very specific problem for you.

And when we help you solve that specific problem, you can finally advance in your career.

(By the way, you can see all the students we’ve helped get high scores on TOEFL and TOEFL Speaking in my success stories)

Private Lessons = Investment

I want to continue to build on the previous point. When you take TOEFL and TOEFL Speaking private lessons, you are investing in your future.

By investing money NOW, you guarantee yourself a faster road to success. In the long run, you will end up spending less time on TOEFL and, in many cases, paying less money.

Let me walk you through an example.

(Note: This is not a real example. This is a hypothetical example using information from students I’ve taught in the past. It shows the value of investing in private lessons early on BEFORE you have to take TOEFL 10-15 times)

I had two former students named Tom and Violeta

Both Tom and Violeta were professionals in America.

Tom had to take TOEFL for his FPGEC and Violeta had to take TOEFL to earn her teacher’s certificate.

Both needed a score of 26+ on TOEFL Speaking.

Tom decided to study alone for the TOEFL Speaking section using free resources on the internet.

He took TOEFL 15 times, spent $3000 on TOEFL exam fees, and (more importantly) spent over 4 years of studying for the TOEFL exam (what a nightmare).

In the last 4 months of his 4 YEARS studying for TOEFL, he took private TOEFL Speaking lessons.

Then, he finally earned 26+ on TOEFL Speaking.

What about Violeta?

Violeta knew she needed a high score on TOEFL Speaking, but she didn’t want to waste time.

She decided to take private TOEFL Speaking Lessons immediately.

She took the TOEFL exam once, spent $200 USD on the test fees, and studied for 3 months. She took private lessons for these 3 months and earned a speaking score of 26+ the 1st time she took TOEFL.

Let’s calculate the difference between Tom and Violeta.

1. Violeta spent 3 years and 9 months LESS than Tom preparing for the TOEFL exam.

2. Violeta spent $2800 LESS than Tom for TOEFL exam fees.

3. And Violeta STILL spent the same amount of money as Tom on private lessons.


Many students take TOEFL 5+ times but they don’t know what is preventing them from earning 26+.

By investing money in proven private lessons (like I said, I have a super high success rate with helping students go from 23 or 24 to 26 on TOEFL Speaking), you…

  • Save money on TOEFL test fees
  • Save time on studying
  • Free yourself from the stress and frustration of TOEFL

Pass TOEFL, Make More Money

My last reason builds on reasons #1 and #2.

You are most likely taking TOEFL for one of two reasons:

  • Gain entrance to a University in the USA or the UK (MBA, LLM, PhD, Masters, or Undergrad)
  • Become certified to work in the United States (pharmacist, physical therapist, nurse, doctor, dentist, and more)

The typical cost for TOEFL Private Lessons with the TOEFL Speaking Teacher is anywhere from 200 to 800 US dollars.

Your initial reaction is probably, “That is a lot of money!”

But I want to further analyze the cost of NOT taking private lessons.

The reason you are taking TOEFL is to further your career. By taking and passing TOEFL, you give yourself an opportunity to obtain advancement in your career field.

With advancement comes a higher salary. In fact, let’s analyze exactly how much more money you will make once you pass TOEFL with two specific cases:

  • MBA: On average, people with an MBA make 50% more money. As an example, if your pay before starting an MBA happened to be $50,000, you might expect to be offered $75,000 salary plus bonus (up 50%) at graduation. If you miss out on your dream MBA school because you did not earn a high enough TOEFL score, you will lose at least 25,000 USD because your application will be delayed by one year. By investing 200-800 dollars in private TOEFL lessons, you guarantee yourself 25,000 more US dollars. An excellent investment!
  • Pharmacist: Most people who move to the United States with a pharmacy degree work as assistant pharmacists to start. On average, assistant pharmacists make $22,000 per year. Once students pass TOEFL, they can go on to become pharmacists. How much do pharmacists make per year? $119,000 per year. Yes, pharmacists make almost $100,000 MORE dollars per year than assistant pharmacists. Let’s apply these numbers to the above examples. Juan decided to prepare for TOEFL by himself for six years. Not only did he waste over 3000 dollars on TOEFL test fees, he also gave up over $500,000 additional dollars in salary.

A similar scenario is true for physical therapists, nurses, doctors, and dentists. No matter your profession, you WILL make more money once you pass TOEFL.

“Is an investment of 200-800 dollars worth an additional $25,000-100,000 in salary?”

So, ask yourself:

“Is an investment of 200-800 dollars worth an additional $25,000-100,000 in salary?”

The answer is yes.

And the sooner you are done with TOEFL, the sooner you can make more money.