The National Institute of Education (NIE) has launched three studies to answer key questions about the impact of private tuition here.
At the top of the list is whether tuition really improves students' grades or if it creates an unhealthy reliance which may make them worse.
The studies, which are expected to be completed by the end of next year, will also question if tutors help students understand content or if they merely drill children to be exam-smart.
Dr Shaljan Areepattamannil, who is heading the project, said he and his team will try to measure whether tuition does indeed raise scores in maths and English through the course of a year.
They will also look at tuition's effect on a pupil's motivation and interest in maths and English.
"Even if the study shows that tuition doesn't result in significant gains, parents and students may not be dissuaded. But for policymakers and educators, it may still be good to understand the impact and trends," he said.
At the same time, Dr Woo Huay Lit is heading a study on who the tutors are, and the types and quality of teaching in tuition centres.
Dr Trivina Kang's study, meanwhile, is looking at what parents expect from tuition, and the experiences of students here.