Non-native English speakers are often required to take the TOEFL exam to demonstrate to universities and businesses that they’re proficient in English and can handle rigorous work that you’ll take on in English-speaking environments. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and while the TOEFL is not mandatory for every school in English speaking countries, it is widely accepted and required by many major universities proving the fact that getting a high TOEFL iBT score is an important step to becoming part of an English-speaking institution.
In order to achieve a high score on TOEFL, you will need the help of a TOEFL preparation course. There is no shortage of TOEFL preparation courses online to act as your perfect study companion and to ensure you score as high as possible on the exam. Hence, picking the best one for you can be a little overwhelming, which is why we’re here. Our goal today is to help you maximize your scoring-potential by choosing the best TOEFL preparation resource and to excel on the TOELF iBT exam and make a statement to your target school.
WHO NEEDS A TOEFL PREPARATION COURSE ONLINE?
Considering how widely used TOEFL is used for many universities for students to demonstrate their English language capability, non-native English speakers who are thinking about attending university in an English-speaking country will likely need to sit for this test. Designed and administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), TOEFL is challenging, and high scores are very important. The ETS sends official scores and reports directly to universities for the student taking the TOEFL exam.
Finding your best approach to prepare for the TOEFL is not as straightforward as t seems as TOEFL test preparation courses can be time-consuming and expensive. Below are a few factors to consider to help you decide on whether you need a TOEFL test preparation course:
Do you have a good study discipline? If you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, then a TOEFL prep course is worth it as it helps and motivates you to stay on schedule.
Do you need improvement on your test score? You can attempt a free TOEFL practice test to see where you stand currently. If your score needs improvement, then a TOEFL study course may be a good option to help you boost your scores.
What’s your learning style? If you have a history of successfully studying with books, then a self-study approach with a good TOEFL prep book may be your best plan.
Do you need more encouragement? If you need encouragement, feedback, and motivation to stay on track, then a TEOFL prep course with an instructor (in-person or online) is a good option.
What’s your budget? TOEFL preparation courses can get expensive. However, there are some prep course providers that are relatively affordable. If money is tight for you, you may consider our best value recommendation or self-study with TOEFL prep books.
Benefits of a TOEFL Review Course
If you do decide to subscribe for a TOEFL review course, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits:
Actual test simulation – The online exams included in a TOEFL prep course often do a great job of simulating the real TOEFL to let you familiarize yourself and get comfortable. Magoosh’s dashboard even predicts your TOEFL scores and lets you compare yourself to other students.
Score Improvement Guarantee – The top TOEFL prep courses often come with a score improvement guarantee of 5 points or more.
Identify strengths and weaknesses – The best TOEFL prep courses available include advanced diagnostics functionality to identify the topics you are weak at and require more focus on.
Comprehensive study plans – TOEFL prep courses are designed by experts and are meant to help you craft, stick to and customize a study schedule that works for you.
Quality instructors – Courses that include live instructors or tutors that are expert in the field will help you with efficient strategies, motivation, and one-on-one feedback.
Best TOEFL Preparation Courses
- PRICE – Best value course we reviewed.
- GUARANTEE – +4-point improvement guaranteed.
- CONTENT – Combination of videos and value make this course a great option.
- QUESTIONS – 140 video lessons and 420 TOEFL practice questions.
Magoosh is a popular prep course provider and has included TOEFL test prep course options that cost within the range of $79 to $149. Regardless of which course you pick, they all offer the same critical features required to help you achieve a higher score in your exam with the only difference being the length of time students get to access the courses.
All Magoosh TOEFL prep courses come included with 140 video lessons, 6 full-length practice tests, and more than 420 practice questions for you to test your understanding. Every practice question even includes a detailed video explanation of the question and how best to solve it. Other than that, Magoosh also offers study schedules to all students taking this course to help them stay on track and motivated.
On top of those, Magoosh has a unique feature that might benefit you. Their score predictor pulls data from over 200,000 students to help you accurately predict what your score might be on the TOEFL. With this feature, students will know what to expect on test day and can better manage their expectations. All Magoosh TOEFL packages now even include a 7-day refund guarantee and a 4-point score increase guarantee.
The bottom line is that Magoosh is one of the best value TOEFL prep courses out there with an amazing combination in terms of price and all the features to make this a great option for any student taking the TOEFL exam.
- Simple Navigation – Magoosh TOEFL review course has a very easy-to-navigate interface. It is clean and simple, making their content super accessible both on desktop and through their mobile app.
- Great Student Support – The student support team on Magoosh is friendly and efficient. They’re also knowledgeable and cordial when answering your questions and are available for chat at any time.
- +4 Score Guarantee – Magoosh offers a great 4-point score improvement guarantee. If you don’t score 4 points better than you did the previous test after completing Magoosh’s online TOEFL course, the prep score provider will give you your money back, no questions asked.
- Affordable Pricing – Magoosh’s TOEFL packages are available at incredibly competitive pricing, starting at $79 for 1 month of access and $149 for their 6 monthly packages.
- Limited Practice Questions – Magoosh does not have quite as many TOEFL practice questions as some of the other options on our list. You may just find yourself running out of questions to practice with after a short amount of time.
The Princeton Review
- PRICE – Rather expensive but worth it for those who can afford it.
- GUARANTEE – Satisfaction guaranteed. Otherwise, they’ll provide you with a better tutor or free session.
- CONTENT – Students get one-on-one tutoring with the best TOEFL tutors available.
- QUESTIONS – Questions can be customized to cater to individuals personally.
Princeton Review does not offer any online self-paced TOEFL courses, but they do have online one-to-one tutoring for TOEFL students. Students get to pick from a few different packages available – a 3-hour tutoring package, 10-hour tutoring package, and an 18-hour tutoring package, depending on their needs.
The TOEFL comprehensive tutoring package that includes 18 hours of online TOEFL tutoring costs $167/hour where students will get paired up with an experienced TOEFL tutor and receive 18 hours of exclusive tutoring. Additionally, the package includes 3 progress meetings to review what they have learned and for students to ask any questions they may have.
Students who sign up for this tutoring program can rest easy knowing they’ll be paired up with an awesome TOEFL tutor. The tutor is trained to create a customized test prep program based on what the student needs the most. The tutors also have all the test prep-materials and will leverage these study materials to create the best study plan for the student.
Overall, this is a great one-on-one instruction for those who can afford it and who require a truly customizable study plan in order to achieve a high score on the TOEFL exam.
- One-on-one tutoring – Princeton Review TOEFL preparation plan provides one-on-one tutoring for those who need extra guidance.
- Live instruction – Those who learn better with live instruction and lectures will benefit from this course.
- Truly customizable – Princeton Review TOEFL test courses are customizable to meet your requirements.
- Price – Princeton Review TOEFL preparation courses cost $167/hour, making this one of the most expensive TOEFL prep courses on the market.
BestMyTest TOEFL Prep
- PRICE – Priced in the middle of the pack.
- GUARANTEE – +15 point guarantee.
- CONTENT – 200 video lessons and students get access for 6 months.
- QUESTIONS – 1000+ practice quizzes and 20 practice exams offered.
BestMyTest TOEFL prep courses range from $39 to $189 and mainly depend on how long you want access to the prep course. BestMyTest TOEFL test prep course allows students to customize their own prep course and choose how long they want access to it.
The premium course allows up to 6 months of course access and costs $189. This package includes 1000+ TOEFL practice questions, 200 TOEFL lessons, and 20 full-length practice tests. This is certainly the course for you if you’re one of those in search of practice tests. Students who enroll in this course even have the opportunity to ask a TOEFL instructor 25 questions on any topic they’re unclear about.
Another great highlight about BestMyTest is that the prep course company provides a free trial for students to get a test-drive and get a better feel for the course. Additionally, the premium course even comes with a 15+ score improvement guarantee where students who do not improve their score by 15+ points can get their money back. The prep course provider even offers email support or 1-on-1 support via instant messaging for students with questions.
The bottom line for this TOEFL review course is that this is a solid choice that features great content paired with numerous practice questions and practice exams for you to test your understanding.
- Extremely Affordable – BestMyTest TOEFL review course is one of the most affordable options on our list, making this an ideal choice for those with even the tightest budget.
- Flexible Pricing Options – Students get flexible pricing options that are built to fit any timeline. Their subscription packages start from 1-month access and are sold in 1-month increments up to 6 months long.
- Learning Tools – BestMyTest online prep course provides students with access to a very large variety of learning tools and course materials. Their packages include in-depth speaking and writing reviews on top of their regular practice resources.
- +7 Point Score Guarantee – BestMyTest offers some of the best score improvement guarantees of any TOEFL test prep course on the market, ensuring you’ll score at least 7 or 15 points more after taking their prep course.
- Limited Video Instruction – One drawback to BestMyTest is that they do not have the highest amount of video content when compared to other TOEFL prep courses.
- PRICE – Kaplan is a little more expensive than average, but not outrageous.
- GUARANTEE – Higher score guaranteed.
- CONTENT – 190 video lessons and additional materials like the TOEFL Course Book included.
- QUESTIONS – Hundreds of practice questions and 4 practice exams available to students.
Kaplan offers full three months of access to their TOEFL review course for $349. This is an online self-paced course that comes included with the TOEFL iBT Prep Plus coursebook with additional practice problems and strategies for you to work on and test your understanding.
The actual Kaplan TOEFL prep course itself includes 190 video lessons, hundreds of practice questions, and even 4 practice TOEFL practice exams to get familiar with the exam conditions. The video lessons provided are teacher-led and include strategies you need to succeed in the TOEFL exam. One unique feature that we love about this prep course is the fact that Kaplan provides feedback on writing samples. Students will receive feedback on their writing samples after taking each practice exam.
Another cool highlight of the Kaplan TOEFL test prep course is the company’s Smart Reports technology that analyses your performance and will even recommend what you should be studying or practicing next. This technology coaches you on different areas that need improvement, providing a very efficient way to study that ensures you get the highest score improvement in the shortest time possible.
Kaplan has been providing test prep courses for years and has since carried a strong brand name and reputation in the industry. The prep course provider has a great track record in helping students excel on various standardized tests. As a show of their confidence in their own course material, Kaplan offers a higher score guarantee or students get their money back.
The bottom line is that Kaplan is a great prep course provider and their TOEFL prep course is another example of that. The comprehensive course, paired with Kaplan’s technology, will ensure students achieve top TOEFL scores.
- Most Video Lessons – Kaplan TOEFL prep course provides more than 190 video lessons, which is the most amount of video material of any course we’ve reviewed today. These lesson videos serve to further explain and review concepts you’ll learn through the Kaplan course book (physical copy or e-book version)
- 6-Months Access – Unlike many of the other course options from companies on our list that provide only 1 week or up to 1 couple of months of access, Kaplan is ahead of the pack with 6 months of access as its standard course length. Students generally only need 3 months to study for the TOEFL, so this could potentially mean that you’ll be allowed to prepare for and take the TOEFL iBT twice.
- Writing Feedback – The practice TOEFL test taken through Kaplan’s online course provides personal feedback on your writing ability. This is an excellent feature that not every course provides.
- $349 for 6 months of course access puts Kaplan as one of the most expensive self-paced TOEFL preparation courses on our list. However, looking at how the prep course includes speaking reviews, a mobile app, or more practice questions, we honestly didn’t find it quite so surprising to find this high price for the course.
- PRICE – Priced in the middle of the pack.
- GUARANTEE – 30-day money-back guarantee.
- CONTENT – 10 hours of video instruction paired with 25 additional downloadable resources.
- QUESTIONS – Lack of practice questions, but the course does include 2 practice exams.
The Udemy TOEFL prep course was created by Maria Guryeva and is available for $114.99. The prep course includes preparation for all sections of the TOEFL including reading, listening, speaking, and writing. This course is naturally a bestseller on Udemy and even includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The complete Udemy TOEFL success course comes included with 10 hours of on-demand videos, 2 TOEFL practice tests, and 25 downloadable resources for even more test prep. Students who purchase this course will enjoy lifetime access and can even access the course on any device they choose. Maria has done her very best to ensure that all the content on the Udemy course is both engaging and interesting for all students. Her main goal is to ensure that all students who purchase this course are able to score 100 points or more on their TOEFL exam.
Some of the cool features included in this course are the diagnostic test right at the beginning of the course as well as the essay reviews provided at the end of the course. The diagnostic test works to gauge where you’re at, as well as to help track your progress throughout the course. The essay reviews are available at the end of the TOEFL prep course where students can submit their essays for revisions and marks made by Maria.
The bottom line is that the Udemy TOEFL prep course is a solid course for those who do not mind the lack of practice questions. Despite the lack of practice, this course is very in-depth in terms of concepts and strategies and even includes fantastic features like a diagnostic test and essay revisions.
- Additional resources provided – Udemy TOEFL iBT course includes additional resources such as a diagnostic test and essay revisions.
- Lifetime Access – Students get unlimited access to their course materials with Udemy’s TOEFL review course, meaning you get to continue to study for as long as you like. This is especially helpful if you need to retake the test.
- Lack of practice questions – Unfortunately, the Udemy TOEFL course has a limited number of practice questions and does not have a study plan for students to follow and stay on track.
English Success Academy TOEFL Tutor
- PRICE – One of the cheapest courses we reviewed.
- GUARANTEE – No guarantee provided.
- CONTENT – No video lessons. No a smart study plan.
- QUESTIONS – Includes 5 practice exams and hundreds of practice questions.
English Success Academy provides a variety of product offerings for students preparing for their TOEFL exam. However, they only provide one online prep course for TOEFL and it’s available for $49. This course is 100% digital and does not include any books or additional resources, students even get lifetime access to this course.
While it does not have many study materials, the course includes interactive quizzes, 35 units of concepts for students to learn from, 11 hours of listening practice, and 5 full-length TOEFL practice tests for students to familiarize themselves. Also included in the TOEFL prep course is a short diagnostics test to help identify some skills you may be weak at. All interactive quizzes even include answer explanations to explain why an answer is wrong – a great way for you to learn from your mistakes.
The English Success Academy TOEFL prep course is laid out very nicely and in a way that makes everything easy to find and interact with. The course is also designed to be compatible with any device and features an easy-to-use interface. One nice feature that we like about this course is the number of practice tests offered to students on top of the diagnostic test students take at the beginning of the course, all at a very reasonable price.
- Section Flexibility – Those studying for the TOEFL will benefit greatly with extra flexibility around which TOEFL sections you study for during the test preparation. With English Success Academy, the company lets you purchase classes for the entire TOEFL exam or choose to review only specific TOEFL concepts.
- Unlimited Access – Students get unlimited access to their course materials with English Success Academy’s TOEFL prep course, meaning you get to continue to study for as long as you like. This is especially helpful if you need to retake the test.
- Online Tutoring – This TOEFL prep course comes with optional online tutoring for an additional cost, and it even gives students a personal session with the company’s founder to really work through difficult concepts.
- No Guarantee – Unlike the many TOEFL prep courses on the market, English Success Academy does not come with a guarantee.
- No Instructor Feedback – Unless you pay extra for online tutoring or live online courses, English Success Academy does not provide access to direct instructor feedback. This is a roadblock for test-takers who require real-time feedback.
There are plenty of the best TOEFL preparation courses available online. But before making any final decision on which is the best TOEFL iBT test study plan for you, do remember to take some time to note down exactly what you want from a TOEFL iBT prep curriculum and see which ones match your list. We hope today’s review has given you enough information and knowledge to make an informed decision.