Whether you’re starting a new career or wanting to graduate in an English-speaking country, you will often be required to demonstrate your English fluency. And one way to do that is to sit for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. IELTS was established in 1989 and has since been known as the defacto English proficiency test for non-native English language. Almost 3 million people take IELTS for higher education, work, or permanent residentship programs each year.
Your IELTS exam score will show employers and school how well you can speak, read, write, and understand English. It is one of the most widely accepted language tests in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and beyond, this means that it’ll go a long way to helping you start a life in the place of your dreams.
However, getting top score is no easy feat. You’ll need to prepare and the best way to help you prepare for your IELTS exam is by subscribing to the best iELTS preparation course. There are a number of IELTS online preparation courses available online and picking the right one for you isn’t as easy as it sounds. That’s why we have done the hard work and researched the available IELTS exam preparation methods and put together a list of the best online iELTS preparation courses on the market.
Our list ranges from quick-hitting refresher courses for experienced English speakers to in-depth IELTS test preparation that dissects every section of the test to get you fully prepared no matter what level of english fluency you are at. Without further ado, let’s dive straight into our list!
IELTS Prep Course Reviews
Magoosh IELTS Prep Review
- 120 video lessons
- 600 practice questions with video explanations
- Up to 4 full-length mock tests
- 1-month access or up to 6-month access option
- Email assistance from experienced tutors
- 4 graded essays
- Score guarantee
- 7-day refund guarantee
Magoosh is a popular online prep course for multiple major academic tests including GRE, TOEFL, SAT, GAMT, and IELTS. Magoosh offers a comprehensive learning environment by supplying its students with multiple online lessons, practice test, essay scoring services, podcasts, learning blogs, and even a dedicated app to help develop and improve your vocabulary.
The Magoosh IELTS Prep Course comprises more than 90 online tutorials and videos with 200 practice questions to test your understanding. The course is conducted by two language experts: Eliot Eliot Friesen-Meyers and Chris Lele, both of whom have extensive experience in language learning and standardized tests.
The bottom line is that if you want an IELTS prep course that lets you study on-the-go and are looking for a flexible budget, then Magoosh is just the plan for you. They have a 1-month option that helps you cram before the exam. Alternatively, you can also sign up for their 6-month plan that provides essay grading, email assistance, and a full 7-day money back guarantee in case you decide that it’s just not for you. Magoosh is a great option for anyone who wants to tackle the IELTS one section at a time.
- Magoosh IELTS prep is very affordable considering the fact that it has the lowest starting price among the top course options and yet still ranks among the highest for its practice questions, video lessons, and prep tests offered.
- Magoosh provides the best in-mobile friendly test prep that’s easy to use. This means that you can prep for your iELTS course anywhere. With clear practice questions and hundreds of video lessons that you can stream directly from your Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android devices, you will never be without a way to study.
- Magoosh guarantees that your score will improve by 0.5 or higher. Though this may not be the biggest score improvement guarantee available, it’s still enough to make a difference.
- Magoosh IELTS offers flexible pricing plans that let you decide how long you want your access to last, ranging from one month up to a full 6-month access. This means that you have the flexibility to fit a plan that fits your budget and availability.
- Although Magoosh offers a huge amount of self-paced online video lessons and practice materials, it does not offer any live instruction.
BestMyTest IELTS Prep Review
- 1000+ IELTS practice questions
- 2000+ commonly used IELTS vocabulary words
- 50 full-length 3.5 hour IELTS test simulations
- 5 essay grammar corrections
- 10 Ask-An-Instructor questions
- 3 IELTS speaking reviews
- 2 IELTS writing reviews
- 1+ band score improvement or money-back guarantee
BestMyTest IELTS course is one of the most comprehensive and feature-rich IELTS prep courses available. The IELTS prep course combines many effective exam preparation strategies and methods to ensure you walk into your exam with the utmost confidence to succeed. The main reason BestMyTest IELTS is so effective is that it takes a truly comprehensive approach that covers all the skills you will be tested on the ielts exam from a variety of angles and with different methods.
Whether you prefer video lessons where they have a virtual tutor to walk you through the test procedure, or digital vocabulary flashcards, BestMyTest IELTS preparation company leaves no stone unturned for you to do everything possible to prepare for the ielts exam. The methods and techniques of the BestMyTest iELTS course are scientifically proven for you to learn effectively. One particularly ingenious feature is the ability to click vocabulary words in context, which bring sp a window with a definition and related words.
Aside from that, BestMyTest IELTS prep course utilizes technology to track and analyze your progress throughout the course as you complete sample questions and practice test. This will give you great insights into which skills and topics you’re weak at and should be targeting with your study and preparation. For example, if you aced the reading section, then you can probably spend less time preparing for that section of the exam, and instead focus on areas that still need improvement such as writing, listening, and speaking.
The bottom line is that the BestMyTest IELTS prep is for those who are looking for comprehensive IELTS preparation. If you thrive on practice questions rather than watching instructional videos and want to take advantage of extra resources such as Ask-An-Instructor questions and grammar corrections, then this is the best IELTS prep course for you. It’s also one of the best courses for you to be as familiar with the IELTS test format as possible with its hundreds of practice questions and 30 practice tests.
- BestMyTest takes your writing and speaking seriously. The company will review both your writing samples and speaking clips and send customized audio feedback to help you improve.
- BestMyTest offers comprehensive study plans with full sections devoted specifically to reading, speaking, and writing.
- Fantastic Student Support with instant messaging and email assistance through 24/7 customer support as well as Ask-An-Instructor questions.
- Provides the most practice tests with 30 full-length test simulations to make sure you step into your test day ready to face whatever is thrown at you.
- 1-2.5+ Band Score Improvement Guarantee.
- BestMyTest focuses on practice questions and lessons but they do not have video based or interactive test-based practice.
Kaplan IELTS Prep Course
- 4 authentic full-length practice tests
- 5,000 practice questions
- Personalized score reports
- Homework assignments
- Email support
- Available online 24/7 for 6 months
Kaplan is one of the largest and oldest IELTS test prep companies in the business. Kaplan has a specific goal which is to provide students with a large number of premium, modern test prep features, all at a very competitive price. The IELTS prep courses incorporate unique resources such as flashcard desk and quality videos and proven strategies to help you score high on your IELTS test.
IELTS has introduced a brand new interactive flashcard in their IELTS courses to help you with your English vocabulary. They have a total of 200 flashcards which span a broad range of categories: from crime and justice to nature and the environment for you to practice. New flashcards are introduced per topic each day so that you won’t feel like you’re going over the same stuff over and over again.
Kaplan also employs smart reports technology to help make keeping track of your progress easy. After each of your full-length IELTS practice tests, the course will give you a section-by-section report to show you exactly how you did on the test with easy-to-understand graphs and charts. With their report, you’ll be able to see which sections (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) you need to work on plus which types of questions you struggle with the most (matching, true/false/not given, etc.).
Kaplan understands that it may be difficult for some students to study online without personal guidance, hence they offer a live online version of their IELTS course. This version of their course lets you watch videos, use flashcards, take practice tests, and even participate in live-streamed class sessions led by a top-level English instructor.
On top of quality video materials, Kaplan is also one of the only two to offer writing reviews with their cheapest course option. The company provides a detailed writing response after all 4 of the practice tests you’ll take even with their cheapest IELTS online program.
The bottom line is that this IELTS online is best for students who are looking for iELTS prep options in several course formats to suit their needs. They offer lots of ielts studying material that you can access via an online self-paced course or a live online course with group class sessions. Kaplan is one of the best IELTS courses for you if you need more guidance and interaction during your IELTS preparation.
- Kaplan offers over 18 hours of video lessons which are interactive and engaging with 6 months of online access.
- Offers live IELTS prep course that runs in partnership with Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment English Promise. The course can be finished in 2-6 weeks and gives you direct online access to your IELTS instructor.
- No Score Improvement Guarantee with their IELTS exam prep courses.
- Kaplan’s live course is much higher than the other courses available.
Udemy IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course Review
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- 5 hours on-demand video
- 8 articles
- 48 downloadable resources
- 2 Practice Tests
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of completion (add-on)
Udemy is a well-known IELTS prep course as it comprises 160+ lectures with a total of 30+ hours of content to provide you with strategies and tactics you need for each of the four sections in the IELTS exam. Aside from teacher-led lessons, you will also get access to exercises, writing advice, speaking recommendation and peer reviews.
One of the main selling points of the IELTS Band 7+ Complete prep course is their focus on test skills and techniques. They conducted an in-depth analysis of the IELTS exam to play a major role in helping you familiarize with the test format and achieve high scores.
The bottom line is that the IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course is suitable for students who already have a decent grasp of English but are looking to improve and take their skills to the next level and break into that 7-9 score range. The instructor on Udemy spends a lot of time showing you the way the test works and teaches you how to make the most of every opportunity. If you thrive on video instructions with a personal touch, then Udemy IELTS online prep course might just be the one to help you score in the top range of your exam.
- This course is based around video lessons delivered by award-winning instructor Keino Campbell who has assembled a prep course with over 30 hours of content designed to help you familiarize yourself with all aspects of the IELTS test.
- Once you buy a plan with Udemy, you get lifetime access to all of their lessons on-demand. The lessons are even available on computer and mobile, meaning you can take them with you anywhere and anytime you need a refresher.
- Keino’s course is geared specifically towards helping students achieve the 7-9 band score range by focusing on strategy and tactics. The course provides tips on the subtle ways to take advantage of your strengths and score higher on IELTS.
- The course is not suitable for beginners since it is specifically geared towards helping students with an intermediate English skill level to make the final leap into Band 7 and above.
- While the Udemy course offers quality studying resources, it doesn’t come with the score guarantee you see other IELTS prep courses have.
IELTS Online Prep Course Review
- Practice tests in all 4 modules – speaking, writing, listening and reading.
- More than 260 activities in over 1,000 study pages of content
- 500 pages of teaching material
- Over 5 hours of audio recordings
- Test tips and study strategies in all modules
- 90 Days access
IELTS online is a well-rounded study approach for students who possess a basic level of English – those with a Band 5, and are looking for ways to boost themselves and reach the next level. IELTS Online is a comprehensive plan with more than 100 hours of materials to give you the edge you need.
If you aren’t working on too tight of a budget, the IELTS Online Master Plus course even provides you with the most personal instruction and feedback of any other course on this list. If that’s your cup of tea, then this might be the choice that secures your high score on IELTS.
- IELTS Online provides materials for all four modules (writing, listening, reading, and speaking) which you will be tested on when you take your IELTS. IELTS online even provides practice exams at the end of each section for you to test your skills.
- IELTS Online Master Plus plan gives you 90 days of access to over 100 hours of study materials, 260 activities, voice recording tools, audio recorded lessons, and individual feedback on writing and speaking.
- The longest available plan for IELTS Online lasts for 90 days only, which is well below the 6-month plan offered by other courses.
- No Guarantee for an improved score.
edX IELTS Prep Course Review
edX offers multiple massive open online courses (MOOC) across a wide range of subjects and one of the best ways to help you prepare for IELTS exam is simply to take edX’s IELTS course. This section lets you learn about the test procedure, format, strategies, and skills for ielts tests over the course of the program.
The IELTS course takes 8 weeks to complete and requires 5-10 hours of work each week. However, you can study at your own pace to prepare for the exam while developing your English skills. The IELTS prep course focuses on the four main components of IELTS which are listening, writing, reading, and speaking. This prep course is even taught by 5 language experts from the University of Queensland.
The bottom line is that EdX is for students on a tight budget who are motivated and don’t have much prior experience with IELTS. EdX’s prep course gives you a basic rundown of the exam with a study schedule you can take on at your own pace without costing a dime.
- The EdX IELTS prep course is in partnership with the University of Queensland which has 20+ years of experience in English teaching and training.
- The IELTS examination comes in two forms which are academic and general training. Each has different types of questions and helps to train your English skills in different ways.
- EdX IELTS does not offer a score improvement guarantee with their free IELTS course prep.
- EdX does not give you a whole lot of access to their course materials with only 8 weeks to study.
IELTS Courses Comparisons
BestMyTest vs Magoosh IELTS Prep
BestMyTest and Magoosh are some of the best easy-to-use IELTS prep courses on the market. Magoosh is well known for their user-friendly interactive studying platform that offers courses for a large number of standardized tests. BestMyTest, on the other hand, focuses more on providing quality exam prep materials for those who have English as a second language. Both IELTS prep courses offer mobile-optimized interactive IELTS preparation for a low price ans with multiple scheduling options.
Course Options and Price
Magoosh and BestMyTest’s iELTS prep courses are both fairly cheap when compared to other major test prep courses. BestMyTest’s 7 day package costs $39 only which beats out Magoosh’s cheapest package at $59. Even though BestMyTest has the cheapest course, Magoosh’s other course options are cheaper than the equivalent options from BestMyTest.
Still, BestMyTest’s higher price tag does come with a few premium features you’ll enjoy, such as the ability to customize your course subscription length at 1 month increments for up to 6 months. BestMyTest also offers several in-depth speaking and writing reviews to give you insight on your abilities from expert English instructors. Whereas, Magoosh only offers one writing review and it only comes with their most expensive package.
Lastly, Magoosh offers a +0.5 band improvement guarantee for each of their IELTS prep packages, students who don’t improve with a 0.5 band higher on their test after their Magoosh IELTS course can get their money back. BestMyTest doesn’t offer a score guarantee for their cheapest IELTS prep, but they do have the guarantee available for their more expensive courses with larger 1-band and 2.5-band improvements.
Unless you only need 7 days of IELTS course review, then Magoosh is definitely the cheaper option of these two. However, the inclusion of premium features makes paying a higher price for BestMyTest worth it. BestMyTest courses include more schedule flexibility for students with a tight calendar, speaking and writing reviews with personal advice from English speakers, and a great score guarantee.
Udemy vs Magoosh IELTS Prep
When it comes to IELTS course pricing and accessibility, Udemy and Magoosh are pretty familiar with a difference in thor educational approach. Udemy is a large-scale course hosting website that connects students to courses created and hosted by independent educators. Magoosh, on the other hand, creates their own curriculum for every course they offer, which always includes a pretty standard subscription package. Nonetheless, both Udemy and Magoosh’s IELTS online courses are good options for students.
Course Options and Price
Out of the 10,000 online courses that Udemy offers, they provide different IELTS packages with the IELTS Band 7+ Complete Course to be simply the best since it offers the highest quality in prep content at the best price. Students who subscribe to Udemy’s IELTS prep will have to pay around $12 and receive access to dozens of hours of video content, question explanations, and skill exercises for life. Those who opt for Magoosh’s IELTS online course can choose from packages that give 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months of access. All the packages come with the same features as Udemy’s test prep plus a score guarantee, tests practice, and support from Magoosh IELTS experts. However, these additional features come at a slightly higher price, but the prices are still hardly expensive when compared to some other top IELTS prep courses.
Ultimately, Udemy’s IELTS Band 7+ Complete Course comes in at a cheaper price but only provides students with one course package option with limited number of features, especially when compared to its competitors. While Magoosh’s IELTS online prep courses come at a steeper price, they do include features that students can really benefit from, such as a graded writing review, a 0.5-band improvement score guarantee, and even practice online IELTS tests.
eDX vs Udemy IELTS Prep
Although many IELTS courses come from specialized test prep companies such as Kaplan, Magoosh, or BestMyTest, some online courses are offered through generic educational platforms that allow educators from all over to teach the course. Udemy and edX are both part of this second group. In that sense, these two companies are very similar, especially when put up against the other more test-specialized companies on our list. With similar business models, investigating particular differences between the two IELTS prep online courses will be key in determining which is the best one for you.
Course Options and Price
Compared to Udemy, edX is smaller and a somewhat more exclusive platform in terms of the courses they offer. Out of their 2,500 total courses, edX only has 1 IELTS class, which is titled as the IELTS Academic Test Preparation. This course is designed by professionals from the University of Queensland. Students enroll for only 8 weeks on this course and can view lessons and complete assessments to learn about every aspect of their IELTS examination. The best part is that students can enroll in this course for absolutely free!
The IELTS course from Udemy IELTS Band 7+ Complete Course, although not quite as cheap, is hardly expensive either. It gives students lifetime access to over 72 hours of video instruction for only about $15. The course also allows students to participate in monthly live online group classes, which are really helpful for students who need real-time interaction with instructors.
If you want to have more options in terms of scheduling and content when choosing an IELTS prep company, then Udemy’s courses beat edX’s. However, edX’s FREE course is impossible to beat, so those on a very tight budget can’t really go wrong with their IELTS course. While Udemy’s IELTS course costs more, they do offer much more with live online class sessions and over 72 hours of quality video instruction.
Final Thoughts – What is the best online preparation course for IELTS?
There are plenty of IELTS Courses available online, there are also great options for those on a budget. Before making any final decision on which is the best IELTS prep for you, do remember to take some time to note down exactly what you want from an IELTS course and see which ones match your list.
With the power of the internet and technology, tutoring and exam preparation is so much more accessible now. But if you do have any questions regarding an IELTS english language course, do contact the course provider and ask all the questions you need. A financial investment is still a financial investment, no matter how big or small it is.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time does it take to prepare for IELTS?
Everyone will take a different amount of time to study for an exam like the IELTS. Some students do very well with short periods of studying, while others do best when they have several months to prepare. Finding out which type of student you are can be difficult. Regardless, we do recommend for students to give themselves about 3 months to prepare if they really want a good score on their IELTS.
How much do IELTS prep courses cost?
IELTS prep courses come with a range of prices. In general, these types of prep courses can range from the low hundreds to a couple of thousands. Fortunately, IELTS prep courses are often priced on the cheaper side of that spectrum.
The top IELTS prep courses can be found for as low as around $15, while the most expensive course can reach around $170. These various price points are related to the various features the courses have. The more expensive prep course like BestMyTest’s Premium IELTS package provides 6 months of access, personal speaking and writing reviews from instructors, and a 2.5+ score improvement guarantee. On the other hand, iELTS Online’s express package is a cheaper course but offers no score improvement money back guarantee, no speaking or writing reviews, and only 45 days of course access.
How can I prepare for IELTS online?
Preparing for IELTS online has never been easier. Aside from going through the courses mentioned above, you can familiarize yourself with the examination by looking at sample questions and answers, test structure, as well as experiences of previous candidates. Hearing can be particularly difficult for certain individuals and if that’s you, make sure to go through relevant pronunciation videos on Youtube.