best ielts prep courses comparison

Updated September 10, 2019

When looking to start a new career or a graduate degree in an English-speaking country, you will need a way to demonstrate your English fluency. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam has become one of the most widely accepted language tests in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and beyond.

Your IELTS exam score shows employers and schools how well you can speak, read, write, and understand English and it will go a long way to helping you start a life in the place of your dreams.

But to get that top score, you’ll want to prepare! That’s why I have researched the available methods of IELTS exam preparation and put together this list of the best IELTS online preparation courses on the market. Ranging from quick-hitting refresher courses for experienced English speakers to in-depth IELTS test preparation that dissects every section of the test, this list is full of great options for a variety of students.

So, let’s get started! Scroll down to see a breakdown of the best IELTS online courses that will teach you exactly how to do IELTS preparation.

IELTS Prep Course Reviews & Exclusive Discounts

magoosh IELTS prep course review bestmytest ielts prep course udemy ielts band 7 prep course review ielts online course kaplan ielts prep course review edx ielts prep course review
RANKINGS #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
COMPANY Magoosh IELTS BestMyTest IELTS Udemy IELTS IELTS Online Kaplan edX


$59 $69
$149 $39 $50

($99 for certificate)

PRACTICE QUESTIONS 650 3,500 1,500 5,000 5,000 3,000
VIDEO LESSONS 20+ Hours 4 Hours 30+ Hours 5 Hours 18 Hours 5 Hours
GUARANTEE 0.5+ Score Improvement 1 – 2.5+ Score Improvement 30-day Money-Back guarantee No No No
FORMATS OFFERED Self-Paced Online Self-Paced Online Self-Paced Online, Live Instruction Self-Paced Online Self-Paced Online, Live Instruction Self-Paced Online
PROGRESS TRACKING *with Plus Membership only
STUDENT SUPPORT Chat & Email Support Email & Instant Messaging Email Email Email Email

6 Months

1 Week –

6 Months

Lifetime 90 Days 6 Months 8 Weeks
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Overview Read Overview  Read Overview  Read Overview  Read Overview 
GET STARTED Start Now Start Now Start Now Start Now Start Now Start Now

Quick Links to IELTS Prep Courses and Study Materials

IELTS Prep Course Rankings

#1 Magoosh IELTS Prep Review

magoosh ielts prep course review

  • Affordable Magoosh IELTS Prep has the lowest starting price among the top course options and yet still ranks among the highest when it comes to practice questions, video lessons, and practice tests on offer.
  • Mobile and Easy-to-Use Magoosh provides the best in mobile-friendly test prep and the IELTS course can be taken anywhere. With clear practice questions and hundreds of video lessons you can stream right from your Mac, PC, iPhone or Android device, you will never be without a way to study
  • Score Improvement Guarantee Although Magoosh’s guarantee that your score will improve by 0.5 or higher isn’t the biggest on the list, that’s still enough to make a difference and make your test results stand out.
  • Flexibility Magoosh IELTS also offers pricing plans that let you decide how long you want your access to last, ranging from one month up to a full 6 months of access. This means you can find a plan that fits your budget as well as your availability.
  • No Live Lessons Although there is a huge amount of self-paced content in terms of video lessons and practice materials, Magoosh IELTS does not offer any options for live instruction. With that said, at the low price on offer, adding in any live instruction would be a steal.

Magoosh IELTS Prep Features:

  • Over 125 video lessons
  • Over 650 practice questions
  • Video explanations to practice questions
  • Up to 4 full-length mock tests
  • 1 month of access
  • Email assistance from experienced tutors
  • 4 graded essays
  • Score guarantee
  • 7-day refund guarantee


If studying on-the-go is important and you are looking to prepare on a flexible budget, then Magoosh is the plan for you. With a 1-week option to help you cram before the exam for just $19, up to a comprehensive 6-month plan that provides essay grading, email assistance, and a 7-day moneyback guarantee, Magoosh provides a great option for someone who wants to tackle the IELTS one section at a time.


#2 BestMyTest IELTS Prep Review

Best My Test ielts prep Course

  • Speaking and Writing Reviews BestMyTest really takes your English speaking and writing seriously. After you submit your writing samples and speaking clips, BestMyTest reviews both and sends customized audio feedback to help you improve. Their approach and attention to detail in this regard sets them apart from the competition.
  • Comprehensive Study Plans BestMyTest really takes the entirety of the IELTS seriously, with full sections devoted specifically to reading, speaking, and writing.
  • Fantastic Student Support BestMyTest offers students Instant Messaging and Email assistance through 24/7 customer support as well as Ask-an-Instructor questions included in each plan
  • The Most Practice Tests With 30 full-length test simulations, BestMyTest IELTS makes sure that you will go into your test day ready to face whatever the test throws at you.
  • 1-2.5+ Band Score Improvement Guarantee While the standard plan offers students a guaranteed improvement of 1 band on their IELTS, the premium package (with extra instructor questions and corrections) offers a whopping 2.5 or more—easily the best on the list.
  • Not Video Based BestMyTest focuses on practice questions and lessons and, although the lessons feature brief introductory videos for each section, the course focuses mainly on interactive test-based practice.

BestMyTest Course Features (Basic Plan)

  • 1000+ IELTS practice questions
  • 2000+ commonly used IELTS vocabulary words
  • 30 full-length 3.5 hour IELTS test simulations
  • 5 essay grammar corrections
  • 10 Ask-An-instructor questions
  • 3 IELTS speaking reviews view speaking review
  • 2 IELTS writing reviews view writing review
  • 1+ band score improvement money back guarantee


BestMyTest is for students who are looking for comprehensive IELTS prep. You should be someone who thrives on practice questions rather than instructional videos and willing to take advantage of the extra resources like Ask-an-Instructor questions and grammar corrections. If your goal is to be as familiar with the IELTS test format as possible, then you can’t go wrong with BestMyTest and its hundreds of practices questions and 30 practice tests.


#3 Udemy IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course Review

udemy ielts prep course

  • Live Instruction This Udemy course is based around video lessons delivered by award-winning instructor Keino Campbell, who has assembled a prep course made up of over 30 hours of content designed to get you familiar with all aspects of the IELTS
  • Lifetime Access Once you buy a plan, you have lifetime access to all of the lessons on-demand. What’s more, all lessons are available on computer and mobile, meaning you can take them anywhere and anytime you need a refresher
  • Band 7+ Keino’s course is geared specifically towards helping students score in the 7-9 band range. By focusing on strategy and tactics, the course can help you learn the subtle ways of the IELTS to take advantage of your strengths and score higher.
  • Not for beginners The course is specifically geared towards helping students with an intermediate English skill level make the final leap into the Band 7 and above range.

  • Expensive Although Udemy sometimes offers discounts, the regular price for the course is $149.99, by far the most expensive on the list. But that does give lifetime access to all materials, including practice tests and video lessons, meaning if you ever think you need to bolster your IELTS score you won’t need to shop again for practice materials.

Udemy Complete Prep IELTS Course Features

  • 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’


Udemy’s IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course is for students who already have a decent grasp of English but are looking to take their skills to the next level and break into that 7-9 score range. The instructor spends a lot of time showing you the way the test works and teaching how to make the most of every opportunity. If you thrive on video instruction and a personal touch, Udemy might have just the course for helping you score in the top range on your IELTS.


#4 IELTS Online Prep Course Review

ielts online prep

  • Materials for All Four Modules IELTS Online covers reading, writing, listening, and speaking, all of the areas that you will be tested on when you take your IELTS. Plus, there are practice exams at the end of each section.
  • Great “Plus” Features In the IELTS Online Master Plus plan, you get 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! Although this plan is the most expensive at $229, it is also by far the most personalized.
  •  Short Access The longest available plan for IELTS Online lasts for 90 days, well below the 6-month plans offered by other options on this list.
  •  No Guarantee IELTS Online does not offer students any guarantee for an improved score.

IELTS Online Course Features:

  • Practice tests in all 4 modules – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
  • More than 260 activities in over 1000 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 provides a well-rounded study approach for students who have a basic level of English (around Band 5 suggested) and are looking to boost themselves to the next level. If you have the more than 100 hours available to dedicate to working through the entirety of IELTS Online’s resources, you will find a comprehensive plan that will give you the edge. Plus, if you aren’t working on too tight of a budget, the Master Plus course provides you with the most personal instruction and feedback of any other course on this list and might be the choice that secures your high score.


#5 Kaplan IELTS Prep Course Review

kaplan ielts prep course review

  • Number of Practice Questions With 5,000 practice questions available to students, Kaplan provides the second-most on the market. Add this to the 18 hours of video lessons (third most on the list) and the 6 months of online access, and you can be sure that you dig deep into the IELTS exam.
  • Live Instruction Kaplan is one of just two companies on the list to offer a live IELTS preparation course, run 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 Unlike the top choices on the list, Kaplan does not offer a score improvement guarantee with their IELTS preparation courses.
  • Price Kaplan’s live course, the one that really sets it apart from other options on the list, starts at $160—much higher than the other courses available.

Kaplan IELTS Course Features:

  • 4 authentic full-length practice tests
  • 5,000 practice questions
  • Personalised Score Reports
  • Homework Assignments
  • Email Support
  • Available online 24/7 for 6 months


#6 edX IELTS Prep Course Review

edx ielts prep course review

  • Free EdX doesn’t charge students to take its IELTS prep course, although you have the option of paying a fee of $99 to receive an instructor-signed certificate that you can share with schools and jobs to prove your qualifications.
  • Partnership with University of Queensland The Edx IELTS prep course relies on the University of Queensland’s 20+ years of experience in English language teaching and training.
  • Academic Only The IELTS exam comes in two forms: Academic and General Training. Each have different types of questions and help to train your English skills in different ways.
  • No Score Guarantee EdX does not offer a score improvement guarantee with their free IELTS prep course.
  • No Mobile App Although the lessons can be visited at your own pace, there is no mobile app for the EdX IETLS prep course.

edX IELTS Course Features:

  • 5 hours of video lessons
  • 3,000 practice questions
  • Self-paced course
  • 8 week duration
  • Email support