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E-Learning Platforms Last update: Feb 21, 2024

Brilliant Review: Is It Worth It?

Best for STEM topics

Starting from

$24.99 USD a month

Best for

  • Interactive Learning
  • Beginner Friendly
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Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

Brilliant.org is an online learning platform that focuses on STEM related topics. It’s 60+ courses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math topics all offer an interactive learning experience.

Brilliant was founded in 2012 by Sue Khim and in the last 10 years it has grown to be home to 10 million users. Its team of course creators include award-winning teachers, researchers and professionals from MIT, Duke, Microsoft and Google. Its courses are designed around hands-on learning, keeping the experience engaging and fun.

In order to provide you with a valuable Brilliant review, I’ve invested time in conducting thorough research on Brilliant’s courses, pricing models, user interface, and carefully analyzed feedback from users of the Brilliant platform. Brilliant isn’t one of our top choices, we would highly recommend checking out top platforms like Coursera and MasterClass.

If you are still wanting to know more about the Brilliant platform. Then stick around and read our detailed Brilliant.org review.

Coursera

Best For Accredited Courses

4.8

MasterClass

Top VIP Instructors

4.7

Brilliant Summary

Brilliant.org is an online educational platform that offers interactive courses, problems and quizzes across the STEM topics: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The platform is designed for learners of all ages and its 60+ courses are designed to help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Its content is challenging and engaging and requires learners to interact with the content through active learning. Brilliant has a community feature, so that users can connect with one another, share their progress and discuss problems and solutions. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate around. You can pick from one of its 3 subscription plans, and a 7-day free trial is included when you first sign up. In case you aren’t ready to financially commit Brilliant does offer some free courses each day for you to try out.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Free Trial

A 7-day free trial is available for all new users wanting to try the premium plan.

Interactive

Its courses are designed to be interactive and hands-on, meaning the learner has to participate and be engaged.

Beginner Friendly

Brilliant has designed a bunch of its courses for beginners, learning the fundamentals. Then there is the option to progress to intermediate and advanced courses.

Self Paced

All of Brilliant.org courses are self-paced, allowing you to complete its guided exercises in a time that suits you.

Mobile App

Its mobile app allows you to download individual courses for offline use (maximum of 6 at a time) so you can learn on the go and when it suits you.

Cons

Limited Topics

As Brilliant only covers the STEM courses, it does mean that if you are looking for something outside this topic area, it would be best to check out Coursera or Skillshare.

Only Subscription

The only option is to subscribe to the monthly or annual subscription, sadly there isn’t a one-off payment option.

No Certificates

Brilliant’s courses don’t offer any completion certificates, and its focus isn’t on career development. If that is something important to you, then it’s best to check out Udacity or Datacamp.

Limited Interaction

Although Brilliant does have a community of experts, its users may not have the opportunity to interact with them directly or receive personalized feedback.

Who Is Brilliant For?

Now, that isn’t the easiest question to answer, but what I would say is that Brilliant claims its courses are for anyone aged between 10 and 110. If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving and challenging problems through interactive and hands-on learning, then Brilliant may be a suitable platform for you. I will add here though, you do need to be 13 or older to have your own Brilliant account.

Who is Brilliant for?
Who is Brilliant for?

Brilliant is designed for Students, Professionals and Lifelong learners who can all benefit from this unique learning experience. Whether you are looking to master concepts through problem-solving or wanting to keep your mind active, it’s a platform most of us can find value in.

Its focus on STEM topics offers a new way of learning these essential skills, which previously you may not have enjoyed learning. I know in my case, Math and Science definitely weren’t my favorite subjects in high school, but after completing some of Brilliant’s guided exercises, I have a new-found love and even had some fun problem-solving these topics. It really has made subjects which were once feared an enjoyable experience of guided discovery.

It’s certainly worth me pointing out now, that if you already know that you don’t have an interest in the STEM courses and are looking for a broader range of topics then it would be best to consider alternatives like Coursera, Udacity or Datacamp which focus more on fulfilling educational goals and advancing your career.

Brilliant for Educators

Brilliant isn’t just for the individual learner, it offers free educational plans for teachers and educators. That give you access to interactive lessons, problem-solving, classroom tools and more.

Brilliant for Educators
Brilliant for Educators

To apply for an Education account, you just need to complete the signup form and survey to find out what your needs are. Once accepted, you can choose up to 6 courses and enjoy the unlimited daily challenges. Then you can invite your students and enjoy the Brilliant platform.

Brilliant for Educators
Brilliant for Educators

To be eligible to apply, you must be an educator in a classroom and able to verify your education status. The educator account will be valid for 2 years.

All Devices

You can access the Brilliant platform from all devices including computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone, which makes it really convenient to learn from wherever you are and with the device which most suits you.

Brilliant All Devices
Brilliant All Devices

How Much Is Brilliant?

Brilliant.org offers both a Free and Premium option. The free account is very limited and gives you access to the Today tab with a preview of daily online courses and the ability to sync your progress across the web and mobile app.

Brilliant Free and Premium Plan
Brilliant Free and Premium Plan

Whereas the Premium experience offers 3 different subscription plans, which all give you unlimited access to the 60+ courses, offline mode on mobile apps and guided courses. You can pay for the Premium plan in 3 ways:

Monthly: Pay $24.99 per month

Annual: Pay $161.88 per year (working out at $13.49 per month)

Groups of 3+: Pay $299.88 per year

Brilliant subscription plans
Brilliant subscription plans

It’s important to be aware that your Brilliant subscription plan will automatically renew at the end of its term, whether that’s monthly or annually. If you don’t want that to happen you can turn off auto-renew in your settings.

Brilliant 7-Day Free Trial

If you do decide to join Brilliant premium, you are eligible for its 7-day free trial. Once you are signed up, you can start your 7-day free trial, but it must be within 2 days of registering with Brilliant.org.

Brilliant 7-day free trial
Brilliant 7-day free trial

This will mean you will need to input your payment details when signing up for the premium plan, so you can begin enjoying the benefits. But don’t worry, you won’t be charged anything until the 7-day free trial ends, and you will have the option to cancel the free trial before it ends, just by clicking ‘End trial’ here. That way you won’t be charged anything.

Brilliant does not offer a refund policy, but it does state that it makes exceptions from time to time. But honestly, I wouldn’t count on that. My advice is to try out the free plan or the 7-day trial and then decide whether you want to commit financially to the platform or not.

Brilliant Gift Plan

Brilliant does offer a gift plan where you can purchase the premium plan for a loved one. You have the option of either purchasing the 1-year plan or the Lifetime access.

Brilliant Gift Plan
Brilliant Gift Plan

Brilliant Group Plan

As well as the gift plan, Brilliant offers a Group plan. It’s an annual plan that you can share with your family, class or team. The Brilliant Premium group plan can accommodate 3 to 50 people. If you are a larger organization, you can get in touch with Brilliant to discuss.

Brilliant Group Plan
Brilliant Group Plan

The payment for the Brilliant group plan will be processed in one payment every year, which you can cancel at anytime.

How To Open A Brilliant Account?

Brilliant.org makes opening an account really intuitive. All you need to do is follow these easy steps to create a free account:

Get started with Brilliant
Get started with Brilliant
  1. Visit brilliant.org and click on ‘Get Started’ (see image above)
  2. Click ‘Continue’ answering questions on learning experience
  3. Add email or join with a Facebook account or Google account (see image below)
  4. Confirm your email (or Facebook or Google account)
Brilliant Sign up
Brilliant Sign up

That’s it, it’s that easy.

7 Tips to Find the Perfect Brilliant Course

Today Tab

The Today tab allows you to try out a free preview of each course. It gives you a taster of Brilliant’s courses and each day you will find a new challenge to try out. To access the daily challenging problems you will need to have a Brilliant account, but that only requires you to sign up for a free account.

Brilliant Today
Brilliant Today

I tried out a few of these challenges myself, and they are interactive and engaging and definitely get your mind thinking. So, why not try a free daily challenge here.


Free Trial

The 7-day free trial gives you the opportunity to try out the Brilliant platform before financially committing. This way, you can decide whether it’s the right platform for you.

Brilliant Free Trial
Brilliant Free Trial

Do keep in mind you will only have access to the free trial within 2 days of signing up to Brilliant. If you choose to cancel you can do this at any time within the 7-day trial window, and you won’t be charged anything.

Popular Courses

If you aren’t sure on where to get started with Brilliant, then a good place is by checking out its Popular Courses. This highlights which courses were most popular in the last months among Brilliant users.

Brilliant Popular Courses

It also highlights the most popular learning paths in case users are interested in taking multiple courses.

Simple Filter

Brilliant.org offers a simple filter where you search for one of its 60+ courses or topics. There is also the option to JUMP TO Math, Science and Computer Science, to take you directly to your chosen topic.

Brilliant Search for courses and topics
Brilliant Search for Courses and Topics

In no way am I saying this is the most advanced filtering system out there, but it does help direct you to your chosen course or topic. Saying that it is something Brilliant could work on to help users feel they have a more personalized learning experience. Platforms like Udemy or MasterClass have nailed their filtering systems.

Testimonials

You can find the Brilliant testimonials in the footer of the site where you can read testimonials from students, great teachers, professionals, parents and life-long learners.

Brilliant Testimonials
Brilliant Testimonials

Sadly, there is no filtering system on the testimonials, so you aren’t able to select e.g. Reviews with 5 stars or Organization of lesson. Platforms like Skillshare offer a more detailed and well-rounded filtering system of Testimonials.

Course Creators

You can read the bios of some of the course creators at Brilliant and their experience in the field. While Brilliant’s courses aren’t instructor-led and its courses are created by a team rather than a single instructor, it does give you some indication on what’s going on behind the scenes.

Brilliant course creators
Brilliant course creators

If having an instructor-led course is what’s important to you, it would be best to check out platforms like MasterClass or Coursera who value this in the learning experience.

Read course description

Each course has a course description which you can read before starting it. It highlights the topics that will be covered as well as any prerequisites you may need. This is a great indicator for you to know whether the course is right for you or not. The number of interactive quizzes, concepts and exercises are all stated.

Brilliant Course Description
Brilliant Course Description

So, before committing and starting the course, you get an idea if you may enjoy it. But keep in mind each course is no more than 15 minutes, so it isn’t a huge time commitment.

Brilliant in detail

Criteria

Comment

Ease of Use ?

4

Brilliant.org has a very user-friendly interface and the platform is easy to move around.

The signing up process is super straightforward, you will be asked a few questions about what you are interested in and looking to learn with Brilliant. But then you just need to add your email or join using Facebook or Google.

Convenience ?

4

You can learn at anytime with Brilliant at a time that suits you, learning is completely flexible.

With their iOS app, you’ll be able to download lessons to watch them offline. Strangely, this option isn’t available for Android or desktop users.

Available Platforms

4

You can access Brilliant.org with your desktop, as well as with the app. Both Apple and Android devices can access. Google Play has a 4.6 review and the App Store a 4.7 both has some really positive reviews.

Certifications ?

Brilliant doesn’t offer any completion certificates. If that’s what you are looking for, then it’s best to check out platforms like Coursera or edX that focus on educational achievement.

Categories ?

2

Brilliant’s focus is on the STEM topics, offering bite-sized, interactive learning experiences in Math, Science, Technology and Engineering.

Its goal is to create a positive learning experience around these topics and for users to leave with a better understanding of problem-solving.

Free Courses

2

Brilliant does offer free daily challenges in its Today tab. This gives new users the opportunity to try out and preview its courses. Keep in mind, this is a limited version of the course and can be accessed without a premium subscription.

As well as that, a 7-day free trial is available, giving you access to its 60+ courses. If you decide not to continue with the premium plan, you can cancel at any time within those 7 days.

Content Quality ?

2

Brilliant creates its own content with its team of course creators, who are made up of math and science educators. Some of which have studied at top Universities like MIT, Duke and Cambridge.

Languages ?

1

Brilliant is only available in English.

Instructors ?

2

Courses at Brilliant don’t have instructors, there is no instructor-led contribution to its videos. Instead, it has a team of course creators who create its content.

Its list of course creators and contributors include learners from Duke, MIT and Berkeley, and it is reassuring that its courses are being created by this team. Saying that, if you are looking for instructor interaction and feedback, it would be best to check out Skillshare or Udacity.

Course Requirements ?

3

There aren’t any formal requirements for its courses, anyone can join.

Course Structure ?

3

Brilliant’s course structure is based around 5-10 problem-solving exercises which take around 15 minutes to work through. Its courses are designed with graphic visuals and interactive participation, rather than teacher-led video courses.

Therefore, it requires the learner to be actively participating in answering questions of the exercise all the time. All this can be done at your own pace, on your own schedule.

Quizzes and Tests ?

2

Brilliant’s courses are designed around problem-solving exercises and a quiz requiring user participation.

Its focus is for learners to develop their problem-solving skills for their own personal development.

Payments and Refunds

3.5

You can purchase a premium subscription with a credit or debit card or with a PayPal account. Although PayPal isn’t available everywhere.

Brilliant doesn’t offer refunds. If you are undecided it’s best to try out the free trial or the monthly subscription, instead of committing for a whole year.

Support ?

2

Brilliant has a Help Center where you can search for articles and advice on topics you are looking for. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the Help Center, you can email support@brilliant.org.

Overall Rating ?

3.5

Brilliant is an interactive and engaging platform for anyone looking to develop their problem-solving skills. Its course catalog is based around the STEM topics: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. However, if you are looking for a bigger pool of topics, it’s best to check out Udemy, MasterClass or Skillshare.

Will Brilliant Help My Career?

Let’s be honest, Brilliant.org isn’t a platform that will help you get that new job promotion or upskill you for a new career. It has never claimed to be that, but what it will do is help your problem-solving skills and possibly find the fun in learning topics you may have previously not enjoyed.

Even if it won’t help your career directly, the benefits of sharpening your mind and boosting your critical thinking skills definitely aren’t something you should disregard. These skills could potentially have a positive impact on you personally and professionally.

Is Brilliant Legit?

Yes, Brilliant.org is a legit company that you can trust. It was founded in 2012 by CEO and co-founder Sure Khim.

It is an American company with over 4 million users. It has had over 50,000 5-star reviews on iOS App Store and Google Play. Not only that, but it has a 4.7 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, a popular customer review site. It’s a little different from your typical online learning platforms like Coursera or Udacity with the focus on guided problem-solving courses in math, science and engineering.

So, you can be completely rest assured that you won’t be conned by Brilliant and if you do decide to purchase a premium subscription.

Brilliant Conclusion

Let’s summarize briefly on Brilliant.org.

So, it really is a platform for anyone who just enjoys learning and challenging themselves. Its courses are based on active learning, and you will need to participate every step of the way. You can learn at your own pace and at any time, and you won’t have any deadlines or assignments to complete.

But if you are someone looking for an instructor-led course, with feedback and community engagement, then Brilliant cannot offer this. Platforms like Skillshare or Datacamp are a better fit. If developing your career skills is what’s important to you, then Brilliant isn’t the right platform either, but platforms like Coursera or Udacity are focused on developing your career and job prospects.

Another point to mention is the Brilliant.org Annual premium plan may seem a little pricey, setting you back $149.85 for the year. If that’s the case, I would suggest trying out the 7-day free trial or consider the monthly plan at $24.99 which you can cancel before the end of the month, so you won’t be charged for the consecutive month.

All in all, it’s important to consider what it is you are actually looking for and what you want out of the platform. As I mentioned before, Brilliant is for anyone who enjoys a challenge and gets a kick out of solving challenging problems.

Coursera

Accredited Certificates

4.8

MasterClass

Learn From VIP Instructors

4.7

Mindvalley

Best for Personal Growth

4.6

Coursera: Probably the best option if you are looking to earn accredited certificates from leading universities such as Duke, Michigan or The University of Texas (among others). It also has a broader range of courses for free and a more comprehensive list of available topics.

MasterClass: It’s best known for its VIP and celebrity instructors, offering 180+ classes across a wide selection of categories like Food, Writing, Design & Style and much more.

Mindvalley: It’s learning programs focus on personal growth and developing all aspects of your life. It offers a monthly and annual subscription plan which give you full access to the platform.

Brilliant FAQs

Brilliant courses are designed to make math, science and computer science fun for people and 10 to 110. Saying that you do need to be 13 or older to have your own Brilliant account.