Brilliant Review 2022 – Math and Science in a New Way

Updated on June 29, 2022

Are math and science needed only for those nerdy tech specialists and scientists? Definitely not. Indeed, they are present everywhere, and it can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of their occupation, to improve skills in mathematics and science.

For that reason, we will have a closer look at Brilliant – an online learning platform offering interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses for students of all skill levels. The platform provides a supreme user experience, but unfortunately, there aren’t any courses on other non-STEM subjects.

Hence, go through this detailed Brilliant review to decide whether or not Brilliant is worth it for you.

Brilliant
Rating: 3.9/5

Verdict

Brilliant is the online learning platform that offers interactive STEM courses. They have a strong learning community and have had over 11+ million learners.

Pros:
  • Interactive learning experience
  • Expansive practice
  • Strong learning community
  • Fits different skill levels
  • Brilliant mobile app
Cons:
  • Only STEM-based courses
  • No certificates
  • Pricey monthly subscription
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Brilliant Review

Brilliant Homepage

The Brilliant homepage

If you are already interested in STEM subjects, the chances that you have already heard about Brilliant are pretty high. Still, let’s go through the basics again.

Brilliant is an American online learning platform founded in 2012 by Sue Khim in the hope of making math and other complex sums easy and entertaining for all those people who find it difficult to solve math questions, break down scientific aspects, and understand the logic. Since then, Brilliant has been rapidly gaining in popularity. One year after the launch, the website had 100,000+ users, and in 2017 it reached a whopping number of over 4 million registered users.

Currently, Brilliant has over 10 million registered users on its website, whereas its mobile app reaches 2 million users each month. The platform offers more than 60 math, physics, technology, science, computer science, and quantitative finance courses. And, all Brilliant courses are created by award-winning teachers, researchers, and professionals from MIT, Caltech, Duke, Microsoft, Google, and more, to ensure high-quality content.

Brilliant Stats

Let's take a look at some interesting Brilliant stats that might help you decide whether this platform is a good fit for your needs.

StudentsCoursesCategoriesLanguages
11M
60
5
1

What Is Brilliant?

In short, Brilliant is a for-profit online education company offering online courses in the STEM disciplines. The platform is supported by a leading venture capital fund aiming to solve the world’s most significant problems and advance humanity, Social+Capital.

Contrary to almost all other online learning websites that use videos and reading materials for teaching subjects, Brilliant is quite different as it takes a whole new approach towards learning. Its learning principles are based on inquiry, curiosity, and openness to failure. Its courses comprise bite-sized interactive lessons that explain complex concepts using logic.

The course creators, i.e., the instructors, fully understand what it takes to get deep into learning a new skill, especially when it comes to STEM skills. Therefore, they’ve included interactive exercises, quizzes, and daily challenges to keep students engaged as possible. Plus, the concept of gamification is also embraced in the methodology of teaching Brilliant courses.

And, this unique approach is what makes Brilliant stand out from the competition!

Is Brilliant Accredited?

As you can guess from what you’ve read so far, unfortunately, Brilliant is not an accredited online learning platform like edX or Coursera, for example. In fact, you cannot even get a certificate of completion either. Yet, this doesn’t imply that courses are of poor quality.

Brilliant Features

In this section, we're taking a look at Brilliant's main features and what the platform offers to their users. ALl of the factors below should give you a pretty good idea if Brilliant has everything you're looking for to start your online learning journey.

For BusinessCertificationCourse Previews24/7 SupportFree CoursesFree TrialMobile AppOffline UsePromotionsRefunds

How Does Brilliant Work?

The generalities are well covered up to no. So, it’s time we explore the platform further by analyzing how it works. Why is this important? The truth is, user experience and ease of use are some of the most critical factors to consider when looking for the right learning platform to improve your knowledge and skills online.

The Front Page

Once you land on the Brilliant homepage, you will instantly notice how straightforward the design and layout are. There are no popups, ads, unnecessary information, or anything else that could overwhelm the user. Indeed, the first thing you see is a short video excerpt from its courses, as well as the ‘Log in’ and ‘Get Started’ buttons. Then, as you scroll down, you will find out why you should choose Brilliant, how you can see math and science in a new way, and how you can learn through a non-traditional approach.

All in all, pretty easy to follow and navigate!

Opening a Brilliant Account

Opening an account with Brilliant is also pretty straightforward. Nonetheless, here’s a brief step-by-step guide on the registration process.

  • Visit the www.brilliant.org website
  • Click on the ‘Get Started’ button and choose whether you want to register using Facebook, Google, or email
  • If you choose to join using email, you will be asked to enter your email address, password, name and surname, and day of birth
  • Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button, and you are ready to start learning math and science

Browsing all Available Courses

Now that you have created your account, it’s time you dive deep into the course library and browse all available Brilliant Courses. And, once you are on the course page, you will see some popular courses and learning paths and the course categories and subcategories.

Brilliant has divided its course catalog into three main categories with different subcategories: Math, Science, and Computer Science.

Math Category

  • Logic and Deduction
  • Algebra
  • Mathematical Thinking
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Contest Math
  • Road to Calculus
  • Advanced Math

Science Category

  • Scientific Thinking
  • Classical Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Applied Science

Computer Science Category

  • Foundational Computer Science
  • Applied Computer Science

Choosing a Potential Course

One thing is for sure in this Brilliant review – Brilliant has ensured that even beginners or those unfamiliar with online learning can find the perfect course match for them. In other words, if you aren’t sure where to begin, the platform, i.e., its algorithm, will supply you with courses that will be useful for you as you will previously be asked about what kind of student you are and what topics interest you.

Suppose you know exactly what you want to learn. In that case, you can go straight to the course page, where you will learn all the information needed, including the number of interactive quizzes and concepts and exercises, the topics covered, course prerequisites (if required), and a brief curriculum. Just about everything needed, except instructor info which might be necessary for some learners.

Completing a Course

As we mentioned earlier, Brilliant doesn’t focus on video lectures and reading materials. Instead, to complete one of the 60+ Brilliant courses, you will have to be constantly engaged, meaning that you will be asked to solve a series of problems throughout the course. In general, all courses are structured in a series of modules consisting of 5-10 problem-solving tasks. Yet, they are all very flexible, self-paced, and easy to learn around a busy schedule.

Brilliant Pricing

Pricing is yet another factor to consider when choosing an online learning platform. So, let’s take a closer look at the pricing model.

The platform uses a freemium pricing model, meaning that you can get free access to some experiences, but if you want to unlock the entire platform, you will have to pay for a premium subscription. Luckily, there’s a 7-day free trial available if you want to experience the courses before making a financial commitment.

Speaking of the premium model, Brilliant offers two separate pricing plans for individual learners, including:

  • Monthly Premium Subscription – $24.99 a month
  • Yearly Premium Subscription – $12.49 a month, billed annually

So, what’s the difference between Brilliant’s free and premium plans. Here’s a brief comparison:

Free Plan

With the free plan, users can preview each course and new Daily Challenges in the Today tab and get access to math, science, and computer science wiki and community discussion. Plus, they will have their progress synced across the web and mobile apps.

Premium Plans

On the other hand, with Brilliant Premium, learners can unlock all 60+ courses and Daily Challenges to supercharge their learning, entire Daily Challenges archive, guided courses, additional practice, and offline learning experience on mobile apps.

Brilliant doesn’t usually offer refunds for paid subscriptions. Indeed, they clearly state that they don’t refund money. Still, they do sometimes make exceptions if you have made a refund request stating your genuine reason. But, there isn’t a guarantee that you can get your money back. Plus, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Are Brilliant Courses on Sale?

Occasionally, Brilliant offers 20% off the premium yearly subscription bringing the price to only $9.99 a month, of course, billed annually. That means that you will have to pay about $30 less than the original price, which may be worth waiting for.

Does Brilliant Have Free Courses?

The platform doesn’t truly offer free courses because with the free plan; you can only access the introduction to the paid courses, i.e., a preview. So, if you want to learn the subject thoroughly, you will have to upgrade to a premium membership.

Brilliant for Business

Brilliant for Business

The Brilliant for business page

In addition to offering courses to individual learners, Brilliant provides courses for teams or groups too, which is suitable for businesses who want to upskill their staff in the math, science, and computer science fields.

Brilliant Premium group plans are suitable for teams of 3 to 50 members. However, there’s a possibility to accommodate even larger groups. All you need to do is contact their support team. With this plan, every team member gets their individual account but will be processed as one payment every year. The price for a group of 3 is $299.88 a year and goes up as the number of users increases.

The subscription account details are entirely managed by the user who created the account, who can also remove or add additional members to the group plan by email. However, make sure that group members can’t have an existing Brilliant Premium account. Furthermore, with the Brilliant Premium group plan, users can get everything included in the individual Premium subscription plan, including access to 60+ courses and:

  • New problems daily in the Today tab
  • Entire Daily Challenges archive
  • Offline mode on mobile apps
  • Synced progress across devices
  • Guided courses

Brilliant Courses Review

Brilliant Course Preview

The Brilliant course preview

Now, it’s time we move on to courses details in this Brilliant review. Speaking of content, Brilliant truly shines when it comes to the quality and design of its courses which are based on the idea that lecture-style courses don’t work for teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, i.e., STEM. That said, Brilliant has made its courses quite interactive to build the learners’ curiosity to learn something new every time.

Its course catalog is divided into three main categories, each consisting of various subcategories, including:

Math Category

  • Logic and Deduction
  • Algebra
  • Mathematical Thinking
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Contest Math
  • Road to Calculus
  • Advanced Math

Science Category

  • Scientific Thinking
  • Classical Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Applied Science

Computer Science Category

  • Foundational Computer Science
  • Applied Computer Science

In addition, here are a couple of examples of the most popular Brilliant courses:

  • Logic
  • Scientific Thinking
  • Computer Science Fundamentals
  • Pre-Algebra

Free Courses

We cannot really say that the platform offers courses for free. Indeed, it has made the introductions of its 60+ courses available for free preview so that potential learners can check whether or not the platform is suitable for them. In addition to the free preview, learners can also access new daily challenges in the Today Tab.

Paid Courses

With the paid subscription, you get access to the complete platform and everything it offers, including learning paths and 60+ STEM courses, as well as ten years’ worth of daily challenges.

Individual Courses

Brilliant courses are all structured as a series of easy-digestible modules, each consisting of 5-10 problems. Each of these problems will take you about 15 minutes to work through, which isn’t time-consuming at all. With this in mind, Brilliant has ensured that learners can upgrade and learn something new every day at their own pace, on their own schedule, without feeling overwhelmed by too much information.

Another great feature of Brilliant courses is that they all come with clearly stated prerequisite and next step courses. This ensures that learners taking each course have the proper knowledge and background on a specific topic, and once they complete one, they get a possible learning path to follow to master an entire subject.

Overall, the problem-solving approach, the daily challenges, and the fantastic visuals included making Brilliant courses one of the highest quality available nowadays.

Learning Paths

Besides taking individual courses, Brilliant offers 15 different learning paths comprised of several courses that learners can take at their own pace. These help keep students focused on their major goals without distracting them from the task at hand.

Plus, all courses featured in a path are placed in a specific order so that learners can progress from basic to advanced levels. And, once a student completes a learning path, they will gain a high-level understanding of the broader topic.

Brilliant learning paths include:

  • Math Foundations (7 courses)
  • Probability, Statistics, and Finance (8 courses)
  • Intermediate Math (8 courses)
  • Computer Science Foundations (4 courses)
  • Applied Computer Science (8 courses)
  • Infinity & Number Theory (3 courses)
  • Data Science Foundations (4 courses)
  • Science Foundations (4 courses)
  • Probability & Statistics (4 courses)
  • Road to Calculus + Advanced Math (9 courses)
  • Advanced and Applied Science (10 courses)
  • Logic Foundations (3 courses)
  • Enrichment and Competition Math (11 courses)
  • College Mathematics (6 courses)
  • Computer Science Algorithms (3 courses)

Are Brilliant Courses Useful?

Brilliant courses are actually most useful for students or teachers who want to approach math and science in a new way. On the contrary, although these courses may help you sharpen your mind and improve your knowledge, they are less helpful in building your career as not many job descriptions require understanding complex math.

Are Brilliant Courses Worth It?

If you are a student, a teacher, a parent trying to help your children, or simply pursuing math and science as a hobby, then you will most definitely find Brilliant courses worth it. For $12.99 a month, i.e., with the yearly premium subscription, you can get access to 60+ courses and nearly ten years’ worth of daily challenge problems.

Brilliant Pros

The main advantages of Brilliant include:

  • Interactive learning experience
  • Expansive practice
  • Strong learning community
  • Fits different skill levels
  • Brilliant mobile app

Interactive Learning Experience

One thing is for sure, the learning experience Brilliant offers is just unique. Each course is designed in a creative way that cannot be seen on other platforms, especially when speaking of STEM courses. In addition, lessons are visual-based and feel a lot more like games than actual lessons, which really help keep learners engaged and motivated.

Expansive Practice

As if the problem-solving tasks included in the lessons themselves weren’t enough, Brilliant has an additional expansive practice catalog in each of the topics it offers. More precisely, there’s an entire page dedicated explicitly to additional practice resources to supplement course content. Learners can use these resources to master their skills thoroughly.

Strong Learning Community

Having a strong learning community is yet another advantage of using Brilliant as your preferred online learning platform. As the platform specializes in STEM disciplines, learners are likely to get in touch with like-minded people with whom they can share ideas, solve problems, discuss topics, etc. Overall, the learning community boosts both the educational and entertainment value of the platform.

Fits Different Skill Levels

Whether you are a student, a professor, or just a hobbyist, you can definitely find a Brilliant course that suits your level of expertise – provided that you are keen on math and science. But, of course, a professional and a beginner would need different courses to start improving their skills, which is why Brilliant offers courses across all skill levels.

Brilliant Mobile App

Last but not least, Brilliant has its own mobile app called ‘Brilliant – solve, learn, grow’ available on Android and iOS platforms. Learners can get full access to the app for free if they purchase the Brilliant premium subscription. The best thing about it is that you can download courses and watch them offline, which is quite convenient when commuting.

Brilliant Cons

The main advantages of Brilliant include:

  • Only STEM-based courses
  • No certificates
  • Pricey monthly subscription

Only STEM Based Courses

There’s no doubt that Brilliant has highly interactive, engaging, and high-quality courses. However, only learners interested in one of the STEM subjects can benefit from them as no other topics are covered. Being a hub for STEM-based courses is a positive thing in some sense, but adding other subjects would undoubtedly benefit a more significant number of learners.

No Certificates

Even though Brilliant isn’t an accredited platform, providing its students with a certificate after they have successfully completed a course would be a nice feature. I’m sure that potential employees value such certificates as they show that they have acquired new knowledge and skills. Plus, learners can also boost motivation and confidence by showing off in front of friends and family.

Pricey Monthly Subscription

Finally, the yearly premium subscription is a great value-for-money, that’s for sure. But, when compared to other platforms alike and the annual subscription, the Brilliant monthly premium subscription plan of $24.99 does sound a bit pricey. So, you’d better go for $12.49 a month, billed annually, although you have to pay more money upfront.

Brilliant Review: Is Brilliant Legit?

All things considered, Brilliant is the go-to online learning platform for students or lifelong learners looking for courses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. However, you won’t get any educational value with the free plan, and you will have to upgrade to a premium if you want to reap all the benefits Brilliant offers.

Now, since you will have to pay a decent amount of money, you may be asking yourself, ‘Is Brilliant legit?’. So, let’s clarify that and clear your doubts.

Brilliant is an American venture-backed, for-profit online learning platform established in 2012 by Sue Khim. She is a well-known educational entrepreneur and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in education.

Furthermore, the platform itself has over 10 million registered users, while the mobile app reaches 2 million users each month. So, are all of these users wasting their time and money or improving their skills? The latter, most definitely.

So, no worries. Brilliant is a totally legit company!