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Magoosh vs Prepscholar TOEFL – Which Course is Better? 

 May 13, 2022

By  Chuky Ofoegbu

Happy young man studying a GMAT course on his tablet in library

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Magoosh and Prepscholar are two budget-friendly test prep companies that provide a lot of value to students preparing for the TOEFL. To help you identify which of these TOEFL prep courses is best for you, we have personally purchased and spent weeks thoroughly reviewing each prep course. 

We deeply understand the needs and challenges of students preparing for the TOEFL. So, we go the extra mile in recommending only the best resources that we believe can help you get your best TOEFL score and achieve your study abroad dreams. 

After reading this comparison article, you'll be confident in making the best purchasing decision between the Magoosh and Prepscholar TOEFL prep courses. Just here for a summary? You can skip to our final recommendation on this page.

Magoosh vs. Prepscholar TOEFL Overview

Magoosh's TOEFL prep course line-up includes two options: the 1 Month Premium and the 6 Month Premium, which could be accessed for 30 days and 180 days, respectively. These packages include different levels of student support.

Similarly, PrepScholar's line-up of TOEFL prep courses includes two options; the Best-Selling TOEFL course (with a 12-month access period) and the Master TOEFL course (with an unlimited access period). Both packages include the same amount of student support. 

Here are a few quick recommendations for who each course is best for. More details on how these courses perform are discussed in the following sections.  

Who Should Buy Magoosh TOEFL?

  • Students who have an audio/visual learning style preference will be happier with Magoosh's highly engaging video lessons.
  • Students looking for full-length TOEFL practice tests delivered in a similar way to those on the actual TOEFL.

Who Should Buy Prepscholar TOEFL?

  • Students looking for a self-paced course that includes graded speaking/writing feedback.
  • Students who have difficulties improving their scores in the reading and listening sections would benefit from Prepscholar's learning technology.
Magoosh TOEFL

$

109

starting price

  • 1 or 6 Months of Access
  • No Adaptive Learning Technology
  • 400+ Practice Questions
  • Video-Based Lessons
  • +4 Point Score Guarantee
  • Up to 6 Full-Length Practice Tests
  • Offers Only Essay Feedback
Prepscholar TOEFL

$

187

starting price

  • 12 Months or Unlimited Access
  • Adaptive Learning Technology
  • 1000+ Practice Questions
  • Text-Based Lessons
  • +15 Point Score Guarantee
  • No Full-Length Practice Tests
  • Speaking & Essay Feedback

Magoosh vs. Prepscholar TOEFL: Similarities and Differences

Let's look at the major similarities and differences between Magoosh TOEFL and Prepscholar TOEFL.

Main Similarities

  • Magoosh and Prepscholar are both based on an entirely online self-paced TOEFL curriculum. There are no live class components to these courses, whether online or in-person.
  • No physical TOEFL prep books come with the purchase of either course. 
  • Both test prep providers offer no optional online TOEFL tutoring.

Main Differences

  • Magoosh's TOEFL lessons are entirely video-based, while Prepscholar's lessons are presented as a study guide, which feels like reading an eBook. 
  • Magoosh has up to 6 full-length practice tests; Prepscholar has none.
  • Prepscholar uses an algorithm to recommend TOEFL lessons and practice drills, while Magoosh does not.
  • Prepscholar offers the highest score improvement guarantee at +15 points; Magoosh only provides a +4 point increase.
  • Prepscholar offers graded speaking feedback, while Magoosh has none.  

Magoosh vs. Prepscholar TOEFL: Performance Comparison

Now let's dive into detail, describing how both courses performed, based on our first-hand experience studying with each course for several weeks. 

For our head-to-head comparison, we will be evaluating each course in several key areas below. All of which are important to your success on the TOEFL iBT exam and your overall satisfaction as a buyer.

TOEFL Lessons

Although both Prepscholar and Magoosh are self-paced TOEFL prep courses, how the course content is delivered is very different.

When you sign up for Magoosh TOEFL, you will be given access to their entire library of lessons. These lessons cover topics on TOEFL strategies for all four TOEFL sections and lessons on grammar. 

With Prepscholar, users must complete a short diagnostic test upon signing up for the course. Once you complete this diagnostic test, Prepscholar's learning algorithm will analyze your performance and begin suggesting lessons and practice drills appropriate to your skill level.

PrepScholar TOEFL course dashboard

Prepscholar's algorithm suggests lessons and practice drills for you which appear on your dashboard 

Prepscholar's learning algorithm ensures that users spend the least amount of study time on their strong areas and the most of their study time on their weak areas. As a result, users of the Prepscholar TOEFL course receive a customized learning pathway, while users of the Magoosh course follow a one-size-fits-all learning pathway.

Another key difference between both courses is how the information in the lessons is presented. The Magoosh TOEFL course is 100% video-based. Each video consists of a presentation slide and a voice-over from an instructor. As the lessons are taught, the instructors frequently annotate the presentation slides, which visual learners will find very engaging. You will also find transcripts of the instructor's voice, which is great for those who prefer to read.

A video lesson from the Magoosh TOEFL prep course showing the instructor's annotation

The lessons on Prepscholar are formatted as a study guide, which gives you a learning experience that is very similar to studying an eBook. On occasion, you will find video lessons from their YouTube channel embedded into the lesson modules. But that does not qualify Prepscholar TOEFL to be a video-based course. 

Now, in terms of the depth of the TOEFL test-taking strategies, we found the lessons on Magoosh to be the best of any TOEFL prep course we've reviewed. While Prepscholar does a good job of covering all TOEFL sections, the tips and strategies found for all 4 sections on the Magoosh TOEFL platform were taught more effectively.

Overall, when it comes to the quality of the TOEFL lessons in both courses, Magoosh has a clear advantage.

Learn more about our review of the quality of lessons found on the Magoosh TOEFL course.

TOEFL Practice Material

At some point in your TOEFL prep, you will be looking for opportunities to put into practice the new skills and strategies you have learned. This is why selecting a course with high-quality TOEFL practice material is critical.

With over 1000 questions, Prepscholar provides a larger bank of practice questions than Magoosh, which has about 400 questions.

However, with Magoosh, users can build up to 6 full-length TOEFL practice tests and create customized practice sessions that focus on one or more TOEFL sections.

While Prepscholar has no opportunities to take a full-length or custom TOEFL practice test. This absence of TOEFL practice tests is because the Prepscholar TOEFL course is designed with a more focused approach on identifying and improving upon your weak areas.

Instead of completing several practice tests, students are encouraged to attempt practice questions that are difficult enough for their skill level. And as their skill level improves over time, they can progress to more challenging questions until they achieve mastery.

From their perspective, this adaptive learning strategy focused on skill-building is a more effective and faster way to improve your TOEFL score than relying on completing several TOEFL practice tests.

In-depth answer explanations are found in both a text and video format on the Magoosh TOEFL course

Another key distinction between the two is the depth of answer explanations for each practice question. In this area, there is no other TOEFL course that does a better job than Magoosh.

Magoosh goes the extra mile for every practice question, providing very detailed explanations in both a video format and a text format. This way you could quickly learn from your mistakes. Comparatively, Prepscholar only provides text-based answer explanations.

Answer explanations from the Prepscholar TOEFL practice material

While Prepscholar's answer explanations provide enough detail to each question, answer explanations found on Magoosh are much better.

Overall Magoosh beats Prepscholar in the quality of TOEFL practice material.

Student Support

Your TOEFL prep would not be complete without receiving feedback on your performance in the speaking and writing sections. Access to student support is one of the advantages preparing with a quality TOEFL course has over even the best TOEFL prep books on the market.

Sure, you can grade yourself on the speaking and writing sections using a grading rubric. But would you trust your assessment over an unbiased and experienced TOEFL instructor's assessment?

Our speaking assessment from Prepscholar TOEFL

In the area of support, Magoosh beats Prepscholar with its unlimited Ask-an-Expert feature. This feature allows you to contact a TOEFL instructor for help with the Magoosh TOEFL course material. For example, if you don't understand why a particular answer choice is correct on the reading practice question, you can send a message to an instructor asking for clarification. 

However, Prepscholar beats Magoosh in the amount of feedback they provide to students on the speaking and writing sections, as the Magoosh TOEFL course does not offer any speaking assessments. 

Our writing assessment from Magoosh TOEFL

When we compared the quality of the essay feedback we received from the Magoosh and Prepscholar graders, we found them to be about the same. However, we should point out that these assessments were not as in-depth as those we received from BestMyTest TOEFL and E2Language TOEFL prep courses.

Considering the pros and cons of both courses in student support, Prepscholar and Magoosh are a tie.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, the Magoosh TOEFL course starts at $109 for 1 month of access and $129 for 6 months of access. In contrast, Prepscholar TOEFL begins at $187 for 12 months of access and offers an unlimited access plan at $385.

Comparing both courses on their price per month of access, Prepscholar comes out to be more affordable. But if you're a student looking to prepare for the TOEFL for less than a month, the more expensive 12-month Prepscholar plan may not be appealing, even though it will save you money in the long run.

Another difference in the pricing of both courses is that Magoosh offers payment plans (up to 4 monthly payments), while Prepscholar does not offer any payment plans. 

So in terms of value, Prepscholar is the cheaper option for students who want to study for many months, while Magoosh will be the ideal option for students looking to study for the TOEFL for less than a month.

Customer Policies

Prepscholar and Magoosh both have outstanding customer policies. Magoosh provides a 7-day free trial, while Prepscholar offers a 5-day free trial. Note that this free trial does not include any access to student support features such as graded speaking or writing feedback on both TOEFL courses.

In addition, paid customers of the Magoosh and Prepscholar TOEFL courses who are not satisfied with the course can receive a 100% refund if they cancel the course within 7 days (for Magoosh) or 5 days (for Prepscholar).

Prepscholar stands out above the competition with its generous +15 point score guarantee policy. Students who meet the eligibility requirement and don't see an increase in their official TOEFL iBT overall score of at least 15 points can receive 100% of their money back. Compared to Magoosh with a modest +4 point score increase guarantee.

Based on their bolder customer policies, Prepscholar has the advantage over Magoosh.

Final Recommendation

Based on all the selection factors considered, we found Magoosh to be the better choice for a broader demographic of TOEFL test-takers compared to Prepscholar. Hence, Magoosh makes our top pick for the best TOEFL prep courses. 

In our opinion, Prepscholar's unique use of adaptive learning technology provides a lot of value to students who struggle with a one-size-fits-all learning approach in the TOEFL reading and listening sections. These students can benefit from Prepscholar's customized learning that focuses on mastering the different question types that appear in the TOEFL reading and listening sections.

So, if you struggle with the reading and listening section of the TOEFL, you should consider going with Prepscholar TOEFL. Otherwise, Magoosh TOEFL will be the better option. 

Our Review Process

At Sojourning Scholar, our experts have all attained triple-digit scores on the TOEFL iBT exam. So, from our collective experience with the TOEFL, we can objectively identify the strengths and weaknesses of any TOEFL prep resource after a thorough evaluation.

For our comparison of the TOEFL courses from Magoosh and Prepscholar, our experts studied using the paid versions of Magoosh TOEFL and Prepscholar TOEFL courses over several weeks, ensuring we used every premium feature provided by each course provider.

We then scored each course on a scale of 1 - 5 based on how the course performed in the areas of TOEFL coursework quality, quality of student support, customer policies, and user experience. Following that, we assigned each course an overall score using our proprietary rating method.

This holistic and unbiased review process means that every course we recommend to our readers is genuinely top-notch in its class.

FAQs

Is Prepscholar TOEFL better than Magoosh TOEFL?

From our in-depth review of both TOEFL courses across several  performance areas, Magoosh has the advantage over Prepscholar. However, students who have difficulties increasing their scores in the reading and listening section will find Prepscholar's customized learning better than Magoosh's one-size-fits-all approach. 

Is Prepscholar TOEFL free?

No. Prepscholar does not have any free TOEFL prep course. However, they offer a free 5-day trial with access to their entire course material. 

Can you cancel Magoosh TOEFL?

Customers can cancel their one-time subscription to the Magoosh TOEFL premium course for a full refund. No questions asked. However, this cancelation must be made within the first 7 days.

Do Prepscholar and Magoosh have TOEFL tutoring?

Both Prepscholar and Magoosh are 100% online self-paced courses with no option for TOEFL tutoring from an instructor. If you're looking for a TOEFL prep course with private online TOEFL tutoring, check out E2Language TOEFL.

Summary

Magoosh TOEFL

$

109

starting price

  • 1 or 6 Months of Access
  • No Adaptive Learning Technology
  • 400+ Practice Questions
  • Video-Based Lessons
  • +4 Point Score Guarantee
  • Up to 6 Full-Length Practice
  •  Offers Only Essay Feedback 
Prepscholar TOEFL

$

187

starting price

  • 12 Months or Unlimited Access
  • Adaptive Learning Technology
  • 1000+ Practice Questions
  • Text-Based Lessons
  • +15 Point Score Guarantee
  • No Full-Length Practice Tests
  • Speaking & Essay Feedback

Chuky Ofoegbu


With almost a decade of experience pursuing higher education in the United States, I fully understand the pain points foreign students endure. I created this website to help foreign students successfully navigate their way through the challenges they will face while living in the United States.

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