IXL

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
IXL Website Poster Image
Hundreds of learning activities build skills and confidence.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 634 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2097 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn and practice pre-K through 12th-grade math and language arts skills. They'll also have a chance to learn and practice second- to eighth-grade science, social studies concepts. Kids can learn basic Spanish terms, usage with the site -- which, like its corresponding app, can help kids increase their academic skills while parents track their progress. Despite its educational potential, one look at reviews from kids shows how much they dislike using IXL, which can affect how miuch they might learn from it.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Thought it's not possible for kids to make purchases on their own, they will likely see ads for IXL on other educational sites.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that IXL is a comprehensive tool that provides thousands of math, language, social studies, science, and Spanish practice questions and modules. You'll find games covering the fundamentals through subject-specific high school lessons. Kids can try the skill exercises for free, but they'll be limited to a small number of problems per day. You must be a member to access IXL's unlimited exercises, tracking, awards, and certificates. Membership fees range from $9.95-$19.95 per month and $79-$159 per year based on the number of subjects your child wants to learn. The site's Real-Time Diagnostic tool helps identify what students already know and what they need to learn. Pre-K and other young children may need support and verbal directions from a parent or teacher, though audio support is available. Parents should note that many kids dislike using IXL, which is frequently assigned through school, so talk to your kid's teacher about why its assigned and how much, and try to provide other tools your kid might like better. There are parent resources on their site. An app is available for iPad, Android, Chromebook, and Kindle Fire devices. The Android and Chromebook versions cover the same four areas as the site, but the Apple-friendly version includes only the math and English curricula, while the Kindle version has just K-6 math. (Note: The developers behind IXL also created Quia Web, a resource for educators.) Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to IXL.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynobody March 30, 2015

IXL is horrible.

I hate IXL, it is so hard!!!

AND ITS $$$
Adult Written byFast Freddy November 23, 2014

IXL is dead to me...

There is a very poorly designed mechanic within every IXL activity called the challenge zone. My niece and nephew have both end up frustrated and in tears upon... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old January 1, 2014

Ixl is NOT worth it!

I think ixl is not worth it! First of all, when you make it to the 70's or 80's, you earn 1 point and lose like 10 points. It helped me get good grade... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byNeonNinja99 December 12, 2013

Don't use it.

Don't make your kids suffer through this online "Learning" website. It makes teens cry. It does NOT deserve positive reviews. I am assigned IXL h... Continue reading

What's it about?

IXL offers more than 7,000 practice modules on Common Core pre-K through high school math and language skills. It also features language arts, science, and social studies for second- through eighth-graders. Kids repetitively practice one lesson at a time, earning certificates and virtual awards that reflect their favorite animals, foods, places, and hobbies for completing work, and they get step-by-step explanations for incorrect answers. After registering, parents can access progress reports to evaluate kids' strengths and weaknesses. Kids can write their responses, which is especially good for younger kids. There are also audio supports and on-demand Spanish translation.

Is it any good?

This academic skill-building site/app provides independent practice and focus on areas where they need to improve, but be aware that some kids don't love it. In terms of practice, for example, at the sixth-grade level IXL presents 320 math skills practice activities. Parents can view kids' scores for various skill exercises, the questions they answered, and other specific information to differentiate instruction for their child. The "Trouble Spot" report can be very useful in quickly identifying where kids are having a hard time and where they need extra help.

IXL's practice-and-drill approach may not thrill some kids, and some could feel they need to focus on getting the answer right every time, instead of viewing each exercise as a learning experience. But the questions -- which range from basics such as counting to geometry's perpendicular bisector theorem, as well as a range of grammar and vocabulary items -- offer consistent progression. They increase in difficulty once kids reach the challenge mode. Kids also get detailed feedback if they answer incorrectly, along with the chance to continue with the same skill to try to apply what they've learned. This can greatly improve their comprehension of difficult concepts. Adding tools like a virtual sketchpad would be great, and the subscription cost, which kids will need for full access, may be a deterrent for some parents. But overall, IXL is a comprehensive learning resource.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how practicing skills  with IXL leads to confidence and accuracy. What's a skill you struggled to learn that you possibly could have studied with the help of a site like IXL? How did you feel when you improved? What other skills would you like to improve?

  • How can you use the math skills you're practicing in the real world? When do we use addition in everyday life? How about algebra?

  • Kids can see an explanation if they enter an incorrect answer. Does your child feel stressed out if that happens? Talk about why it's OK to not get things right sometimes when you're learning something new.

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, vocabulary, writing clearly
    Math: addition, algebra, arithmetic, counting, division, equations, fractions, functions, geometry, graphing, grouping, measurement, money, multiplication, numbers, patterns, probability, ratio, sequences, shapes, statistics, subtraction
    Science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, ecosystems and the environment, energy, plants, weather
    Social Studies: geography, government, historical figures, the economy, timelines
  • Skills: Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
  • Genre: Educational
  • Topics: STEM, Numbers and Letters
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Kids can access 10 free questions in each overall subject area per day. A core subjects subscription is $19.95/month or $159/year; a pre-K to 12th-grade math and language arts subscription is $15.95/month or $129/year; an individual math, language arts, or Spanish subscription is $9.95/month or $79/year; and Spanish exercises can be added to any other package for $5/month.)
  • Last updated: December 2, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate