What is IXL and How Does it Work? (2024)

By Luke Edwards


IXL teaches math, language, science and more through an easy-to-use digital platform

What is IXL and How Does it Work? (1)

The IXL platform is a personalized digital learning space that covers K-12 curriculum and is used by more than 14 million students. With over 9,000 skills in math, English language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish, it is a very comprehensive service.

By using a curriculum base, actionable analytics, real-time diagnostics, and individualized guidance, educators are given the tools to help students target specific learning goals. Thus, it can be used to support personalized learning plans.

The 'immersive learning experience,' as it's described, has so far answered more than 115 billion questions worldwide. You can even view a counter of this number on the IXL website, which is going up at nearly 1,000 questions per second.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about IXL.

  • Strategies for Assessing Students Remotely
  • Best Tools for Teachers

What is IXL?

IXL, at its most basic, is a targeted learning tool. It offers experiences for students, tailored to their age group by specific subject and topic. By offering analytics and recommendations, it is able to help support teaching and learning with a very focused outcome.

What is IXL and How Does it Work? (2)

IXL is web-based but also has apps for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Chrome. Whatever way you get to it, there are nearly all the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) covered for K-12, plus some Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for grades 2 to 8.

While there are plenty of high school subject-specific lessons, in game form, you also have access to games that focus on the fundamentals too.

Tech & Learning Newsletter

Tools and ideas to transform education. Sign up below.

Both math and language arts cover pre-K right up to grade 12. The math side offers equations, graphing, and fraction comparisons, while the language work focuses on grammar and vocabulary skills.

Science and social studies each cover grades 2 to 8 topics, while Spanish offers Level 1 learning.

How does IXL work?

IXL works by offering skills that students practice, one at a time, earning them points and ribbons when they get questions correct. Once 100 points are collected for a certain skill, they are awarded a stamp in their virtual book. Once multiple skills are mastered, they can earn virtual prizes. The SmartScore goal, as it's known, helps keep students focused and working toward a target.

The SmartScore adapts based on difficulty, so it's not discouraging to get something wrong but rather adaptive to help each student progress to the next level of difficulty suited to them.

What is IXL and How Does it Work? (3)

Lots of drill-and-practice options are available to allow for independent work, making this a great option for remote learning and homework-based schooling. Since IXL offers plenty of feedback, it's possible to help students improve very rapidly with specific, targeted training.

Teachers can recommend or assign specific skills to students. They're given a code that they can enter, then they're taken to those skills. Before starting, students can select "learn with an example" to see how the skill works, showing them how to solve a problem. They can then begin practicing at their own pace. The SmartScore is always viewable to the right, going up and down as correct and wrong answers are entered.

What are the best IXL features?

IXL is smart, so it can learn what a student needs to work on and offer new experiences to suit their needs. The built-in real-time diagnostic evaluates learners on a deep level to work out their exact proficiency level in any subject. This then creates a personalized action plan that can be used to guide each student so they're working on the best possible growth path.

If stuck during a skill, it's possible to scroll to the bottom where other skills are listed, which can help to build up knowledge and understanding so the student can better take on the skill at hand.

Recommendations work as a way to pick up skills that may help fill in blank areas in which students could benefit from expanding their knowledge and skills. This is a great way to work using the app, anywhere and anytime, to help students learn independently while still being focused on curriculum-specific goals.

The analytics from all this student-specific data can be used by teachers, clearly laid out, to help them see where students need to focus. This shows both parents and teachers where the student is having trouble and how prepared they are to meet learning standards. For teachers, there are both class and individual reports that include item analysis, usage, and trouble spots.

How much does IXL cost?

Pricing for IXL is widely varied depending on what is being sought. The below are prices per family, however, children, schools, and districts can apply for a specific quote that may represent savings.

A single subject membership is charged at $9.95 per month, or $79 annually.

Go for the combo package, with math and language arts, and you'll be paying $15.95 per month, or $129 yearly.

Core subjects all included, with math language arts, science, and social studies, cost $19.95 per month, or $159 annually.

Pick a classroom specific package and it'll cost from $299 per year, going up depending on how many subjects you use.

IXL best tips and tricks

Skip a level
The "jump a level" skill can be used to see tougher questions, ideal to help test a student at a higher level, or access these for class wide use as a group.

Use Classroom
Since the system integrates with Google Classroom, this can be a great way to share specific skill-based improvement areas.

Suggest a skill
Teachers can share a specific skill, which might not automatically be assigned, in order to direct as student in an area they feel may be beneficial.

  • Strategies for Assessing Students Remotely
  • Best Tools for Teachers

Luke Edwards

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.

More about classroom tools

Claude AI: How To Use It To Teach4 AI Tools I Actually Use As An Educator


PlayPosit: How to Use It to Teach
See more latest►

Most Popular
What Is Scratch And How Does It Work? What's New?
NoRedInk: How to Use It to Teach Writing
GPT-4o: What Educators Need to Know
What Is Canva And How Does It Work?
What is Padlet and How Does It Work?
Wooclap: How to Use It to Teach
Assemblr EDU: How to Use It to Teach
4 Ways to Increase Ebook and Audiobook Awareness For Summer Reading
Onform: How to Use It for School Athletics
Catchy Words: How to Use It to Teach
4 Ways To Fight Spring Fever Outbreaks
What is IXL and How Does it Work? (2024)


What is IXL and How Does it Work? ›

IXL provides each student with a personalized pathway for growth. As students learn, IXL uses insights from their work to generate personalized skill recommendations in real time. Each recommendation is precise and unique, guiding learners to the specific skills that will help them make the most progress right now.

Why do schools still use IXL? ›

Teachers have found IXL Learning to be a valuable tool for providing math practice to their students. With its organized structure by grade levels and standards, teachers can easily find specific topics to assign to their students.

How much does IXL cost monthly? ›

How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool with IXL?
Single SubjectCombo Package

Does IXL teach or just test? ›

IXL makes it easy to teach any lesson, personalize instruction, and accelerate learning. Covering all 4 core subjects, our PK-12 curriculum is aligned to all 50 state standards, popular textbooks, and standardized tests.

Is IXL a good way to learn? ›

IXL has helped tremendously to be a great learner because it helps me practice and learn new things. I have tried the Diagnostic and I think it's great! It really helps you to see which things you should work on and where you're at so you don't do really easy or really hard things.

What do teachers think of IXL? ›

IXL is a great tool to practice and reinforce topics. For math, it would work well as one of several stations that include manipulatives, group whiteboard practice, and other applied methods.

Does IXL count as homeschooling? ›

IXL is a popular practice tool that many families use to help reinforce the concepts that are introduced in their children's lessons at home or in school. IXL is not an accredited homeschool, and we are not authorized to verify or issue school credits.

Is Khan Academy better than IXL? ›

IXL has a strong focus on math and language arts, while Khan Academy offers a wider range of subjects. Consider your learning style: If your child is a visual learner, then you may prefer Khan Academy's videos and articles. If your child is an auditory learner, then you may prefer IXL's games and quizzes.

Can you use IXL without a membership? ›

If your child does not have a school account, IXL is always available for students to practice daily—simply click on any skill to get 10 free questions per day in each subject area! For unlimited practice, choose from monthly and yearly membership options based on your needs.

Can I get IXL for free? ›

Yes! IXL offers a free Android app for students to practice math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish on the go and earn fun awards.

What is better than IXL? ›

Pearson Smarthinking is a good option if you are looking for a comprehensive learning platform that offers a variety of resources, including live online tutoring, video lessons, and practice problems. Kumon is a math and reading tutoring program that uses a mastery-based approach.

Can I use IXL as a full curriculum? ›

IXL is open and flexible: You have access to our entire PK-12 curriculum and can adapt it to meet the needs of your unique classroom.

Does IXL have actual lessons? ›

IXL offers several lessons for third-grade math through Geometry, covering the topics that students most commonly need help with.

What are the pros and cons of IXL? ›

Advantage: Multiple pricing options, including the ability to choose individual subjects, core subjects, or combinations. Disadvantage: Recurring payments mean budgeting long term instead of once a year. Advantage: No large up front purchase; cancel at any time. All core subjects are included for one affordable price.

How stressful is IXL? ›

The program only grades students based on correct answers. According to CommonSense Media, parents have even gone as far as to review IXL, saying that the scoring system harshly punishes mistakes and leads to a ton of stress instead of academic comprehension.

How long does each IXL lesson take? ›

IXL's Real-Time Diagnostic pinpoints students' grade-level proficiency in key math and English language arts strands in just 45 minutes per subject.

Why is IXL so infuriating? ›

Limited Engagement: One major drawback of IXL is its emphasis on repetitive practice rather than fostering deep understanding. The program often focuses on isolated skills without providing real-world context or opportunities for critical thinking.

How much stress does IXL cause? ›

The program only grades students based on correct answers. According to CommonSense Media, parents have even gone as far as to review IXL, saying that the scoring system harshly punishes mistakes and leads to a ton of stress instead of academic comprehension.

Does the IXL diagnostic ever end? ›

The Real-Time Diagnostic is always available; students can enter the Diagnostic at any time and answer as many questions as they like. When students first use the Diagnostic, we recommend they aim to diagnose until their complete diagnostic data is revealed—for most students, this will be around 45 minutes per subject.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5799

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.