About Brilliant

What is Brilliant?

Brilliant aims to democratize the way smart, driven people are identified and developed. We help people build the problem solving skills they need to prepare for high-stakes exams, interviews, and competitions, for free.

How does it work?

Members learn how to solve problems by engaging in a vibrant community of students, educators, and enthusiasts.

After you create an account, you will be asked to follow some topics you are interested in. This will determine what topics of conversation and problem solving will appear on your homepage. You then select how difficult you would like your problems to be in the topics you chose to follow. As you complete problems, we will determine your initial rating and level in each topic. Your rating and level determine the difficulty of the material we recommend for you. You can also select specific skills to practice within a topic (e.g., Completing the Square in Algebra), and we will provide a problem set with relevant problems to practice.

Every day, you will see new problems and conversations that are being actively worked on by the community in the topics you follow. Following people on Brilliant will expose you to additional conversations and problems written by members to enjoy and learn from.

Who is involved with Brilliant?

We are a team of educators, olympiad all-stars, academics, technologists, engineers, admissions experts, and college administrators. Our investors have advised leaders in education services such as The Princeton Review, SparkNotes, Mind Snacks, and The Learning Company. We have led community initiatives to improve college access and promote civic engagement, particularly for low-income communities.

Interested in working with us? Apply for a job at Brilliant.

What is Brilliant not?

Brilliant is not a school or an official competition. We do not teach a comprehensive curriculum, although solving problems on Brilliant can help you learn math, science, and engineering at a deeper level. Many of the problems on Brilliant are designed to be more fun, challenging, and interesting than a typical textbook problem.

How does Brilliant make money?

Additional features and content are available to users who join Brilliant Squared, our paid subscription product. In the future, schools and companies may be able to pay to recruit members through Brilliant. We will certainly alert all of our users well in advance before we implement either of these changes. Right now, we are focused on making the best site possible for bright, motivated people everywhere to push their intellect.

If my question hasn't been answered on this Help page, who should I contact?

Please direct all general questions about Brilliant and questions about your user account to support@brilliant.org.

Solving Problems on Brilliant

How does problem solving work?

After you create an account on Brilliant.org, a difficulty picker will help you select the level (1-5) of problems you would like to see in each of the subjects we offer. Each week, you will have access to problems tailored to your ability, that gradually increase in difficulty as you improve. You can also select specific skills to practice within a topic (e.g., Completing the Square in Algebra), and we will provide a problem set with relevant problems to practice. You have three chances to get the correct answer to each question.

What are ratings?

People and problems on Brilliant have ratings with respect to our official topics. Your personal ratings are measurements of your skill in each topic. The problem ratings measure the difficulty of problems relative to your skill. Ratings on brilliant exist to help you track your improvement, and help us show you problems that are just right for you.

What are levels and how do my ratings affect them?

There are five difficulty levels of problem solving for each official topic on Brilliant. In each level, we offer a range of problems that are interesting and challenging without being either too simple or too difficult.

Each level is subdivided into ratings: 0-1249 (Level 1), 1250-1499 (Level 2), 1500-1749 (Level 3), 1750-1999 (Level 4), 2000+ (Level 5). A higher rating reflects a higher level of experience and problem solving proficiency in a topic. As your rating increases, we will level you up and show you harder problems.

Who can see my ratings?

Your topic ratings are visible to only you. Your topic levels are visible to anyone who visits your profile.

What makes my rating change?

Answering problems correctly will cause your rating to increase. The amount your rating increases or decreases is proportional to the difference between your own rating in a topic and the problem’s rating. For example, if you have a 1,200 rating in Algebra and you correctly answer a problem that is rated 1,500, your rating will go up more than if you correctly answer a problem that is rated 900.

How many tries do I get on a problem?

You have three chances to get the correct answer to each numerical answer problem you attempt on Brilliant.

What appears on my Homepage?

Your home page is filled with problems and notes written or reshared by the people and topics that you follow.

If I am working on a problem or reading a note and want to come back to it later where can I find it?

All the problems that you click on can be easily found again in your started section. After you finish problems, they get a green check mark in your started list. Problems and notes that you are fond of can also be favorited and then easily referenced in your favorites section.

How old do I have to be to use Brilliant?

The minimum age requirement is 13 years of age. Most members of the Brilliant community are in high school or college, but adults of many ages also enjoy the intellectual stimulation of our problem sets.

How difficult are Brilliant's problems?

All problems on Brilliant strive to be interesting and better than your common homework problem, regardless of level. The level one problems tend to cover the most fundamental aspects. Level five problems are very difficult, and require deep understanding of the subject.

Why are there mostly math and physics problems?

It takes good people to create problems. So far our small team has focused on developing problems for math and physics. As the site grows, and as the community contributes back more problems, we will branch into other disciplines.

What am I allowed to use when solving problems on Brilliant (Can I use computers and code)?

The problems are designed to be solvable with pencil, paper, and human reasoning. In physics problems, using a calculator is encouraged to arrive at a correct decimal answer. For mathematics problems, solutions that use computer programs are considered valid if you can justify why there was no error in your computation. In general, if you find yourself wanting to brute force an answer with a computer, there is probably a more elegant way to go about it that you are not seeing.

Is it bad to be in a low level?

Heavens no! The desire to work on challenging problems is worth being proud of, regardless of level. Given the range of ages and educational opportunities amongst our members, it is only natural to see a wide range of ability on Brilliant.org. Study and practice with problems on Brilliant can improve your abilities and your level.

Is it good to be in high level?

Achieving a high level on Brilliant problem sets demonstrates a tremendously high aptitude and skill in the subjects offered. Practically speaking, being in a high level also allows you to receive more points per correct problem. In the scheme of things, solving challenging problems with known solutions is pretty cool, but not nearly as cool as curing diseases, solving the world's energy problems, feeding the hungry, or advancing the field of pure mathematics.

Can I post Brilliant's problems to other websites?

We encourage you to share problems from Brilliant with your friends, and have built a "Share this problem" feature for this purpose. Please do not request answers to problems from Brilliant on other sites. This could effectively make the answer public and spoil the challenge for the problem solving community on Brilliant. If you see a Brilliant problem posted on an external site please email support@brilliant.org to report it.

Account Questions

Can I have multiple accounts?

We can't think of a legitimate reason why you would need more than one account. We will assume that people with multiple accounts are using them to cheat at Brilliant, and will take appropriate actions.

How do I unsubscribe to email updates from Brilliant?

Any email you receive from Brilliant contains an unsubscribe link. You can opt out of any and all news updates from Brilliant at any point in time.

I put in the wrong age, how do I change it?

Please go into the Personal Information tab of your Account Settings page, accessible by clicking your name at the top of the page, and attach a scan of a valid i.d. When you have uploaded valid proof of your age, please email support@brilliant.org and we will process your age change request.

What happens to my account if I am inactive on Brilliant?

Absolutely nothing. Inactivity on Brilliant does not cost you points or factor into your performance at all.

How do I delete my account?

If you would like to delete your account, please email support@brilliant.org.

Publishing Notes

What should I post as a note?

Notes are a way for you to interact with other people all over the world, who, like you, enjoy challenging their minds for fun. You should feel free to talk about almost anything. You could share news stories, articles, facts, images, and things on the web that you find interesting and think others might too. You could also use notes to ask the community for advice. Or you could pose problems in math, science, or engineering that you have come across that you think are interesting. You really can post about anything.

What are the rules and guidelines for notes?

You can find the rules and guidelines for notes here.

What does it mean to subscribe to a note?

When you subscribe to a note, you receive automated email updates whenever somebody comments on that note.

How do I subscribe to a note?

When you post a note, you are automatically subscribed to that note.

Anytime you comment on a note, you are also automatically subscribed to replies to your comment. Additionally, there is a link near the top of each note that can subscribe you to a note even if you have not commented on it.

How do I unsubscribe from a note?

You can unsubscribe from a note by clicking the unsubscribe button on the original post.

Why should I publish notes to Brilliant?

At Brilliant, we want to celebrate your creative abilities. Publishing a note is a great opportunity for you to challenge the Brilliant community, and for you to both start and engage in discussions with a wide group of your Brilliant peers.