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March 15, 2024

Six months ago, I stumbled upon some really good Coursera courses, but before committing to the price, I wanted to see if the course would be worth paying for. That’s when I learned how to audit a Coursera course. 

Auditing a Coursera course allows you to understand the course and whether it offers the value of the price you’ll be paying. You can use the feature to understand the course and get a brief overview of what’s inside for free. 

In this article, I’ll show you how I audit courses on Coursera that you can follow. Additionally, I have included tips to get the most out of the Coursera course audit feature that you can use to get maximum value. 

With that, let’s help you in auditing courses on Coursera!

Coursera Courses Audit: A Quick Overview

If you want to get free course access, then Coursera provides two options:

The drawback of the first option is you can access the course for only 7 days. But the second option allows you to get access for an unlimited time. This option is good if you want to upskill or explore a new career path. But the catch is- the audit option is available for only a few courses.

The best part is- Coursera saves your course progress.

So, if you want a Coursera certificate, you can come back later and pay the full price of the course. This helps you unlock the assignments and quizzes. Once you submit the assignments, you’ll get your completion certificate. We have also explained how much does a Coursera certificate cost here.

How To Audit A Coursera Course: Step-By-Step Guide

Auditing a course helps you explore courses free of cost. It’s a great way to learn a new topic without the pressure of earning a grade. It helps you gain knowledge and skills at your own pace.

If you want to audit a course, follow this step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Log In To Your Coursera Account

Go to the Coursera website by clicking here and click on the ‘Login’ button in the upper right corner of the page.

How To Audit A Coursera Course - Log In Button

A popup window like the one below will appear once you click the ‘Login’ button. Enter your email and password and click ‘Login’. Or, if you are new to Coursera, you can set up your account using Google or Facebook. 

Create A Account

Step 2: Choose A Free Course From The List 

Once you enter your login credentials, the website will redirect you to its home page.

Choose A Free Course

Then, click on the blue ‘Explore’ button on the upper left corner of your screen. Once you click it, a list of goals and subjects will appear on your screen. Choose the ‘Take a free course’ option.

Coursera Courses

This provides you with a list of all the courses that have an ‘audit the course’ option.

You can also apply filters based on subject, skills, level, duration, etc., to narrow down the course list.

Let’s say you choose ‘Data Science’ from the subjects and ‘Data Analysis’ from the skills filter.

Data Science

After applying the filters, you’ll get 423 results based on your course preferences. 

Now, if you choose IBM’s ‘Python for Data Science, AI & Development’ course, the following window will appear.

Python for Data Science

Step 3: Click ‘Enroll For Free’

Once you click the blue ‘Enroll for Free’ button, you have to choose a program that matches your learning goal. 

Click ‘Enroll For Free’

After choosing a program, click the ‘Next’ button. A popup window like the one below will appear on your screen.

click the ‘Next’ button

Step 4: Select The ‘Audit The Course’ Option

Now, scroll down to select the time you need to finish your course. Coursera provides 3 options: 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. 

Instead of clicking ‘Continue’, click the ‘Audit the course’ option at the bottom of the popup window.

Select The ‘Audit The Course

Once you get to the interface given below, provide details of your work experience, education, and career goals. Doing this will give you personalized course recommendations based on your background.

After providing all the necessary details, click ‘Continue’. 

You can also choose to ‘Skip’ this page.

Note: Some courses provide a ‘Full Course, No Certificate’ option instead of the ‘Audit the course’ option. This option lets you access the course material for free, along with the graded assignments.

Skip The Page

Step 5: Start The Course

And here you go!

Start learning by watching the free videos and downloading the free resources.

Start The Course

If you don’t see the auditing option in a course, it might not be available for auditing. This is because not all the courses are available to audit. In this case, you can consider these options:

  • Apply for financial aid or take a free trial.
  • The Audit option isn’t available for Specialization courses. A Specialization consists of a series of related courses designed to help you master a particular topic. You can check a course page for an individual course in the Specialization that you want to take.

Limitations Of Auditing A Coursera Course

The auditing option is a useful way to access free courses. But, it has some limitations:

  • The auditing option isn’t available for specialization and degree programs. This option allows you to access only individual courses for free.
  • You can submit course assignments, graded quizzes, or projects only after paying the subscription fee.
  • Once the course ends, you can’t access the video lectures and other resources.
  • You won’t get the completion certificate if you choose to audit a course. To get the certificate, you’ve to pay the full price of the course.

Can You Get A Coursera Certificate For Free?

No, you can’t get a Coursera Certificate for free. You can upgrade to a paid version of the course at any time to get a completion certificate. If you can’t afford to pay for a completion certificate, you can also apply for the financial aid option. Most of the Coursera courses provide this option. Follow our guide on how to apply for financial aid on Coursera to get discounts on Coursera certificates.

Coursera Plus Pricing 

Take a look at the table below to get details about monthly and annual subscription plans offered by Coursera.

Single Learning Program  Coursera PLUS(Monthly)  Coursera PLUS 
Certificate of CompletionYesYesYes
1,000+ hands-on experienceNoYesYes
Price$49 – $79 /month$59 /month$399 /year
Subscription length1 month1 month1 year

Get upto $100 discount on your purchase of a Coursera Plus subscription using our exclusive Coursera Plus discount.

Making The Most Of Audit Mode 

The Audit mode of Coursera has some limitations compared to paid courses. It provides no access to graded assignments and completion certificates. 

But it can still help you enrich your knowledge and skills (and that too at zero cost!)

Here are some tips to maximize the learning experience despite the above limitations:

  • Engage With People In Discussion Forums

Ask questions in the Coursera discussion forum. Share your thoughts with other learners. This will help you develop a good understanding of what you’ve learned in your course.

  • Refer To External Resources

In addition to the course material, you can refer to relevant textbooks, articles, or other online videos. A lot of free resources are available on YouTube. These resources will help you develop a deeper understanding of your course.

  • Make Detailed Notes

You can’t access the course once it ends. So, it’s better to take notes for future reference and revision. 

More On Coursera:

Conclusion: Audit Coursera Courses For Free

The ‘audit a course’ option is a cost-effective way to explore new courses and assess their value before committing to a paid enrollment. While it comes with limitations like no graded assignments or certificates, you can still maximize your learning. 

If you find the course useful, you can upgrade to a paid subscription for graded assignments, certificates, and additional resources. 

So, use the audit option wisely, explore diverse courses, and keep learning! 

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