App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2018
A+ Spelling Test
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A+ Spelling Test

Spelling practice app meets expectations, doesn't exceed them

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
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Privacy rating
59%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–6
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts

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Pros: Students can create accounts and share results with teacher or parents.

Cons: No teacher dashboard, so it's more of an individual learning tool.

Bottom Line: An option worth considering for students needing to build their spelling skills at home or in the classroom.

A+ Spelling Test isn't going to be a one-stop spelling solution for teachers, but it could be a solid tool for at-home practice or a classroom station. There's no teacher dashboard, so pushing out lists to students and receiving their results could get cumbersome, since it's all handled by each student and via email. Students can also visit a classroom station to brush up their skills in preparation for quizzes and tests. Ultimately, though, It'd be easier for parents to manage at home. Parents can set students up with an account on a home device, add words assigned by a teacher, and receive emails of students' results.

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A+ Spelling Test is a spelling app for iOS. Students can practice spelling using grade-level lists from the in-app library, or teachers can create and share custom lists. With the paid version, students can create an account and share their test and practice results with parents or teachers via email. The login screen is in the app's settings, behind a parent gate that requires placing three fingers on the screen. Once logged in, students will stay logged in until someone else does so through the setting. Logged-in users get their results saved. The word library includes dozens of lists for every grade level from first to 12th as well as master lists for advanced spellers. The paid version increases the amount of built-in lists and words. There are a few modes as well. Of course, there's the standard spelling test mode, and there are options to practice (including focusing on spelling words over and over until they're correct or just reviewing mistakes) as well as an unscramble game.

Partnered with sound instruction in spelling patterns, A+ Spelling Test can give students practice learning spelling words for a test. Words are pronounced out loud to give students auditory input (they can also record their own pronunciations), but there's no kinesthetic writing of the words, only typing the letters on the device. Students do get immediate feedback if they've spelled the word incorrectly, and they can correct it. Overall, this tool is best for preparing students to spell words correctly on a test and may or may not improve spelling long-term. For teachers preparing students for spelling bees or competitions, where students need repeated exposure and practice with a set word list, A+ Spelling Test would work really well.

Overall Rating

Engagement

The immediate feedback is helpful, but the practice options are bland (hearing and spelling the word, or unscrambling it) and may not keep students practicing consistently. 

Pedagogy

Spellers are given several options for practicing. Teachers can customize spelling lists or assign from the vast library of lists, including master lists for beginner, intermediate, and advanced spellers.

Support

The interface is sleek and easy-to-understand, but there's no in-app support available. Users must email customer support for assistance.


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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Data Safety
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Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

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