Common Sense Review
Updated September 2012


App to find, create, use digital flashcards; website is better
Common Sense Rating 3
  • More than 35 million flashcard sets are available in 18 languages.
  • Users can enter flashcards by hand, but the process is far more cumbersome with the app than online.
  • Match feature allows users to match the fronts and backs of corresponding flashcards.
  • Learn feature is one of Quizlet's best, but user-entered text is obscured by the built-in keyboard.
Intuitive interface and flexible review features bring the best of paper flashcards to convenient digital form.
Features for uploading and reviewing flashcard sets are limited on the app and better supported on the Quizlet website.
Bottom Line
A convenient way to find, create, and review digital flashcards, which have all the advantages and disadvantages of paper flashcards.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/Non-Profit Member
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Multiple means of engagement through the Cards, Match, and Learn views keep flashcard review fresh and engaging.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

One benefit of flashcards is the process of creating them. While that’s easy to do on the Quizlet website, it’s much tougher here, leading to a possibly more passive user experience.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Multi-language audio capabilities are impressive. Limited help features on the app make its missteps more glaring.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers might use Quizlet to share flashcard sets with their students, or ask students to generate their own flashcard sets for individual or small-group review prior to assessments. Teachers might also encourage students to use Quizlet for rapid-review sponge sessions that reclaim idle time: Students can review for a history exam or a Spanish quiz when they've finished their seatwork or while standing in line, for example. 

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What's It Like?

Quizlet is one of the most widely used digital-flashcard creators in education. Users can create and upload custom sets of flashcards and then review those flashcards on demand. They can save their flashcards for private use or publicly upload them to the Quizlet website, where users can search among millions of flashcard sets by title or subject. 

Flashcard sets in Quizlet can be reviewed in three ways: Users can flip through their sets in the Cards view, play a game in the Match view, or type in the “back” of a card through the Learn view. While the Learn view is the best pedagogical feature of Quizlet, it’s a pain to use on the iPad, as the on-screen keyboard obscures the space where the user’s answer appears. This feature works much better with a keyboard accessory -- indeed, this card view is almost unusable on the iPad without one. 

The Quizlet app unfortunately lacks several of the website’s best features for uploading content. It’s tougher to create flashcards through the app than it is on the website, making it tempting to simply review someone else’s cards rather than generate your own.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Studying with Quizlet means working with digital flashcards, and Quizlet flashcard sets have the same benefits and drawbacks as their paper counterparts. It’s useful to have a fast way to create, search for, and review digital flashcards, and it’s convenient to have flashcards available at the tap of a screen. While the app offers easy access to that content, it might not inspire deep learning or serious engagement. There’s little to stop a user from clicking mindlessly through a set of flashcards. Unfortunately, the view that offers the best chance for engagement and deep learning -- the aptly named Learn view -- is badly designed for the mobile interface and is nearly impossible to use. Ultimately, Quizlet is good for rapid-fire review or rote memorization; if that’s an element of how a student wants or needs to study, this app could be a useful tool. 

In some ways, Quizlet offers a valuable digital learning community, with existing flashcards on a range of topics, from driver’s ed to calculus. The same rule applies here as with paper flashcards, however: There’s a learning opportunity in making the flashcards as much as in using them, and it’s possible that users could rely entirely on others’ flashcard sets rather than creating new ones.

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