Pop culture plus solid content equals legit learning

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 8 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

College & Career Prep, English Language Arts, Math, Science

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Web

Pros: Well-written, engaging material that uses humor and teen-friendly lingo to clearly convey concepts.

Cons: The amount of content can be overwhelming; students and teachers will want subscriptions, which is a big investment.

Bottom Line: Cleverly written content divided into digestible sections offers solid educational value.

Shmoop can be used to deliver full courses or to supplement classroom instruction. Full access means hundreds of complete courses are available -- with auto-graded quizzes, diagnostic tools, and, of course, humor. Individual teacher and student subscriptions are available, but for the biggest bang for the buck, school or district licenses can be purchased. While content could be delivered to students electronically for them to complete at their own pace, teachers can also customize content to suit their needs for whole-class instruction and for individual instruction and assessment and intervention.

Shmoop is a website offering students a variety of study materials written by scholars. The catch? Shmoop's study guides are purposefully written in a conversational tone. Sometimes they're downright hilarious, and the fun language helps students access complex subjects and relax into learning. Teachers have to pay to access site materials designed for educators –- including hundreds of student assignments, quizzes, test prep, and activity tips. While there's free, ad-supported content like study guides, full teacher and student access requires a subscription. Teachers can manage classes from the dashboard, assigning courses, viewing progress, and curating content to deliver to students. The site's learning resources are legit: PhD and master's students from schools such as Stanford and Harvard write much of the conversational content, which is peppered with pop culture references.

Between the humor interjected throughout and the extensive, varied content, teachers and students will enjoy Shmoop. There's so much available -- from life skills (how to buy a car) to elementary RTI to ACT/SAT prep courses. It's overwhelming but there's truly something for everyone. With a subscription, students can get focused feedback on test prep, giving information on which skills need more work and the courses and practice to get those skills. Educators can choose hundreds of courses and materials across content areas and all levels, from RTI to college credit courses. Beyond the engaging humor, the ACT and SAT prep are excellent, and the literary courses are top-notch and engaging.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Pretty much every page offers in-depth -- but easy to understand -- info for teachers and students. Educators will find more than just a few quizzes to hand out (for a fee). Students will laugh while learning, thanks to the lively text.


Teachers can buy subscriptions to set up classes for student subscribers, who can complete units across content areas, including AP, ACT, and SAT prep. Literature guides and some courses are included for free.


Videos are available to show how to use pretty much every feature. Specific feedback guides students to improve and master content -- from RTI to college courses.

Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel
Amanda Bindel Teacher

Community Rating

Fun supplemental tool to enhance lesson topics

The videos are short and summarize topics - great supplemental tool to incorporate into teaching but serve more as a means to vary instruction vs. teach content.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Personal information can be not displayed publicly.
  • User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users cannot create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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