Common Sense Review
Updated May 2013

Grockit

This product is no longer available.
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Common Sense Rating 4
Pros
Feedback on responses, right or wrong, helps kids easily identify subject areas that need more work.
Cons
It's pricey, and the group learning aspect is a neat idea in theory but isn't easy to figure out.
Bottom Line
Grockit is an outstanding tool to help teens study for standardized tests -- but they'll need to shell out a chunk of cash.
Erin Brereton
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Interactive structure holds kids' interest. They can host online study groups to answer questions and discuss responses, which provides additional learning resources and an incentive to entice friends to use the site.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Kids get to see a helpful rationale for why each response was right or wrong. The site's tone can feel a bit clinical, but completed goals are acknowledged with achievement badges, and the feedback is invaluable.

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

Private tutoring sessions offered through the site cost extra. However, students can continue learning after their tests are done with Learnist, a cool Pinterest-type education site Grockit launched in 2012.

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

While it's a great resource for students, finding a way for educators to use the site is more difficult. Grockit subscribers work on customized study plans and can discuss the results in groups. However, while the detailed instruction and interactive activities are great, Grockit involves a monthly expense. If students print out their user data, you may be able to provide additional instruction to help strengthen any academically weak areas. If your school is willing to fund individual subscriptions, teachers may be able to participate alongside students and provide additional input during quiz exercises. 

But the system doesn't really provide an easy way for teachers to guide or help students who use it, which is why Grockit seems to be a better fit for students to use outside of the classroom. 

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What's It Like?

Editor's Note: On September 30, 2016, Grockit retired and is no longer available.

Grockit is an online study resource that lets students practice skills individually or in groups. Founded in 2007 by a former Princeton Review Teacher of the Year, it's a place teens can go to study for college admission exams like the SAT and ACT, Advanced Placement calculus or U.S. history course tests, or curricula that tie into state and national English language arts and math standards for grades 7-12. (Study help for higher ed GMAT, LSAT, and other courses is also available.) Students can take diagnostic tests or, for the junior high- to high school-level Academy section, select a grade level and identify the type of math they’re learning. The system then generates study plans users can complete in segments.  

Students read passages and assess tone, character relationships, and other elements; work out math problems; or answer questions about historical figures and events. They'll see the correct response for each question, whether they get it wrong or right, with a brief explanation and information on why the other answers are incorrect.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Students can use Grockit's exercises to prepare for standardized tests and learn more about subjects they're covering in class. ACT and SAT students can also compare their performance to average college test scores. Grockit's explanations aren't excessively supportive, but they're detailed; a wrong answer is followed by "although this is a true statement, it is not the complete answer." Some sections also repeat passages in more than one question, which can help kids better understand meaning, tone, and other aspects. 

Most of Grockit's materials are quite good. The site breaks information down into palatable chunks, and it also tracks users' overall progress. Students can review incorrect responses, or see all answers when they’re done with a section and try it again to improve their score. Grockit also provides a detailed breakdown of the average time it took the user to respond in a section, illustrating which academic skills they find challenging and which areas students need to focus on.

 

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