Common Sense Review
Updated March 2017

StudyAce

Flash card app gamifies rote memorization; some cool features
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • StudyAce is a flash card app that lets users study cards on a variety of subjects by browsing them or by playing games.
  • Quizzes and games come in multiple formats, such as this multiple-choice quiz.
  • Other games ask users to label a diagram by tapping the screen.
  • When you finish a game, you get a quick look at your performance.
  • Each built-in flash card set includes options for review, playing games, and taking a test.
Pros
Tons of built-in quizzes, plus great formatting tools for building your own flash cards and games.
Cons
App doesn't work without internet access and could get expensive.
Bottom Line
An attractive though potentially spendy way to make studying feel more like a game.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/nonprofit member
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Fast-paced games and a slick visual style make for an appealing way to study.

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

There's an impressive range of content available, and it's especially great that premium accounts let teachers and students develop their own games to help them study.

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

It's pretty straightforward to figure out how to sign up and get started, but make sure you don't breeze past the instructions -- otherwise the games will fly by before you know what you're supposed to do. 

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Keep in mind that StudyAce only works with an internet connection. It could be a good fit for 1-to-1 device settings where you can take Wi-Fi for granted, but it might not work for all students in all situations. That being said, sign up for a free account and take a spin through the features. There's a lot of content here that covers a lot of ground, and you might find a quiz that's a good starter kit for building out your own longer review for your students. 

In general, creating your own flash cards may be the best approach. The premium version gives you more flexibility to access more content, but the free version still offers a nice way to create and share your own flash cards. Or get creative with the authoring tool: Which of the templates might work best for the content from your classroom? Have your students design test questions to fit each of the formats, and have students use the tool to create their own test review questions.

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What's It Like?

StudyAce is an app with an extensive built-in collection of flash cards with accompanying games and tests. There are study packs for a range of subjects, including history, English, science, languages, and some state driver's tests. Teachers can subscribe and set up a class and share its access code with their students. Teachers and students also can create an author account to create their own custom flash card decks and games from four templates, which address terms and definitions, sorting, multiple choice, and labeling.

Keep in mind that you'll need internet access to use the app; otherwise, it won't work. The free version for students and teachers lets users create their own flash cards, share them, and play study games and take tests; the paid version lets users access all courses and edit them for their own use. The premium version for teachers lets users create and share unlimited groups, access class and student reports, and set up free accounts for their students. If you use the app rather than the website, keep in mind that your subscription will renew automatically each month unless you cancel it. 

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Is It Good For Learning?

Some of these built-in quizzes are pretty stellar. The interactive features are appropriate for each subject, such as labeling single and double bonds on a molecule or viewing pre-question images for history questions. That may be what makes StudyAce stand out most: While these are technically multiple-choice questions, the format feels different enough that answering questions feels especially engaging, and questions pop up in such quick succession that studying the cards can feel like a game. Also, it's nice that the free version allows you to customize the existing quizzes to match your real-life course: There's a strong sense that this tool is meant to complement a real-life class, and there are nice features that enable teachers and students to do just that. 

In general, the flash card-creation features here are on par with other tools (such as widely used Quizlet) and work pretty well: You can create your own quizzes question by question, or you can download their template and import content from elsewhere. The real game-changing features are the interactive games, some of which are available for free and some of which are only available with the premium subscription. If you're looking for a ton of built-in content and more tools for changing up your flash card game, then the premium subscription may be for you. However, if you mostly just need a flexible flash card app, you might spring for the free version -- it's flexible, it works well, and it might suit your needs.

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