Quizlet is a study aid in app form. In essence, it’s a flashcard app with smart features, and it can handle images, diagrams, various languages, and even audio uploads. It’s ideal for self-paced, rote-style learning. You can make your own study sets, get access to study sets created by instructors, or browse for sets created by other users. It’s more intelligent than most flashcard apps, so it’s effective at getting you to work on whatever you’re struggling to remember, rather than recycling what you already know. With a decent free account and plenty of advanced features in the Plus version, Quizlet is a great tool for students or anyone looking to learn. For all these reasons, Quizlet is an Editors’ Choice product among online learning services. It’s also one of our top-rated online learning services for kids.
What’s New in Quizlet
Among the newer features in Quizlet is Quizlet Learn (formerly called Quizlet Learning Assistant) and Quizlet Live, an interactive game for classrooms. Explanations are also somewhat new.
Quizlet Learn, which is only available to paying members, is excellent at to helping you achieve specific goals with your studying. First, Quizlet asks what your goal is for studying: to get a basic understanding, to memorize most terms, or to learn it all. Next, a follow-up question asks how quickly you want to achieve your goal. After that, the app asks how much of the material you already know. Finally, based on your replies, the app comes up with a custom learning path. For example, it might suggest that you start learning with multiple-choice questions, then move onto flashcards; if you can answer each flashcard correctly one time, you’re considered done. At the end of each round of studying, the app shows your progress, meaning how many of the terms or cards you’ve mastered and how many you have yet to learn.
Quizlet Live is a feature for educators that lets them create an interactive game for a group of learners to play simultaneously. There’s also a mode for learners to play independently. If you’ve ever played Jackbox Games or created interactive quizzes using Kahoot!, this Quizlet game mode is similar. The educator selects a study set, chooses the Live option, and Quizlet generates a QR code that participants scan with their devices to start the game; or they can enter a unique number instead. The game involves participants either playing collaboratively or against each other to answer questions based on the content of the study set. The educator gets reports at the end to show how well participants did and what they know.
The new Explanations section is where you can find answers to questions in textbooks. Each Explanation is a detailed response, which can sometimes use diagrams and mathematical equations. For students learning from standard textbooks, it’s similar to what you might find in Chegg, only Quizlet makes it more affordable.
How Much Does Quizlet Cost?
Quizlet has a free option with limited features and a paid option called Quizlet Plus for about $48 per year. The paid version removes ads, lets you study offline, and includes the best features, including Quizlet Learn. There is no month-to-month option.
You can get a seven-day free trial, although it requires a credit card. If you get the free trial via Google Play or the Apple App Store, it’s easy to track, manage, and cancel the subscription before you get charged.
You’ll need the Plus account if you intend to study using diagrams, custom images (common among medical students), or custom audio. The Plus level also offers personalized study paths, meaning the app determines how you should study based on a goal that you set. Plus members also get smart grading, the ability to scan in documents, and rich text formatting.
Over the past few years, the price of the paid plan has gone up a lot. The company experimented briefly with a mid-tier option called Quizlet Go, which is still visible in the App Store, but has done away with it on Quizlet’s website. That’s not to say it’s too expensive to be worthwhile. Quizlet Plus offers good value if you use the app regularly, although we do wish there were a monthly subscription option or ability to pause a subscription to make it more amenable for those who don’t study year-round.
Groups buying Quizlet Plus accounts get pricing by volume, which results in a 20–25 percent discount, depending on the number of people you have.
Who Uses Quizlet?
Anyone trying to memorize information can use Quizlet. It’s popular among primary and secondary school students (K-12), whether they’re learning in a classroom or learning from home. It’s also well known among university students, medical students, law students, and adult learners who need to memorize information—including those studying for standardized tests and trade exams.
Teachers also can use Quizlet to make study sets for their students. Instructors can upload and organize information that they want their students to master. Then they can invite their classes to access the study sets they have created.
Quizlet has even been used in private industry. For example, it has been used to train grocery store cashiers and for onboarding new employees at a software company.
Getting Started With Quizlet
Quizlet is available as a web app, as well as an Android app and iPad or iPhone app. To get started, you must create an account with an email address, username, and password; or by authenticating through Apple, Google, or Facebook. Quizlet also asks for your date of birth, presumably to collect data on the ages of people using the app. No one checks whether it’s accurate, so it’s up to you whether you want to be truthful. The question would seem less invasive, however, if Quizlet simply asked for your year of birth instead of the full date.
Once you have an account, you can start creating your own study sets or looking for ones you want to add to your files. To organize your study sets, Quizlet allows you to make folders. You can also join a class if an instructor gives you a link and then access all the materials for that class.
Quizlet is essentially a flashcard app, so every item in a study set has two pieces: a question or trigger and a response. For example, if you’re learning a language—and Quizlet is a fantastic complement to any language learning app—you’d have the word in the new language plus its meaning in your native language. Other kinds of learning might contain images. For example, let’s say you’re studying botany. The triggers might be pictures of different plants and the answer or response would be their names.
Making sets and editing them is straightforward. Quizlet supports uploading spreadsheets to make the process faster, if you already have study materials laid out in a compatible format. You can edit study sets that you make, but you can’t edit someone else’s set unless they allow it in the options for that set. You can, however, make a copy of a set (this function is labeled Customize), which you can then change to your heart’s desire.
Quizlet always gives you the option to keep your sets private if you don’t want anyone else to access them.
Seven Ways to Study
Quizlet gives you seven possible ways to study: 1) Cards, 2) Learn, 3) Write, 4) Spell, 5) Test, 6) Match, and 7) Gravity. The first five are available in the mobile app, whereas all seven are available in the web app.
Cards is a standard digital flashcard method where you cycle through your study set and try to memorize the information. The Learn option gives you a prompt and you select the correct response based on multiple choice options, with all the possible answers coming from your study set. The option called Write shows you a prompt and you have to write the answer, rather than rely on multiple choice options. In Spell, you hear an audio reading of the prompt but don’t see it in writing and have to type out the answer. Spell doesn’t work for study sets that incorporate images or diagrams. The fifth opinion, Test, gives you a quiz made with a variety of question types, including matching, multiple choice, and so forth. Note that this mode isn’t designed for formal assessment. Sixth is Match, where you see a bunch of cards on screen, half prompts and half answers, and you have to match the correct pairs. There’s a timer running so that you can turn it into a game and try to beat your best time or your other learners’ best times. The last study mode, Gravity, also has a game angle. A prompt appears on an asteroid that appears to fall from the top of the screen, and you have to write the correct response before it hits the ground.
Language learners get some wonderful tools you won’t find in many other flashcard apps. For example, once you set the language you’re trying to learn, special characters appear when you’re typing so that you don’t have to frequently switch to a different keyboard. Additionally, the app can speak words aloud with the correct pronunciation. We’ve tested for Romanian, Spanish, and English and found the pronunciation surprisingly good, with stresses usually landing on the correct part of the word and proper diphthongs and so forth. The voice doesn’t sound overly robotic, either.
The Problem of User-Created Study Sets
Although Quizlet typically contains excellent study sets, there’s always the problem that user-created content may contain errors or intentionally misleading information, or be problematic in other ways. It’s reasonable to have some worries about content, especially for parents or teachers of young students.
That said, the vast majority of errors we’ve seen in Quizlet are minor, such as misspellings or slightly outdated information. The app automatically filters content using quality scores drawn from user behavior, so better quality content is likely to rise to view whereas poor quality content should get buried. Additionally, you can report problematic content.
More importantly, you don’t have to use user-created study sets at all. If you only want to study using content that you’ve created, that’s perfectly fine.
Excellent for Rote Learning
Quizlet is a powerful study aid, one that works well in a variety of settings from traditional schooling to helping you master concepts from an online learning service. We like that you can make your own sets, share them, and find sets that others have created. The free tier of service is very good, though it leaves out some of the more advanced features, which is really the point of digital flashcards in the first place. The Plus membership has become pricier in recent years, which may be a turnoff for those who have paid the much lower price for it in the past. If you can get past that, however, you’ll find that it’s still an excellent, Editors’ Choice pick for learning resources, even at the higher price.