Notorious for being detrimental to the disorganised person - if used correctly, flashcards can really improve your progress with your school work, whether it’s studying for that big test or just brushing up on general knowledge of a particular subject.
However, having mountains of flashcards piled up is not the most organised or practical thing ever… So along comes the flashcard app. Yeah, there really is an app for pretty much everything these days!
What Are Flashcards?
Keeping it simple, flashcards are pretty self-explanatory and are the perfect way to get all those revision notes condensed onto small squares of paper, and through testing yourself you should find that eventually they will get stuck in your head!
Flashcards are great for pretty much every subject where you have to memorise formulas, definitions and everything in between. Yeah, flashcards are really good - and some would even say the best way - for testing your brain and making sure that you get that revision done!
The advantage of an app version is that this makes flashcards even more portable, because they are all stored in one place so you can study at any time in any place, and no one will ever know. Just make sure you charge your phone or tablet before you leave the house.
So, now you know why flashcards are so great - and why they are even better in the form of an app. Here are our top 5 flashcard apps that will really take your revision to the next level.
OUR TOP PICK
Created by and can be used in conjunction with Duolingo, this is a pretty popular flashcard app - where you can find, make and revise flashcards either via the web or through the mobile app.
This flashcard app adopts Duolingo’s well-recognised learning technique of spaced repetition, and creates flashcard-orientated lessons on a number of different topics to help you revise. Yeah, this app does all the work for you.
Tinycards lets you make your own flashcards and add text or an image to the flashcards. As well as letting you add as many cards as you’d like to the deck, you can also decide whether or not you want to keep your deck private or share it to other users.
In turn, you can also gain access to premade flashcards by other users. Team work really does make the dream work!
Tinycards has multiple methods of testing. One of these methods is drilling through flashcards, which is a great way to start off - just to get to grips with what you are completely confident with and what you need to spend more time on.
Another method of testing is picking the correct answer in multiple choice questions, which is great for refreshing your memory - and this also keeps your flashcard piles in check and makes sure that you are confident with the cards.
Another method of testing is giving short answers so this is more of a comprehension style test, and works really well for key words and definitions. The last method is quizzes, which acts really well as a casual refresher.
- Find pre-existing sets of flashcards - handy for if you want to broaden your knowledge or save time by using cards that have already been made.
- Add images to the flashcards - if you are more of a visual learner then this
- No limit on the amount of cards you can add to your virtual deck - even more freedom and flexibility to how big you want your pile of cards to be.
- Memory strength bars - users must keep these full by reviewing certain cards that they are familiar with just to refresh their memory. This adds a game-like feel to the app, and depending on the user’s competitiveness, this could really fuel the revision process.
- Available on Apple and Android devices - the app is widely accessible, and is free to use and is ad free.
- Flashcard decks built by others are prone to errors - this might not be the app for the lazier student, because in stealing others’ flashcards you might run the risk of teaching yourself the wrong information. The bottom line? You’d be better off using this app to make your own flashcards.
This is a well-known flashcard app, perfect for revising key words and vocabulary. And, if you are a lover of all things purple this is even better for you as the ‘iconic’ Quizlet color is purple everywhere.
This is a great app because you can access it in app form or just through the web - so it is completely phone and PC friendly.
To try and add to the limited excitement incurred by flicking through flashcards, Quizlet has its own games which are perfect if you are more of a kinesthetic (practical) learner.
One of the most popular games is fighting alien spaceships by making up a full flashcard through pairing up yourself with an alien ship.
If you get the answer correct, you destroy the alien ship and move on to the next one, if you get incorrect then more alien spaceships will crowd you. This game is also under time constraint so again is great at getting you used to being in a time-pressured environment.
Quizlet is all round really helpful and is super easy to use, with a modern interface and it is a great tool that gives you access to premade flashcards too.
Even better? You can collaborate with your friends and compete in games together so not only does this make revision a bit less tedious, but you are helping each other out - and, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone!
- Available on Apple and Android devices, and the web -
- Online database of flashcards - students can search through over 13 million user-made flashcard sets on a range of topics.
- Free - revise your flashcards without being charged. You can pay for some pre-made flashcard decks.
- Study vocabulary in many different languages -
- Games - as well as the standard flashcard method of revising, Quizlet has its own inhouse games.
- Distraction - if used incorrectly, students can become too distracted by playing the games and not actually taking their work seriously...
This is a pretty simple flashcards app which is suitable for download via the Apple app store. This app can also work in conjunction with Quizlet, as you can create your own sets of flashcards and access premade ones from Quizlet.
This app gives great analysis and allows you to track your results, see your score and also track your speed - so you can really see how quick your reaction time is, and how well you are retaining all that information.
Again, team work continues to make the dream work here as this app allows you to share notes and send flashcards to other users for collaborative studying.
Even more helpful, this app lets users copy and paste formulas and equations onto your flashcards, so your friends can really help you here. No need to struggle writing out huge formulas here.
This app is a great way to memorize important maths and science concepts for tests, exams or just generally to refresh your memory.
- No ads - say hello to uninterrupted learning!
- Work alongside Quizlet - the apps work really well together as you can find premade flashcards on Quizlet and use them here.
- Collaborative - this app is really helpful when it comes to writing out massive equations. If your friend has already written out one, they can paste it onto your flashcard for you. Result!
- Audio - great for learning pronunciation in up to 18 languages, also great for dialect and gives gender options.
- Create your own - can make your own decks, use others’ premade decks or merge your deck with a premade one.
- Only available on Apple devices - reports that this flashcard app does not run so great on other devices.
Flashcards with Cram is perfect for portability, you can access this from pretty much any device so you can study wherever you are. This app lets you find and make flashcards in lots of different ways.
Be it through searching the flashcard library, creating new flashcards tailored to you, viewing your recently studied cards or sorting through your cards that are of the biggest priority - this app has you covered.
This flashcard app comes with two study modes: memorize and cram. Both modes are there to tailor your revision experience to suit you and the way you want to study. This gives you complete control over your schedule and gives your study experience the utmost flexibility.
In memorize mode you go through the flashcards one at a time until you run out and at the end you get given a progress report. This mode is perfect for building your confidence, especially for spelling and grammar tests as this gives you the stimulation of being in a test environment.
In cram mode you go through each flashcard until you get every single one correct, so essentially yes, you cram all the vocabulary into your brain in preparation to undertake memorize mode.
This mode is perfect for when you want to refresh your memory, maybe if you are on public transport or just killing some time. This is not as intense as memorize mode, but you still retain information by following this method.
- Available on Apple and Android devices, and the web - this app is super accessible and is perfect for studying on the go.
- Memorize mode - this prepares you for being in a time-pressured situation, and is a good way to give yourself a mock test.
- Cram mode - great for giving yourself a quick refresher of the flashcards without being in an intense test environment.
- In-app games - Jewels of Wisdom and Stellar Speller spice up flicking through flashcards, and actually make revision fun - who knew!
- Storage - takes up a mere 14.6MB of space, and you can access up to 8 million flashcards.
- Hints - if you struggle to remember a flashcard you can press the lightbulb icon for hints, we don’t want to call this cheating buuuuuuuuuuut…
Now, this app has been around for quite a while and it’s because it is great at doing exactly what you need it to. Easy to navigate and you can use it to study whatever you want, this is a pretty full flashcard app with some additional organizational, audio and backup features.
In creating the cards you can use text, images and audio - although you are limited to using one per flashcard side. However, this really adapts the flashcard experience for every type of learner. If you prefer words, picture associations or audio then Flashcards Deluxe has you covered.
You do not have to use this app with an internet connection, but you must have downloaded the flashcard sets before doing this.
So, you really do not have to worry about putting any strain on your phone battery life because this eliminates data or WiFi being needed. This will also make it more convenient for you to go and get in those study hours wherever you are.
- Integration with Quizlet and Cram - use the stacks of cards you have already made on these apps - or pull premade decks from them for EVEN MORE CARDS.
- Audio - text-to-speech in 18 different languages, we’d say that is pretty useful and makes this a great language-learning app.
- Available on Apple and Android devices, and the web -
- Downloadable cards - there are over 10,000 of these so you can really hammer that work out.
- No internet connection needed - just make sure you have downloaded the cards first!
- In-app purchases - if you have a BIG test this app may not give you enough flashcards straight away… Flashcards Lite starts you off with four decks with six cards each before you can opt into the Deluxe version.
That brings our top 5 to a close. Don’t get us wrong, there are so many different flashcard apps on the market - but if you flip for any of these, then you really can’t go far wrong!
Best Flashcard App
How Do You Use Flashcards Properly?
No question is a stupid question here! If used correctly, flashcards are definitely the best study method you can use. But, if you have never used them before then you may feel slightly clueless.
So, how should you use them to get full marks in that science test? Well, if it is key words that you need to memorize then we recommend writing the key word on one side of the card and then the definition on the other side.
- FRONT OF CARD: KEYWORD
- BACK OF CARD: DEFINITION
With ‘standard’ flashcards, you would most likely need someone to test you. But with the app version you can do this totally independently, and test yourself.
And there is no way that you can cheat! The only way you can cheat yourself is by not doing the work… 0/10 marks from us, we do not recommend this method at all.
Flashcards as app form makes studying easier than ever - okay, so this will increase your screen usage and might drain your battery quicker than you’d want, but it is way more convenient than filling your pockets or backpack with bits of paper.
How Do Flashcards Help with Learning?
Flashcards are not the most fun study tool in the world, but there is a solid justification for why they are still a go-to study method, and why they have been popular for hundreds of years. Why’s that? Because THEY WORK, duh!
Don’t get us wrong, the thought of flicking through a pile of flashcards is not what anyone would call exciting or the height of fun; but if you are a motivated learner or keen to do really well on that test, then if used properly flashcards are hands down the best way to hold onto all the important facts and figures, and you will be more than ready to power through that test.
So, flashcards force you to remember something from scratch, with only a slight prompt. This is active revision, and is much more effective than staring aimlessly at a textbook and hoping for something to stick in your brain, this is passive revision.
Flashcards engage active recall, which creates stronger neural connections for that trace of memory. This means that you are preparing your brain to be in that time-pressured environment, so the information should come to you a lot quicker than if you were to just spend time staring at a poster.
The premise of flashcards is to facilitate repetition, and so they are the best way to make many memory-enhancing recall events.
Yeah, flashcards are literally forcing you to pull information out of your memory rather than just looking right at it in a textbook, so this helps your performance in tests and should also give you more confidence going into a test.
If you are confident in your ability to remember and recall the information, then the only nerves you should have going into that test will be good ones.
So, you know how we mentioned messy piles of flashcards earlier… Well, okay they do tend to have some kind of organisation but aesthetically they are not the most pleasing.
Getting in from school to see your desk full of piles of cards will put you off before you even start. An app resolves this because the only space this takes up is your phone storage.
Don’t get us wrong, you can still have piles of flashcards in the app version - but this is way more organised. Flashcard apps will tend to let you categorise the flashcards into groups of cards that you are confident with and cards that you are not so confident with and that you need to go through again, and in most cases the app will actually do this for you.
This technique is known as spaced repetition, and really tests your brain to hold onto that information that you already know while taking in new information (we’ll call it new information because if you can’t remember it, then clearly you don’t know all that much about it!)
When you use the flashcard method of revising, this involves self-reflection which is known as metacognition. Sounding a bit much for flicking through some cards?
Hear us out here… Flashcards work so well because they force you to decide for yourself how well you know what is on each card, so in turn you take in the information better.
If you are honest with yourself and how well you remember the information, your brain will work harder to hold onto the information the more you test yourself.
When you check the answer on the side of the flashcard, you are deciding on how correct or how incorrect your answer is. This allows you as a student to hone in on any weak areas of study, fine-tune them, and consolidate how well the material is being absorbed. Honesty is the best policy here!