The 5 Best Online Flashcards of 2020

Ramp up your study habits with these flashcard apps

The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
Introduction

A tried-and-true study aid, flashcards are just as effective in the age of apps and social media. No longer do you need a marker and a stack of index cards to create these handy study aids, because digital flashcards are available in all shapes and sizes.

Most of the options listed in this guide allow you to design and use flashcards on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you prefer the old-fashioned way, some also provide the ability to print.

Each of the flashcard providers on this list support all major web browsers, as well as Android and iOS.

01
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Brainscape

A sample screen from the Brainscape iOS app
What We Like
  • Learns along with you, focusing on problem areas in future sessions.

What We Don't Like
  • Daily card limit for non-paying users is not enough for deep subject dives.

With a sleek interface and millions of subscribers, Brainscape is one of our favorite options on this list. Their color-coded flashcards span a huge array of subjects, and you can easily track your progress through Brainscape's sensible class structure. While the free version does have a lot to offer, you'll need to upgrade to a paid membership for unlimited flashcards, bookmarking, and the ability to add images and audio to your own cards.

Download:

Download:

02
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Cram

A sample screen from the Cram iOS app
What We Like
  • Member base of three million users means the huge repository of existing flashcards is constantly growing.

What We Don't Like
  • Controls aren't always intuitive and can cause some of your work to be erased if you aren't careful.

Offering an immense flashcard library with almost 200 million to choose from, Cram allows you to search by keywords or from hundreds of predefined subjects, including computer science, language, education, and medicine, among others. It also offers the ability to create your own flashcard sets, or to import existing cards from Google Drive. 

Download:

Download:

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Anki

What We Like
  • Uses artificial intelligence and Spaced Repetition to maximize learning potential.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited scope (memorization) combined with a rigid schedule may limit usefulness for some users.

With a focus on efficiency, Anki leverages cognitive science and artificial intelligence to "trick your brain into remembering just about anything. The app uses an evidence-based learning technique called Spaced Repetition to maximize the amount of learning that is possible within a given study session. Anki tracks and delivers the flashcards that the AI has determined you need to work on, providing you with your very own study buddy.

Download:

Download:

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StudyBlue

A sample screen from the StudyBlue iOS app
What We Like
  • Refine searches all the way down to your particular school and class.

What We Don't Like
  • Isn't really useful if you aren't currently in school.

In addition to subject-specific guides and class notes, StudyBlue provides access to over 400 million flashcards crowdsourced from 15+ million students spread out across the globe. Decks are recommended based on your profile data and user-configured filters, making it easy to jump right in.

Download:

Download:

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Quizlet

A sample screen from the Quizlet iOS app
What We Like
  • Audio pronunciations are spot-on in over a dozen dialects.

What We Don't Like
  • Monthly subscription required for some advanced features, although you can get by just fine without it.

Quizlet's study sets contain several learning tools including basic flashcards that have both text and audio readings of each. As a student, choose from a large library of topics or create your own set from scratch. Teachers can construct their own classroom plans with custom study cards, and even collaborate with other educators to compile an ideal deck. 

Download:

Download: