• Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 16+
Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

About Brainscape

Brainscape is a brain training app that focuses on the science of repetition. With an extensive library of flashcards ranging from languages and vocabulary to history and mythology, Brainscape offers a of variety of study options for students, teachers, or the casual learner.

Brainscape Review

Brainscape is a flashcard app founded by researchers  from Columbia University and Yale University. It allows users to utilize a database of readymade subject collections or create their own decks to study.

Brainscape has a vast number of card decks available, and the service is available to schools and businesses. If your organization wants its teams to develop their skills, this is the app to choose.

It offers a combination of certified classes and user-generated sets. The quality is high, but not all of them are free. Some are effectively try-before-you-buy, and you can only unlock the full set through a subscription. You can build and share your own, as well.

Brainscape lacks the more detailed features of something like Quizlet, but it’s good-looking and fun to use.


Like many popular flashcard tools, Brainscape utilizes knowledge-building repetition during study sessions. Users judge their knowledge for each vocabulary word on a five-point scale, ranging from "not at all" to "perfectly." Words that are higher on the scale will be shown less in study sessions. This system allows for more efficient and effective memorization. 

Brainscape offers a seemingly endless supply of subjects to study: college entrance exams, languages, professional certifications, and many other academic subjects. Each of these areas then contains a range of specific decks. For instance, I chose Mandarin as the topic and reviewed decks related to business Chinese, the HSK (a chinese proficiency examination), and grammar. The free version allows access to parts of these decks, which still amounts to hours worth of studying.

This flashcard service works well on both phones and computers. My account seamlessly updated as I switched between devices. This feature turns long commutes into nice study sessions.


There a few technical aspects of Brainscape that I feel are detractions. First, it asks users to choose a certain number of words that they would like to study at the beginning of each session. However, spaced repetition for memorization works better within a strict regimented format. There should be an option to standardize each session to make it more routine, which pushes learners to actually reach a goal, even if they don’t feel like studying. 

Similarly, the method of choosing how well you know a word permits users to jump from not knowing at all (1) to a knowing it perfectly (5). True memorization doesn’t work with dramatic jumps in proficiency levels for individual vocabulary. The app should force users to make gains sequentially, from one to two, two to three, etc, in order to deliberately build knowledge.   

Using the app longterm will necessitate upgrading the account. Pricing ranges from $9.99 per month to a special $79.99 lifetime payment. The upgrade gives users  premium classes and expanded controls. There are free or cheaper competitors available that can facilitate similar training, but they  might not have the seamless features of Brainscape.

Our Takeaway:

Overall, Brainscape is a solid flashcard app in a crowded market. Though, for me it feels less like a compulsory study tool and more like a supplemental resource. The free version provides enough features to make it worth checking out. If the app fits your needs, the price might be a little steep. But, the investment could be worthwhile if you plan on using it daily for an extended period.

Additional Information

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Engagement and Usability
Organisational and Productivity Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No



Download Brainscape

Downloadfor Android Downloadfor iOS

Screenshots for Brainscape

  • Brainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart FlashcardsBrainscape - Smart Flashcards