For Teachers

For Parents


  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 16+
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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 - Smart Flashcards 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.

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Additional Information

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Engagement and Usability
Organisational and Productivity Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No



Download Brainscape - Smart Flashcards

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Screenshots for Brainscape

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Find, create, and share "smart flashcards" on any device. DOUBLE your learning speed using the most effective study system on the planet. Keep all your content in sync across Brainscape’s website and all your devices.

Brainscape works by personalizing the TIMING of each flashcard repetition, using proven cognitive science. Whether you’re learning a language, preparing for a test, or just acquiring some fun trivia, Brainscape spaces the repetition of each bite-sized concept based on exactly the right interval for YOUR brain.

All you have to do is rate how well you know each concept, on a scale of 1-5, and Brainscape determines the right time to quiz you again. It's strangely addicting and is scientifically proven to slash your required study time.

So where do all of Brainscape’s great flashcards come from? Three places:

(1) THE WORLD’S TOP EXPERTS. Brainscape partners with top publishers, schools, and educators to create flashcards for subjects as diverse as Spanish, French, MCAT, Bar Exam, Music Theory, SAT prep, AP US History, AP Chemistry, CPA, Series 7 prep, and Sports Trivia. Unlike other exclusively student-generated flashcard platforms like Quizlet, StudyBlue, Anki, or CourseHero, you can feel confident that your Brainscape flashcards have been fully vetted by experts.

(2) YOUR PEERS. Top students, professors, teachers, and businesses around the world have created over 1 million subjects that are available to search on our Marketplace.

(3) YOU! You can easily create multimedia flashcards very easily both on Brainscape’s website AND within the app itself. You can also share your decks with your classmates and collaboratively develop content together.

Making, sharing, and finding great user-generated flashcards is FREE. And Brainscape's new Pro subscription option gives you access to unlimited premium content, as well as several additional features on the website, and a bunch of new features coming in later versions.

The Brainscape Pro subscription can be purchased within the app, in billing increments of Monthly ($9.99 billed monthly), Semiannually ($29.99 billed every 6 months), and Annually ($35.99 billed yearly), as well as a Lifetime subscription option for $79.99.

The three recurring subscriptions will renew automatically within 24 hours prior to the end of the current period, unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the period. You can cancel auto-renewal any time by going to Account Settings; the cancellation will apply after the active subscription period is complete. Feel free to learn more about our Terms and Privacy Policy at

In the future, Brainscape plans to make our learning system infinitely more efficient, convenient, fun, and social, so please be sure to give us feedback to help us improve the product. It is users like YOU who have helped us reach a community of millions of learners already. Help us create a Brainscape community that spans the whole world of learners!

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