StudyBlue vs Brainscape vs Anki: Study Guide Services Compared
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StudyBlue vs Brainscape vs Anki: Study Guide Services Compared

StudyBlue includes a large selection of subjects that students can learn and also for teachers to use in the classroom. They are best suited for high school and college students. StudyBlue has a free basic program with added features with their pay subscriptions. Brainscape has a team of scientists that have developed a great way to make learning fun and effective. They have several pricing plans including a lifetime plan. Anki is totally free to use and offers many apps for students to create and use created cards. Their learning system is based on the spaced repetition principle, which is a proven way to remember and learn.
Covered in this report
StudyBlue — Best Features
Has hundreds of subjects listed to choose from.
They also offer international courses for high school and college students.
Best for: High school students, college students and teachers.
Brainscape — Best Features
Customers can use easy authoring tools on both our website and our mobile and tablet apps.
The ability to easily add images, animations, and sounds to your flashcards.
Best for: Students that are interested in uploading bulk flashcards and benchmark your progress.
Anki — Best Features
Offers the ability to download and use cards that have been created by others and also create your own cards.
Anki will handle decks of 100,000 plus flash cards.
Best for: Anyone that is interested in learning retention, memory skills and new subjects all for free.


StudyBlue is a collaborative learning system that helps more than 13 million students master any subject that they need to learn. Students can connect with others through their shared learning library.

StudyBlue Features

StudyBlue gives students some great features to learn or teach their subjects that include:

  • Learn faster: Creating and using digital study materials that can help you understand and memorize the study information faster.
  • Stress less: Access to a network of class specific material coupled with digital study tools makes learning easier.
  • Study anywhere: Create and study material on any device using free applications designed by StudyBlue for effective learning. Their study apps make it easy to study anywhere, on the bus, on the train, or sitting at home.
  • Get better grades: Get better grades on any test that can secure your future with a great job.
  • Maximize your time: Digital study tools make learning more efficient, allowing you to enjoy more leisure activities.

StudyBlue Learning Tools

StudyBlue is a crowdsourced learning service that was started to help everyone learn what they need to learn. Their learning tools include:

  • Create: The ability to use an intuitive to create and store study materials.
  • Discover: The ability to create and customize your own flashcards, add text, images and audio.
  • Validate: You can compare your study materials to others in your class and more.
  • Excel: The ability to reach your learning goals with their effective study modes and progress tracking.

StudyBlue lists hundreds of topics that include:

  • Algebra
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP US History
  • Automotive
  • Foreign Languages
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Liberal Arts
  • World Cultures
  • Writing

That is a small list of all of the subjects that StudyBlue lists for high school and college.

StudyBlue lists the following categories of learning tools:

  • Online flashcards
  • High school subjects
  • College courses
  • International

StudyBlue Plan Features and Prices



Pro Annual


Starts at $10 per month or $60 every 6 months

$7 per month billed $84 annually

Make your flashcards and notes

Borrow unlimited cards and notes from the StudyBlue library of over 350+ million study materials

Unlimited study guides

Upload, organize, and store all your notes and course materials

No ads

Borrow unlimited cards and notes from the StudyBlue library of over 350+ million study materials

Recommended content suggestions while making flashcards

Make your own flashcards and notes

No ads

Add images, audio, and advanced text features

Upload, organize, and store all your notes and course materials

Make your own flashcards and notes


Recommended content suggestions while making flashcards

Upload, organize, and store all your notes and course materials


Add images, audio, and advanced text features

Recommended content suggestions while making flashcards


Offline mode on iOS and Android

Add images, audio, and advanced text features

All plans offer offline mode on iOS and Android apps.

StudyBlue is best suited for all high school and college students, and not really suited for younger children.

What Customers Say About StudyBlue

If you are interested in learning tools like flashcards either as a student or a teacher, StudyBlue is free to use, but their subscription fees give you more options. Getting started on StudyBlue is quick and easy if you are just looking for a quick study tool.

One student wrote that she was able to raise her GPA (grade point average) from a 2.8 to a 3.8 in just one semester and was able to maintain that GPA with the use of the StudyBlue flashcards.

Another student wrote the following comments “StudyBlue has really helped me succeed in retaining and learning concepts. Not only do I find it incredibly useful but some of my fellow classmates also make flashcards and it's a great way to study from another person's perspective. I would recommend StudyBlue to ANY student!”

Jack, a high school student had this to say about StudyBlue, “My notes are now organized and easily accessible! I love using the mobile app because I always have my phone with me so I can study at any time without carrying an extra deck of flash cards.”


Brainscape started after they realized that learning can be slow, boring and sometimes not effective. They apply the latest in cognitive science research to make studying as accessible, fun, and effective as humanly possible.

Their team of scientists combined with software engineers has developed a great way to make learning fun and effective. Their core experience is based on a scientifically proven adaptive flashcards algorithm that repeats concepts in a pattern that is optimized to your pace of learning.

Brainscape Advantages

Brainscape claims that their confidence based repetition technique is scientifically proven to help everyone learn more efficiently than every before. They base this on over 800 academic studies that have recently proven the efficiency of space repetition. Brainscape makes this all more of a personalized study course.

Their websites have whitepapers on this very subject with the following three points:

  • Active recall: Think of the answer in your head.
  • Meta cognition: This will help you rate your confidence.
  • Spaced repetition: A customized stream of flash cards that helps everyone learn faster.

Based on a study conducted by Columbia University, those using Brainscape increased their learning retention twice as fast.

Brainscape Features

Brainscape has many features that include the following:

  • Find great flashcards: Students and teachers will have the ability to browse thousands of subjects that have been created by teachers, publishers and students.
  • Create great flashcards: You can use easy authoring tools on both our website and our mobile and tablet apps.
  • Study progressively: By using Brainscape's smart flashcards repetition system, you can learn faster.
  • Collaborate with classmates: Using their Manage editing permissions will help spread the work among multiple students.
  • Share your subject: The ability to post a link to your subject on your class website, or tweet it to the rest of the world.
  • Bulk upload entire decks: You will be able to import dozens of text-based flashcards at once, using a two-column .csv file.
  • Upload media: The ability to easily add images, animations, and sounds to your flashcards.
  • Format beautiful content: Transform boring text using bold, italics, bullets, numbered lists, and other HTML tweaks.
  • Track a student’s progress: You will be able to monitor the participation and mastery of all students in a shared subject.
  • Navigate your content: Flip through cards, search for specific cards, or view whole decks with their print preview.
  • Benchmark your progress: The ability to compare your commitment levels with friends and with learners around the world.
  • Bookmark your flashcards: Mark specific flashcards to review later with a teacher or tutor.

Brainscape Pricing Plans

On Brainscape, it is always free to create, share and study your own content. By upgrading to their Pro plans, you will get the following Pro features:

  • Study unlimited premium content
  • Study bookmarked cards
  • Add images and sounds
  • Use advanced editor
  • Customize subject icons
  • Reset study statistics
  • Import CSV
  • Export CSV
  • Reverse flashcards
  • Sell all learner’s stats in your subjects
  • Make your subjects private
  • Access your private subjects

Brainscape has the following Pro Plan subscription prices:

  • Cram - $9.99 per month billed monthly
  • Semester - $4.99 per month billed $29.94 every 6 months
  • Year - $2.99 per month that is billed $35.88 every 12 months
  • Lifetime plan - $79.99 is a one time payment


Anki is a learning tool that makes remembering topics and subjects easy. It is a lot more efficient than traditional learning methods. Students can greatly decrease the time you study and greatly increase the amount you learn at the same time. Anki is perfect for anyone that needs to learn and remember things in their daily life.

Since they are content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless. A small list of things anyone can learn and remember through their study tools include:

  • Learning a new language
  • Studying for medical and law exams
  • Memorizing people’s names and faces
  • Recalling geography
  • Mastering long poems
  • Practicing guitar chords

How Anki Works

The Anki learning system is based on the spaced repetition principle. If you are willing to learn the system, and it does take some learning, you will be surprised at just how well you can learn memory and recall with this system.

You will begin with creating your set or deck of cards, like the old flashcards. Then you will be connected into a free service which includes many shared and already made cards. Some users have created and shared extensive decks for subject to help you learn from anatomy to a foreign language.

It is easy to create your own deck of cards on Anki. Once you create your own cards, Anki is intelligent enough to create multiple cards based on your input data. If you are new to this system or Anki, it is recommended that you start with a ready-made pack of cards until you get used to the system. After this, it will be easier to make your own cards. Most reviews are positive and that this system really helps you to learn and memorize many subjects.

Anki Features

Anki includes the following learning features:

  • Synchronization: Customers can use the free AnkiWeb synchronization service to keep your cards in sync across multiple devices.
  • Flexibility: Anki has a wealth of options for you to customize from flash card layouts to review timing.
  • Media rich: Customers have the ability to embed audio clips, images, videos and scientific markup on your flashcards, with precise control over how they are shown.
  • Optimized: Anki will handle decks of 100,000 plus flash cards.
  • Extensible: Anki offers a large number of add-ons.
  • Open source: The code and storage format is open; your important data is safe.

Downloading Anki

Anki works on many platforms including desktop and mobile, so customers can learn anywhere at any time. Each of the following platforms has many downloading and installing notes and instructions.

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux/BSD
  • iPhone
  • Android

Their website includes user’s manuals, introduction videos, and support and community discussion forums.

Anki Prices

At this time, Anki is completely free to use and their hosting costs are supported by the sales of the iPhone apps.

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