Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Cram ($29.99) is a flash card application for the Mac. Cram lets you create multiple-choice quizzes, track your progress, and even make flash cards. Cram also has a Test Portal, where you can find and download other users tests, either from Cram's own test service or Quizlet. Cram is a very neat app, but it does come with some weak points. It has some unique features, but also has many flaws to go with them.

Cram allows you to sort your quizzes into categories or the application's sidebar. The main section of the window has a list of all your quizzes that are in the selected category. You can select a test and then click  details to edit the test questions, study to view the test as flash cards, start test to take the quiz, or history to view past scores. Also, the share test button allows other Cram users to view your test and also allows you to put the test on your iPhone if you have Cram for iPhone ($6.99). I will go into more detail of the iPhone app later in the review. Obviously, the edit button allows you to edit the test's title and the delete button allows you to delete the test.

When making a new quiz you have many options. You have a text box for a question and five more for possible answers. Cram doesn't allow you to customize the amount of questions. You can also use the answer bank to generate answers. the answer bank allows you to type in possible choices for answers before you start making the question. Then, when you are making the question, you can choose and answer from the answer bank and have it fill in the rest of the possible answers with items from the answer bank. The answer bank bug me a little in a few ways. First of all, you can not add to the answer bank without canceling the question you are editing. Secondly, the answer bank does not give you different answer choices each time you take the quiz. It only fill the question in while you are creating it and is doesn't change after that.

Another feature of Cram is adding picture and audio to the questions. I think Cram should allow you to record audio right from the question creation window. Also, it would be nice to use the iSight for taking photos right from there too.

One last thing that bugs me when creating questions within Cram is that you have to click new every time you would like to make a new question. There is no way to automatically make a new question after you finish the last one.

Also, another thing to note, when viewing your questions, it does not show the answer in a column next to them like you would expect.

When taking the test, you have the question on the top and the four choices on the bottom. You can use your mouse to select a choice and the green arrow to move on to the next question. You can also use the "A", "B", "C", "D", and "E" buttons on your keyboard to select and the arrow keys to move between questions. It would be nice if the application let you use the number keys 1-5 to choose A-E. It would be much easier because they are next to each other on the keyboard in stead of being spread apart.

I would like to see Cram include different types of quizzes along with multiple choice, for example, one where you actually type in the answer. This would add variety to it, plus, it is hard to study with multiple choice if you need to learn how to spell something.

When you finish the test, it is graded for you. Cram saves your scores so you can compare them to past scores. You also have an option to share your scores over Twitter.

Cram's study mode is my favorite part of Cram. It allows you to view the quiz as flashcards and quickly go through them with the arrow keys. You can also reverse the cards so you see the answer first and then the question. The study mode doesn't keep track of how many questions you correctly answered. I think Cram should allow you to mark the flashcard to indicate whether you answered it correctly, and then, next time you study, it should play the cards you missed more frequently. Besides this, the study mode is nearly perfect.

Cram is a very nice study took and is very polished, but it is missing out on some things that would make it even better. It would be nice if Cram could automatically mix in answers from other questions into a question instead of using the answer bank. This way, it would have a different answer every time. In addition to that, you would be able to reverse the test in the same way you reverse the flash cards.

Overall, Cram for Mac is a very neat way to study. You can find many flashcards already made on the test portal. Cram can really help you ace your next test.

Cram for iPhone ($6.99) lets you take your tests you make in Cram on your iPhone. You can also create test on the iPhone or make them on a text editor and upload them to your account on Cram's website. Cram for iPhone is very limited. It doesn't have any way to synchronize the quizzes automatically or even move a quiz for your iPhone to Cram for Mac. Cram for iPhone needs a lot of work, but if you really would like to study on the go, Cram for iPhone is the way to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment