Cram: The Mac Study Assistant

To be completely truthful, anyone can use some extra help when it comes to learning a new subject. The study process can often involve late nights, sitting in front of a ridiculously heavy textbook, and a tall can of your favorite energy drink.

Cram is a simple and easy-to-use study and testing tool that can be your go-to study buddy when you room mate is out partying. By simply entering a set of questions and answers into the application once, Cram will help you review for the upcoming exam with flash-cards. Afterwards, take a practice test, apply the knowledge, and see how much you have remembered.

The Cram Interface

The Cram Interface

Creating Tests

Before you can start studying, you need to enter in the information about the test that you want to study for. Cram allows you to randomize the questions and answers, a nice feature that for those who want to ensure a full grasp of the concepts being learned. If finishing in a timely manner is essential, Cram is also able to accommodate your needs with timed testing.

Creating a New Test

Creating a New Test

Adding Questions to Your Tests

Creating questions in Cram is a straightforward process which includes support for up to five multiple choice answers, or answers supplied through a pre-defined “answer bank”.

Cram is also able to display images and audio that may help you learn quicker, a feature that is excellent for visual and auditory learners.

New Questions

New Questions

The downside to entering information is that only one question (and it’s answers) can be filled in at a time. There is no next button that will present you with a new blank window to enter another question without having to click the New question button after entering each and every single question.

Studying

Studying in Cram is a very simple process, and allows you to focus entirely on getting your head around the material at hand.

Flashcards

Clicking the Study icon, you are presented with flash-cards based on the questions and answers you previously entered. The flash-cards can play audio and show images, in addition to the questions and and/or answers.

Flashcards

Flashcards

Testing

Taking a practice test in the application is uncomplicated and very traditional as well.

Completing a Test

Completing a Test

After you finish the test, your results are shown, along with the correct answers for questions answered incorrectly.

Results

Results

Doing More with Your Tests

Cram also allows you to share your tests with other Cram users, and download their tests as well – a nice feature for those taking generic courses.

Another useful feature in Cram is its ability to print out a copy of the tests, for those times when you prefer to practice the old fashioned way.

Printout View

Printout View

Conclusion

Overall, Cram is a great tool that has the ability to enhance your study workflow. However, a drawback for me is the task of entering test questions into Cram. It seems like a tedious task that outweighs the benefit of being dynamically tested by the application.

It isn’t perfect, but is one of the best study-aid applications I have seen so far. An alternative to Cram is a simple flash-card application called iFlash for Mac by Loopware, but is solely for studying in the flash-card format.

Cram is developed by SimpleLeap and is available for download as a free trial, while the full version goes for $34.99.

We’ll be giving away 5 free copies of Cram later this week, so be sure to follow us on Twitter or via RSS to ensure you don’t miss out!


  • http://kimsokol.com Kim

    Another free alternative (although not nearly as in-depth) is Genius. I used it a fair bit the last couple of years of college; if you’re a flashcard nut like me, it’s useful.

    http://web.mac.com/jrc/Genius/

  • http://www.bambooapps.com Cesar Tardaguila

    I am the developer, so I am a bit biased, but may I suggest another alternative, named Keep Your Word (http://www.bambooapps.com/kyw) focused on vocabulary learning?

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      I’d second taking a look at Keep Your Word – it’s a great application for vocab learning.

  • D3V4

    The application is interesting, I would really like to see how it could improve my personal studying process, but I think it’s just too expensive for what it does. At $34.99 I better write the tests myself on NeoOffice ^^

    • http://www.simpleleap.com/cram/mac.htm Ashli Norton

      There is a discount code available for this app:

      STUDENTDISCOUNT

      It also works with the iPhone/iPod Touch, so it will automatically sends your tests and flashcards to your phone.

      • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

        Thanks for the tip Ashli

      • http://dev4stat1on.deviantart.com D3V4

        Thanks for the info! Do you know how much the app is with the discount?

      • http://www.simpleleap.com/cram/mac.htm Patrick Chukwura

        The ‘STUDENTDISCOUNT’ code, takes off an additional 15% ($29.74). We have also fixed the purchase/download link for Cram iPhone.

        Thanks.

      • http://blog.nostalgic-garden.org Adam

        STUDENTDISCOUNT does not work. Anyone having different luck?

  • http://www.rossgardt.de Benedikt R.

    How much does the application cost with the students discount? (The ‘Buy’ link on SimpleLeap’s homepage is not working.)

    I think the iPhone App’s interface is rubbish – it seems not to be user friendly and not worked out very well. In addition to that, there’s not even a lite version for the iPhone.

    All things, that won’t make me use this application. :-(

    • http://www.simpleleap.com/cram/mac.htm Ashli Norton

      We are sorry you feel this way about Cram for iPhone.

      We have received high marks from CNET for Cram iPhone (4 out of 5) and MacWorld said”…for creating multiple-choice tests, Cram cannot be beat.”

      We hope you get a chance to actually try both Cram for Mac and iPhone and see how well they sync and help you test.

      Thanks for your feedback.

  • http://www.ejenks.com Erik Jenkins

    Yet another free alternative is Schoolhouse. It says it’s a homework manager, which it mainly is, but it can also be used for studying. It is a very nice, in-depth app that every student should have.

    http://www.loganscollins.com/schoolhouse/

    • http://rubensantiago.me Ruben Santiago

      It’s actually a wonderful piece of software. The only thing is it’s developer has stopped developing it.

      I loved it while I used it though, it only had minor issues/gripes.

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  • Vagelis Ballas

    What I miss is the opportunity to create the tests and then have them forwarded and filled in by ‘students, and the results to come back to me.
    A runtime for Cram should then be given for free to the ‘students,.

    Then I ‘d pay even more …

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  • Richard

    I am officially a senior citizen and collecting Social Security. I figure I can create testing flash cards, etc. to help keep my mind sharp, so hopefully, I can keep dementia at bay. Did I mention I want to help keep dementia at bay? Why am i typing this again?

  • Nick

    Can mac.appstorm.net post apps that help to make multiple choice exams. Smth more professional than cram as this app is more for personal study.

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