The words "final exam" and "fun" rarely find themselves in close proximity, but with the advent of new game-based learning sites, that may be changing. There are numerous ways that you can now combine studying for your exams or just practicing skills for a course with having fun playing games and hanging out online. Really! Here are just a few of the great sites that are embracing game-based learning. Give them a try — they might just make you actually want to stay in to study for a change.
If you need to study for the GMAT, GRE, MCAT, or just biology and accounting, you’ll find some help through BenchPrep. Students who visit the site can take study courses in a wide range of subjects as well as work through flashcards. In the coming months, the site plans to add additional games and leaderboards to encourage studying and to make the whole process of test prep a little less painful.
Smarterer won’t necessarily help you study, but it will help you to pinpoint the areas where you need to focus your studying. Through the site, students can take a wide range of short tests that assess their knowledge of just about everything, from Twitter to basic algebra. The tests reveal a knowledge score and areas of weakness, and students can come back and retest to track what they’ve learned.
- Course Hero:
Through Course Hero, students can get a whole lot of help with studying. There are study documents, online tutors, courses, video lectures, and even flashcards that can make studying more of a game. Students who don’t want to use flashcards alone can work in groups or can bring flashcards on their phones to a real-life study session.
Adaptive learning is a hot topic right now, and this site makes use of the technology in helping college students prepare for tests like the GMAT and GRE. Edvento is all about making studying fun, and the practice tests and resources are designed to make test prep a lot less stressful. Even better, the site tracks student progress and helps to identify areas where more study is needed, so students are never wasting time.
- Word Dynamo:
Whether you’re practicing vocab for the SAT, want to polish your Spanish, or need to bone up on tech terms, this game-based learning site from Dictionary.com can help. The site teaches the words through a series of games, including matching, crosswords, listening, and flashcards, so that learning new things never feels like a chore.
Grockit is a site focused on test prep for big exams like the GRE and LSAT. It doesn’t offer up study games per se, but it certainly does making studying more pleasurable, adding online tutoring, video courses, and online group studying. At the crux of the site are practice exams, which can be used to track study progress and to identify areas where students are struggling.
- Study Stack:
Can’t get enough of studying with flashcards? Study Shack will be right up your alley, then. The site makes it possible to easily make or use flashcards to study any subject. It tracks how many you’ve gotten right and wrong, which can be useful in determining how much studying you still need to do.
FunnelBrain takes the flashcard method of studying one step further. You can create flashcards and use them online, but you can also create study teams and work together online using the cards. There are also games, quizzes, and other fun study tools that can make the whole experience a lot more pleasant.
- Flashcard Machine:
Create and share flashcards to help you study bio terms or brush up on your French vocab through this game-focused site. Once cards are created, they can be shared with friends or a study group, and can be accessed via iPhone or iPad.
Have to memorize something for class? This site can make the process a little easier and more fun. Students can create a study page, then use different methods, like flashcards, matching, or multiple choice, to study the material for the course. Images can also be integrated, as can reading material, and the whole thing can easily be shared with friends and classmates.
Those who need to review more basic material, like algebra, can find some help on this site. It’s full of educational games that can be incredibly fun to play. If you don’t see a game that appeals to you, however, the site also offers the ability (for a cost) to create your own learning games.
- Flashcard Stash:
You won’t miss your basic old flashcards after using this fun site that’s loaded with quiz-based games to help you learn vocab, science, and history. Simply create or choose a word list, then play in practice mode, matching, waterfall, or simple flashcards to start learning.
- Spelling City:
Give your vocab a boost or finally learn how to spell some tricky words with the help of this game-based site. You can play everything from crosswords to matching to hangman to get your study on through the site. While it’s geared towards younger learners, it does feature word lists that are at the high school level.
- Science Review Games:
Those who need to review for a science course in astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, meteorology, or physics should check out this game-focused site. You can study terms and answer science questions while playing soccer, basketball, or a multiple-choice test.
If you can’t find a game that meets your study needs, make one using this site. It allows users to create games, quizzes, and learning activities for free. There are loads of templates and tutorials to get you started.
Twitter doesn’t have to just be a tool for keeping up with your favorite celebrities and sharing what you’re doing. It can also be used to study. You can play games in real-time via OuTwitMe that help you learn with your friends. Options include tweet quizzes, hangman, work connections, guess the word, and more.
- Study Jams:
The games on Study Jams can help you to understand the basics of scientific and mathematical topics. While geared toward younger learners, even college-age students will find some of the games to be a great review of topics like data analysis, algebra, and anatomy.
- Power Up:
This amazing 3-D game will have you trying to save planet Helios from ecological devastation. It’s a great way to build your understanding of ecology topics and to have a little bit of fun while doing it.
Lumosity doesn’t focus on a single topic, instead aiming to build your brain power up by improving memory, problem solving, and attention, all of which can be a big help in your academic life. Sign up to start training your brain for free through games and quizzes that will challenge you and give your mind a serious workout.
Those hoping to begin a career in nanotech, or who just want to understand the principles of it, can have some real fun learning about it in the Nanoquest game. The game requires players to understand things like differently charged particles and the construction of nanoparts, which can not only be interesting, but fun too.
Curriki offers access to almost 45,000 different learning resources, including links to loads of games that can be used to study. Simply search the site for games and you’ll find links to sites that are full of games related to a wide range of topics.
- Supreme Decision:
Those in law school or who are studying civics will appreciate this game that puts you in the place of a Supreme Court judge. The iCivics site was the brainchild of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, so you know that the material and the information will be sound. When you’re done with Supreme Decision, you can play 15 other civics-related games.
- Filament Games:
The Filament Games site is packed with great games that are fun but that can also be educational. You can study everything from oncology to the law, and even learn a bit about topics you’ve never taken courses on. There’s a game for just about everything that can help you to practice skills and build your knowledge, regardless of your level of understanding.
MindSnacks is an app rather than a website, but it’s such a great study tool that we had to include it here. Currently, the site offers tools for game-based study of a wide range of foreign languages and SAT vocab. Features for geography and math are coming soon. MindSnacks has received raves, as one of the most fun ways to learn out there today, so make sure to check it out if you need a little help studying Italian, Portuguese, or even more advanced words in English.