Quizlet+ is Damaging Students

Quizlet+ is Damaging Students

Ainsley Raymond '24, Writer

What can you do to help the students? A large number of students have been struggling ever since the big change by Quizlet. Quizlet now costs money to use all of its features; Quizlet Plus. Quizlet’s “learn” and “test” features now require Quizlet Plus. “Learn” has all of the key features and puts them together into one section. It allows students to pick which study styles they like best and make a custom study set. These features include written/ spelling, flashcards, and multiple choice. The “test” section allows us to do practice tests to prepare for our exams. It is very problematic that these sections are now locked. Because of this change, students’ study habits have rapidly changed for the worse and grades have majorly declined, including my own. No student is willing to pay for a system that used to be available to them for free. Schools should pay for Quizlet Plus for students. 

Many students at my high school no longer have the determination to study, and it is poorly reflected in everything. I use Quizlet in almost all of my classes, and this has been a big change that is detrimental to us as students. High school students especially need this resource for their advanced classes. Earlier this week, I was trying to study for a Spanish level 3 Honors quiz. I went through “learn” 5 quick times and then it said that I was ‘out of all of the free attempts I had’. Also, I tried using “test”, and it only allows 1 round. Studying is taking me much longer now. This is a very inconvenient use of my time, especially while having to manage other school work, sports, and my personal life. Studying used to be fun and easy. Now, it’s just a burden. For example, it used to take me only 1-2 days to learn a new set of Spanish vocabulary. I was able to learn it in a way that really helped me process the words. I made custom sets through “learn” that allowed me to identify the translations of the words, and learn how to spell them. I also used “test” to practice for the format of my quizzes. Now, I only have the separate options of using “flashcards” and “matching”. These formats do not help me learn the words as much as the “learn” section obviously would. Now, it is taking me 4-5 days to fully grasp the translations of all of the words, and most importantly know how to write/spell them. 

This change also doesn’t just affect language classes. I had an AP biology test, and the class average was 67%. I wondered why it was so low even though we had a Quizlet set to study from. I soon realized that it was because none of the students had Quizlet Plus because they ‘didn’t want to spend money on it if it used to be free’. To benefit the grades, the school should pay for this feature. The grade average would’ve been significantly higher, and the students would’ve learned more. This would also benefit teachers. The students’ good grades would reflect positively on them and the school as a whole. 

To add to the grade aspect, Quizlet’s change is setting students up for their grades to decrease rapidly. In my AP English class, 2/20 students chose to pay for this system. That’s only 10% of the normal class size. This shows that students do not want to pay for Quizlet Plus. An AP-level student from Austin Preparatory School, Alexa, stated her opinion on Quizlet Plus saying, “I do not like Quizlet. I think it’s stupid that you have to pay for Quizlet Plus all of a sudden, and that Austin Prep doesn’t pay for it. Alexa, along with other students and teachers, agrees that the new Quizlet update is bad. This study system is used for so much more than just regular class quizzes/ tests too. In SAT prep class, we were talking about study resources and how to prepare for the exam. My teacher, Mr. Sullivan, who helps make the SAT test questions stated, “It’s important to use Quizlet. It’s a very useful source when studying for vocab words before the SAT. It makes studying more manageable”. Especially now that it’s post covid, schools are making test scores mandatory again. Test scores will fall rapidly if students can’t study and prepare the proper way. Mr. Sullivan also told us that in the test reading section, 17% of 52 questions are based on vocabulary. That’s about 9 questions that you could risk not getting points for. At Austin Prep, they made SAT prep classes be 2 semesters for juniors instead of just one. This was enforced in order to boost test scores. Since the school wants our test scores to continue to go up, they should pay for the program for all students in order to fulfill that wish. 

Austin Prep should provide Quizlet Plus for students because they pay for many other school subscriptions for students. At Austin Prep on the Veracross website, we have access to an online library; Fr. Smith Library. In this library, we have access to 23 different platforms that allow us to do all different types of research and learning. Some of the popular websites are JSTOR, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times. Many of the kids at school don’t even know that this library even exists, let alone with prepaid subscriptions by the school. At the beginning of the school year in my AP English class, I was introduced for the first time to these websites through the online library. Throughout my past two years at the school, I had no idea that that even existed. This further shows that students may not even use these resources that are being paid for us. So why not pay for something that we will use? Austin Prep could also pay for Quizlet Plus along with these other subscriptions. This would be very appreciated by all students because more than three-fourths of the student body uses Quizlet. Unlike the other resources, the advantage of having this paid for us will go to use by many kids. 

Changing Quizlet to require money was the biggest mistake that that company has ever made. It made so many people, especially students, infuriated. Nobody wants to spend money on a system that used to be free to them. The inconvenience of studying is now an issue, along with poor grades. Schools should pay for Quizlet Plus to benefit students and their knowledge.