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The scientific research behind how Quizlet works

Studying on Quizlet is not only fun, but it’s also effective. Robust learning science principles guided us in creating tools to help you learn.


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Spaced repetition

Spaced repetition is a smart way to help you remember things for a long time. Quizlet helps you practice what you're learning just before you're about to forget it, which strengthens your long-term memory. As you keep practicing, you'll be able to wait longer and longer between study sessions until you can remember the information forever! We track your progress with memory scores that indicate how likely you are to recall what you’re learning at different points in the future. By spreading out your studying, you can make learning easier and make sure what you're learning really sticks.

Retrieval practice

The more you practice recalling a piece of information or retrieving it from memory, the more likely you are to remember it later on. This psychological finding explains why it’s so much more effective to study with flashcards or by taking a practice test than it is to look over your notes until you feel like you know them. Getting feedback enhances the effect further. Quizlet’s study tools are designed to help you maximize the benefits of retrieval practice. Keep practicing retrieval, even after you get a question right the first time!

Question types

The question types on Quizlet were carefully designed to help you study effectively and efficiently. When you answer written questions from memory (instead of copying over answers), this requires effortful retrieval or “recall”, which really helps you learn. Multiple choice questions are designed to get you through more questions in less time, with the added bonus of helping you learn the incorrect answer choices. If you study with flashcards or multiple choice questions, make sure to try to recall the right answer before you look at the solution!

Guidance fading

Learning is most effective when you get more instructional support early on, but gradually receive less and less until the guidance has “faded” completely and you’re doing all the work on your own. Quizlet provides this progression by moving you from easier multiple choice questions to more challenging written questions when you study with Quizlet's Learn mode. When you start studying, you might get multiple choice answers correct by process of elimination, or simply by recognizing the right answer, without practicing recall like you would with written questions.

Goal setting

Quizlet’s Learn mode study paths help you start strong when you launch a study session by helping you set a learning goal for yourself. Self-reflection before studying can help you get the most out of your time on Quizlet, in some cases increasing test scores by an average of one third of a letter grade. The key is to be as explicit as possible about your learning goals and keep them top of mind as you make progress!


Quizlet has earned the Research-Based Design product certification from Digital Promise, which serves as a rigorous, reliable signal for consumers, including school administrators, educators, and families looking for evidence of research-based educational technology products.