Complicated subjects and homework overload make many students struggle in class. Overwhelmed with the number of assignments and being short of time, many seek assistance online. Many platforms claim to be both competent and effective in dealing with student needs and capable of meeting their requirements—to lessen the workload, cover knowledge gaps, provide 24/7 expert assistance, give answers, and help improve understanding and grades. Yet, all of them have their specific features, and the key to success is to make an informed decision.
In this article, we’ve compiled a comparison of the three most popular learning platforms for students, their features, costs, pros and cons so that you can find the best textbook solution option for you. Following the brief comparison chart are the detailed reviews of the platforms.
|Slader (Quizlet Explanations)||Chegg||Course Hero|
|Plans & Prices||$35.99/year
(+free 7-day trial)
|Chegg Study Pack ($19.95/mo)
Chegg Study ($14.95/mo)
($59.85/every 3 months)
|Materials Covered||~64 subjects||9,000 books||60 million study materials|
|24/7 Homework Help||No||Yes||Yes|
|College/Grad Students||High school students,
We’ll start with Chegg. Hardly is there a student who has never heard about this online platform. Packed with services from textbook rentals to math solver to expert Q&A, it is quite renowned.
First of all, the platform offers book purchases and rentals. Secondly, Chegg’s Study packs provide a range of features to help students with their studies. Textbook Solutions is a place to check your homework: search the book by an ISBN, browse by a chapter, and see if you got your answers right. Students can also use the Expert Q&A section to ask a question not covered in the textbooks. Experts take an average of 46 minutes to answer. Math Solver is quite outstanding, either. Next, there are Flashcards; they are good for all types of studying where you need to memorize a lot of stuff. Last but not least, the platform updates information about internships and scholarships and provides financial advice to students.
You can sign up for free first and get limited access to certain functions:
If you decide to go on with the paid version, two subscription options are available:
|Chegg Study Pack
Other services can also be purchased separately:
|Chegg Flashcards||Chegg Writing
|3 solutions/day free or unlimited access with a paid subscription.||Create flashcards or study pre-existing sets created by other students.||Use a plagiarism and grammar checker. Create citations and bibliography entries.||Rent both digital and physical copies of textbooks.|
How It Works
- Go to Chegg and create/log in to your account.
- Start using the service for free, then choose your plan: Chegg Study or Chegg Study Pack.
- Get a lot of help with your studies.
- Before you subscribe, you can test some features: Chegg Practice (up to 5 questions per month), Chegg Math Solver (3 solutions a day), and Chegg Writing (a free 3-day trial).
Chegg is great as a study and revision tool, a comparison service, a place to get your books cheap, and overall as a platform for all things studying.
- An extensive range of services for students
- Math solver is cool
- Available as a web platform, on the App Store, and on Google Play.
- Expensive for an average student
- The service doesn’t look unified.
- Device usage limitations are not highlighted (2 at a time).
- Book prices are not always the best.
- It can get you into trouble if you don’t use it correctly.
Among other things to consider before purchasing a Chegg study subscription is your approach to using its materials. Some schools don’t appreciate it if you just copy the answers and even consider it cheating, not without grounds, though. According to a Forbes survey that included 52 students from 19 colleges, only 4 said they’ve never cheated with the platform’s help. So keep in mind that there is a fine line between learning with the help of Chegg and just depending on it entirely. If you decide to try it, make sure you use it wisely.
Slader (Quizlet Explanations)
“Starting June 17, 2021, all of Slader premium content, including expert textbook solutions and the Q&A library, will be offered exclusively on Quizlet.com as Quizlet explanations.”
Slader used to be free for high school students (the High School package) and provided access to textbook solutions, expert-verified solutions, and a Q&A section. It also offered 2 paid packages: High School+ ($4/month; $2/month for 6 months (+$12 upfront) and College ($8/month; $6/month for 4 months (+$24 upfront). Obviously, its free version was the most popular one, and for a reason.
Alas, now we have what we have. Gone are Slader’s remarkable explanations in math and science; gone are millions of questions answered in social sciences, literature, and languages. The platform’s free version had almost every single educational book’s question covered and dissected by experts.
Well, it makes no sense to be reminiscent of the past. Therefore, we’ll focus on the newborn Quizlet Explanations and its features.
- The Quizlet Plus subscription offers all of the textbook solutions previously offered on Slader, offline and ad-free studying, personalized study paths, and a few other useful features—all for $35.99/year (+ a free 7-day trial).
- With Quizlet Explanations, you can solve tough problems by approaching them gradually and step by step. The platform offers solutions in 64 subjects, written and verified by experts.
- Available online, on the App Store, and on Googe Play.
How It Works
- Go to Quizlet and create/log in to your account.
- Start with the free trial and then proceed to the Quizlet Plus subscription.
- Search your book by an ISBN, or title, or author.
- Find the solutions and answers to your problems by subject, chapter, section, or exercise number.
Quizlet itself, as a study tool, requires a separate review. It’s ideal for everything that requires memorization, and its Review Flashcards are just fantastic (especially for foreign languages). However, this article’s goal is to highlight its Slader functionality; therefore, here are the pros and cons:
- With Quizlet Plus, you get a complete set of handy tools and features for your learning process, which removes the drudgery.
- You can customize your studying by creating study sets.
- Offline access to everything (Quizlet Plus)
- Advanced creation toolkit (Quizlet Plus)
- No more free Slader functionality
- Many features are restricted to Quizlet Plus membership.
- According to student feedback, Quizlet Explanations only show one answer to the problem, which is often not detailed enough.
- Explanations for thousands of textbook problems are offered for English textbooks only.
- Some student reviews mention messed-up answers due to formatting mistakes caused by the integration.
So, hail and farewell! Hail to Quizlet Explanations and farewell to Slader. Regardless of the cons we’ve covered, we think it’s a great learning tool and hope it will continue helping students with their studies.
The last popular platform we’ll review in this article is Course Hero.
- Textbook Solutions. The platform offers solutions for more than 1,000 college textbooks in various subjects. Also, it offers comprehensive explanations to popular questions, verified by educators.
- 24/7 Homework Help. Course Hero experts provide answers to student questions; average waiting time: 30 minutes.
- Study Resources. Course Hero offers ~60 million study materials to students; among them are study guides, student class notes, essays submitted by other users, expert answers, and so much more.
Its unique feature is other students’ documents for the classes you’re taking at the moment. You basically get access to the papers written and materials already covered by other students in your subject.
Another useful feature is literature study guides and subject study guides. The latter group covers a range of subjects like social sciences, engineering, arts and humanities, and etc., and can be taken as mini-courses on related subjects.
You can register and use Course Hero for free by using their free access option. You have to comply with a few requirements to be able to do it:
- Upload your own documents. You can gain free access to the materials uploaded by others if you upload your own study materials. Basically, you share your knowledge and help others learn; in return, you can also study for free. Fair deal!
- 10 uploaded documents=5 free unlocks, OR
- 10 uploaded documents=3 free tutor questions
- Provide helpful content. If your materials are good and other students unlock them often and rate them highly, you’ll get free access as well.
- 5 unlocks of your documents=1 free unlock
- 5 thumbs-up to your documents=1 free unlock
- Rate and review content. You can get free unlocks by reviewing and rating the content uploaded by others.
- 5 rated documents or 5 rated questions=1 free unlock
- 5 reviewed documents=1 free unlock
- Refer friends. Join the referral program and invite your friends.
- 1 friend=8 free tutor questions, plus 20% off to this very friend for their future subscription.
Course Hero also offers several subscription plans with various levels of access to their materials:
How It Works
- Go to Course Hero and create/log in to your account.
- Try the platform’s free-access experience by sharing your materials, rating the documents uploaded by other students, and contributing to the process. If you see that you need more materials and expert help, get a paid subscription.
- Enjoy the learning process.
- With a little bit of effort, it can be used for free.
- Lots and lots of materials from fellow students
- It may lack some documents on a particular subject.
- A bit pricy for an average student
- It may get you into trouble with your school.
As with Chegg, we recommend being wise about the way you use this platform. Apart from the cheating problems that may arise, Course Hero may have issues with copyrighted materials. Since users can upload their own documents, we warn you to be careful and not upload your professors’ lectures, or test answers for assignments that are not yet due, or any materials authored by anyone rather than yourself—avoid doing anything that may be considered copyright infringement. Use Course Hero as a tool to succeed in understanding your course materials and get better at your subject.
Now you know more about the major three textbook solutions, you can make a more informed decision if you decide to get help with your academic problems. All these platforms have their pros and cons, and you need to consider what type of extra help you can get from each of them.
Taking into account their cost, this is not something an average student can afford easily. You don’t need to buy a subscription to all three; prioritize your requests first. Depending on your major, you may benefit from Chegg’s Math Solver more than from other features, or find Quizlet’s flashcards highly useful, or perhaps, Course Hero’s fellow papers on literature are what you need to understand the subject better.
All in all, we recommend that you should not simply rely on the answers you can easily get but use the textbook solution services wisely to enrich your knowledge, get a deeper understanding of subjects, and succeed in your studies.