Flash cards and practice tests are an effective aid for learning words, dates, and other data requiring rote memorization. I’ve long been a fan of , but today’s Gem, , is also worth considering.
Cram lets you create tests and browse them using a Mail-like window with a list of folders on the left, the list of tests in the selected folder to the right, and a preview and summary of the selected test at the bottom. A useful Example Test setting creates a sample test to help you learn how to use the program.
To create a new test, you click the New button, give the test a name and description, and choose your options: whether questions should be asked randomly or in sequence, whether the order of multiple-choice answers should be randomized, and whether or not the test should have a time limit. Then click the Edit Questions button to add your questions.
Answers must be multiple-choice—with one or multiple correct answers—but the questions can be just text or can include an image or an audio file. An interesting option is the Answer Bank. If you’ve got many questions to enter, and some of those questions have the same answer as other questions, you can first enter a list of answers, one per line, in a single text box. When creating the questions, you can then choose the correct answer from your list instead of having to retype common answers.
Once you’ve created a test, Cram’s Flash Cards mode lets you study the test’s questions and correct answers using a flash card-like interface. When you’re ready to be quizzed, Test mode presents the questions in an electronic-test format, letting you choose from among the possible answers using either the keyboard or mouse.