Math Ace 3rd Grade

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Math Ace 3rd Grade App Poster Image
Completing solid math drills leads to frustrating game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can practice their math facts, including multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, fractions, and shapes. 

Ease of Play

The math drills are straightforward, but kids can't edit answers. The flying game has frustrating controls and starts out at a high difficulty.

Violence & Scariness

The game portion has a fox in a space suit with a jet pack. If he hits anything (and he will), he explodes.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Math Ace 3rd Grade is a math drills app with a game element. Kids complete math drills to earn parts to upgrade their jet packs. There are no instructions or hints, so kids who don't understand a skill won't be able to progress without random guessing. Answers are accepted when the correct number of digits is entered, so there's no way to correct a wrong answer. The drills are timed, but the timer is subtle, and kids can just answer as many problems as possible in the time they have.The flying game starts out fairly difficult and may immediately turn off some kids, especially because losing means watching their fox avatar explode. Because multiple user profiles are available, more than one kid can play on the same device. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

MATH ACE 3RD GRADE is a math drills app paired with a flying game. The math content covers multiplying with 0-12, dividing up to 10, addition within 100, recognizing fractions, subtraction within 100, and shapes. These are broken out into bite-size pieces for kids to master. Math problems appear on-screen and kids enter in their answer. The drills are timed, so kids can answer as many questions as possible before the timer runs out. If kids take more time on a particular problem or get it wrong, the app will drill them more frequently on that fact until they get it right. Parents can set practice reminders on the device.

Once they complete drills, kids can start the flying mission. This involves navigating the fox through a series of obstacles in the sky (clouds, airplanes, storm clouds, etc.) by touching the screen to move the character back and forth. If they hit an obstacle, their character explodes in a ball of fire. As kids complete more drills, they can purchase upgrades to their jet pack to allow them to fly further.

Is it any good?

This app provides solid math drills, but the lack of editing and a potentially frustrating "reward" game make it less appealing. The screen in Math Ace 3rd Grade is uncluttered and allows kids to simply focus on finding the right answers, and the timer is unobtrusive. Kids who want to push themselves to earn better scores and more upgrades can do so, while kids who are moving a bit more slowly can simply ignore the countdown. Some kids may be frustrated by the fact that they can't edit their answers before entering them, especially if typing is difficult for them. There's some annoying music playing in the background, but it can easily be muted. Unfortunately, the game portion -- which ideally would be combined with the math itself -- is potentially frustrating. From the very first moment, the sky is littered with obstacles, and it's not at all easy to avoid them using your finger to drift the jet pack back and forth. While some kids will enjoy it, some will be completely turned off by the mechanics and the difficulty. So while it's a good choice for just drilling math facts, the game element is disconnected and disappointing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about math and different ways to learn it. Math drills, like the ones in Math Ace 3rd Grade are one way. Do those work for you? What other ways are there?

  • Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

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