Socratic Math & Homework Help

App review by
Galen McQuillen, Common Sense Media
Socratic Math & Homework Help App Poster Image
Instant homework help with resources; watch for cheating.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Easy to get answers, but what kids learn depends on if they read the explanations and other materials. If they use those materials, they can potentially learn and review the concepts behind the solutions.

Ease of Play

Very easy to take pictures of homework, crop them, and navigate search results. Math entry keyboard can be cumbersome. 

Violence

Search results very occasionally depict violence of various kinds.

Sex

Search results very occasionally depict mild sexual content of various kinds.

Language

Search results very occasionally contain some strong language. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Search results very occasionally contain references to drinking, drugs, and smoking.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Socratic - Scan homework, get answers and explanations is a homework-help app that uses strong text-recognition technology to search the web for solutions to homework questions taken with a device's camera or entered manually with the keyboard. Kids don't have to do anything more complicated than snap a shot of a question on an assignment, crop it, and hit search, and the app displays anything from basic web search results to curated answers provided by experts, computer algebra systems, or crowdsourced solutions and explanations on Socratic's own web platform. In most cases, it gives exact answers (with work shown) to even fairly complicated questions and deeper explanations about the concepts. Note that while the app itself takes great pains to be accurate and offer deeper learning opportunities beyond a correct answer, real educational value really depends on the user. It's an app best used in moderation and with some oversight so that kids don't see it as an easy way out. Take a look at the app's privacy policy, and note that it doesn't permit users younger than 13 without a parent or guardian's supervision.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJagabandhu M. May 8, 2018
Adult Written byBailey G. October 7, 2016

Great app for students AND parents!

I originally downloaded this app thinking of some of the students I work with who have trouble completing homework because of they 'don't understand... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byZombie 108 September 29, 2018

What's it about?

SOCRATIC - SCAN HOMEWORK, GET ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS is a homework-help app and platform that gives students answers to and complete explanations for almost any problems you can throw at it. Take a picture of a problem or question on paper or on a computer screen and search a variety of sites for an answer, from its own crowdsourced web portal to Wolfram Alpha, Cymath, and the web at large. In most cases, results also include work shown, explanations, and discussions between other students, experts, and professionals. It supports answers for math, science, history, English, economics, and more. If the camera doesn't correctly capture the problem, kids can type the question in directly and use the included math keyboard to enter equations with ease. 

Is it any good?

This tool finds answers and explanations about a wide variety of math, science, and social studies questions quickly, but some kids will only use it to get easy answers, and learning will be lost. The answers from the database included in Socratic - Scan homework, get answers and explanations in-house tend to be very high quality, and those found on the web very but usually are helpful in some way and much more focused than an open internet search. Especially for math and science, where typing in specialized symbols can be tedious at best, it's nothing short of a miracle. For many families, this free app can provide some homework help in those instances when a parent's knowledge falls short or a tutor is too expensive; however, kids need to have good study skills and self-motivation to persist through assignments, so it's important to use the app as a supplement and not an easy solution. Parents can let teachers know that their kids use the app and make sure homework and test grades truly reflect what a kid is learning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Socratic - Scan homework, get answers and explanations might fit into a healthy diet of assisted practice and the occasional struggles of independent work. Sure, it can answer just about every homework question you throw at it, but are you learning anything if you do that every time? 

  • Also discuss academic honesty in general. Why is it sometimes OK to look for help online, while in other cases doing so might constitute plagiarism or cheating? When can and can't you copy someone else's work?

  • It's also a good idea to mention the value of working with others to get help. Socratic offers easy help but very little social learning experience. Working with others helps solidify information in the brain in a very different (and sometimes more effective) way than working alone. 

App details

For kids who love homework help

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate