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The Grading Game

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
The Grading Game App Poster Image
Mark every mistake in advanced grammar game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Practice finding spelling and grammatical mistakes across a variety of writing samples. Kids will read about various different topics, including historical topics and science related topics, as they proofread. The game reinforces spelling and editing for grammar but doesn’t teach these skills directly.  

Ease of Play

Written directions appear at the launch of each round. There's a guiding hand that reinforces tapping on words to signal a mistake. The option to turn off the timer makes the game a bit easier since kids will have time to focus on spelling and grammar rather than racing against the clock. 

Violence

Kids may come across mature themes or mildly violent remarks in the professor’s letters or in the writing samples. 

Sex
Language

Some of the letters from the professor to the teaching assistant explaining the assignment and/or some of the writing samples may include remarks with words such as “heck,” “stupid,” and/or “dumb.” There is some mild crude humor. 

Consumerism

In-app purchases are necessary in order to play beyond the twelve free levels. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Kids may come across references to drinking, smoking, and/or drugs in the professor’s letters or students' writings samples. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Grading Game has kids proofreading a variety of writing samples and identifying spelling and grammatical errors.  The premise of the game is that players grade students’ papers for a college professor in order to earn money to pay down their student loans. Kids will race against the clock to find all the errors in each paper. Each identified mistake earns kids points in the form of money and generates approval from the professor. Missing too many mistakes makes the professor, Dr. Snerpus, “grouchy” and he’ll make it known by communicating you’ve done a “terrible” job and need to “practice more.” The app offers various levels of difficulty. Kids will be able to choose content and level of difficulty on their own, unless they are playing under the Quickplay mode, which randomly selects material. The free version offers twelve levels and in-app purchases are required to unlock all additional levels and content packs. Though kids younger than 13 could handle lower levels, some humor probably won't land, and it's easy to access Twitter directly through a link to follow the developer’s account on the top right corner of the launch page. Note: At the time of review, there was no privacy policy.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

THE GRADING GAME tasks kids to read papers on various topics and ranging in difficulty in order to identify spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The app offers three different modes; Quickplay, Career, and Practice mode. The Quickplay mode selects content and difficulty level randomly. Career mode allows kids to choose both content and level of difficulty, ranging from freshman year of undergrad to doctoral years. “Spite Houses,” “Embryos in Space,” and “Hotel Toilet Paper Folding” are just a few of the paper topics kids can proofread. Practice mode allows kids to choose a focus and decide how the material is presented. They can target capitalization, grammar, spelling, and/or homophones specifically. When choosing the format in which errors are presented, they can select from a variety of layouts that include randomly, in one sentence at a time, as a minefield, or as a needle in a haystack. Under both Practice and Quickplay, kids can activate the Free Mode, which turns off the timer and allows them to play at their own pace. The Options give kids control over music and sound in addition to text size, line spacing, and the timed length of each round. Timed options include 35 seconds, 55 seconds or 80 seconds to complete a round. To play, tap misspelled words or errors in grammar. Earn money points when errors are identified correctly and lose money points when errors are missed or incorrectly tagged.   

Is it any good?

This fun proofreading game offers a range of difficulty levels, but it’s definitely more appropriate for teens who will understand the content and find humor in some of the crude and mature remarks. The Grading Game doesn’t teach spelling or grammar; instead, it tests users’ ability to identify mistakes in writing samples, so a foundation in these skills is necessary to play. The timed sessions require fast paced reading and an eye for mistakes. A definite plus is the fact that the size of text and line spacing can be adjusted to be inclusive of different preferences and abilities. The Free Mode that allows players to turn off the timer to play at their own pace takes the pressure off the game and encourages focus on spelling and grammar. Some of the topics are also quite comical. For example, the explanation of “spite houses” and “spite fences” designed to upset neighbors will have readers chuckling to themselves. The interface is easy to navigate, but lacks a bit of luster, and the graphics and color quality are dated. Some users may also dispute some of the identified -- or unidentified -- errors. Despite these flaws, The Grading Game is an fun way to pass time and enjoy playing against the clock to identify all the spelling and grammatical errors in each of the quirky papers. Some of the mistakes are super obvious, while others a bit harder to spot, ensuring that players stay on their toes. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can extend learning by talking about how to fix the mistakes they are identifying when playing The Grading Game. Playing under the Free Mode, which is untimed, will create the space for discussion around why something is a mistake and how it could be fixed before the app produces the correction. Talk about capitalization and punctuation rules, homophones, and correcting spelling mistakes. 

  • Talk about how to use social media responsibly. The app links users to Charlie Deck’s Twitter account when they tap on the Twitter logo on the top right corner of the launch page. 

App details

For kids who love word games and grammar

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