Zebra Math

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Zebra Math App Poster Image
Solid, timed drills don't always recognize correct answers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice math skills from kindergarten on into sixth grade, but no help available for kids who are stuck.

Ease of Play

Kids draw the answer on-screen with a finger (or stylus), but the app doesn't always recognize the answers. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Kids can access the subscription screen without a parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zebra Math is a timed math drill experience for kids. Kids enter their answer by drawing on the screen, but the app doesn't always recognize correct answers. Younger kids who are just learning to write numbers will likely struggle and may be confused by answers that are marked incorrect when they are actually correct. For some kids, the timed drills might be stressful, and it might be difficult to solve multi-step problems that typically would require pencil and paper. There's no parent gate to keep kids from accessing the subscription page. There are no profiles in the app and no tracking information for parents. Zebra Math requires a subscription of $1.99/month or a one-time in-app purchase of $29.99. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

ZEBRA MATH is a straightforward math drill app, no zebras involved. There are seven levels that correspond roughly to grades K-6. Each level has several different skills for kids to master, such as "Division by 7-9" and "Decimal Multiplication." Kids write the answers on the screen with a finger or stylus. If it's correct, they move to the next problem. Otherwise, they get an incorrect answer and have to try again. There's no help if kids get stuck. While there's no way to tell the app that kids are starting at a certain level, kids can unlock higher levels (and skip ahead) by answering a series of leveled questions. 

Is it any good?

Math drills are helpful for kids who need practice, but the glitches with answer-recognition lessen this app's value. Zebra Math covers a lot of different skills, and the lower-level drills could benefit a lot of young kids. For older kids, trying to solve complex math problems while in a timed app that's really designed for mental math could be frustrating. That said, some kids may thrive on the challenge and find a great benefit. The need to draw answers that may or may not be recognized will be frustrating for kids of all abilities, but especially younger kids who are still developing fine motor skills. Unfortunately, there's no way for kids to know if their answer is incorrect because of their calculations or because of their drawing. Zebra Math also suffers from translation issues: Topic names have grammar errors (i.e., "Divided by Two-Digit" and "Understanding Fraction") that should be polished in a subscription service. Zebra Math could have some benefit for kids who need extra timed practice, but the question is whether or not the problems outweigh the benefits. 

Talk to your kids about ...

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

  • Talk about math. What are some different kinds? How do we use math every day? Practice math facts when waiting in line and on long car rides.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Math: arithmetic, fractions
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day free trial then $1.99/mo. or $29.99 lifetime)
  • Release date: October 18, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 79.00 MB
  • Publisher: Zhenguanyu Tech
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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