Chegg rating | PCMag
Chegg is an online learning service and app that helps students in a number of ways. First, it sells and rents textbooks, used and new. Second, there are subscription services to help students with math, homework, and writing. Third, it offers a free flashcard app. Finally, it lists internships and scholarships, and includes a section on financial advice geared towards student needs.
The services feel more disparate and broken than unified under Chegg, in part because some are only available through the website and some have their own mobile apps. Even so, some of the services are uniquely useful, especially those that focus on math. The paid services are expensive for the student market and a strict two-device limit for paying customers seems excessive. Our recommendation is to use Chegg when and where it’s beneficial, but be sure to read the fine print.
Among the apps for student learning, Khan Academy is an Editors’ Choice winner, though it doesn’t offer the same individualized help for specific issues that Chegg does. For flashcard apps, we like Quizlet better than Chegg because it’s easier to use and has great multi-language support, which means you can use it to study alongside a language tutorial. As an aid to writing, Grammarly is a wonderfully useful tool, especially for writers whose first language is not English, although – like Chegg – it is also expensive for the student market.
First steps with CHegg
When signing up for a free Chegg account, you will need to indicate that you are a student or educator and, if a student, your level (high school or college) and additional details such as the college or university you are attending , and your attend year. As far as we have been able to determine in tests, no one verifies this information. For example, you don’t need a .edu email address to log in. You can use any old email and password, or authenticate with Apple, Google, or Facebook.
There are several sections within the site: Books, Studying, Writing, Flashcards, Math Solver, Internships, Scholarships, and Money. Chegg used to offer a tutoring marketplace, but it will be actively discontinued from 2021.
It would be negligent not to mention Chegg’s ethical constraints. Is it considered a scam to pay Chegg or other similar services to get answers to questions in textbooks? You can always argue that what matters is how the student uses the information received as to whether a student is cheating. If they pay for answers and pass it on as their own work, that is a scam. If you are using Chegg to understand how to come up with answers, which is part of Chegg’s offerings, then this may be a fruitful exercise with positive learning outcomes.
Chegg apps and device restrictions
You can access almost everything Chegg has to offer through the website and accompanying mobile apps. The apps are Chegg Study, Chegg Math Solver, Chegg eReader (for accessing digital books) and Chegg Prep (flashcards). For Chegg Math Solver, the mobile app allows you to capture and upload a picture of an equation for help solving it, instead of having to type it into a screen calculator as you do in the web app.
Chegg paying members can only have two registered devices at a time. This information is not made clear on any of Chegg’s login pages (we verified it with a Chegg representative). There is a help page that explains how to register and de-register devicesthough you have to search to find it; it is nowhere to be seen. This page explains that you can remove and replace up to one device every 30 days.
A common complaint among paying Chegg members is that they are unaware of the device restriction and are suddenly locked out of their account. While device limitation may prevent passwords from being shared, students may find it difficult to use library computers and school-issued devices in addition to their personal devices or those borrowed from friends and family. This makes little sense for paying members. Chegg needs to better clarify the rules from the start.
Signing up for a Chegg account gives you access to quite a few things for free, including the Flashcard app, money advice, and offers on scholarships and internships. For service-oriented work, such as help with math homework or homework, you get a small sample for free, but otherwise have to pay. You can purchase a service individually ($ 9.95 to $ 19.95 per month) or as a package of all services ($ 19.95 per month).
Here is a summary of each service.
Math Solver ($ 9.95 per month)
Math Solver allows you to send math problems to the site and get a response with an explanation of how to go through each step to solve the problem. Students in courses using algebra, calculus, or linear algebra would benefit.
If you have a Chegg account but don’t have a paid subscription, you can only use Math Solver for three problems per day and won’t get detailed explanations of how to get the answer. You also don’t get access to a graphing calculator that paying members get.
Chegg Study ($ 14.95)
Chegg Study is a subscription service that gives you access to homework help. In particular, you can look up the answers to questions in textbooks that Chegg keeps as a database. You can also ask experts new questions who will hopefully answer them in 30 minutes to 24 hours. The experts are people who work for Chegg, although there isn’t much information about them on Chegg’s US website. However, Chegg’s Indian website has information on how to apply to be an Expert and get paid per question answered.
Chegg Study is suitable for courses in business administration (finance, economics, accounting, management), engineering (computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering), mathematics, natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, advanced physics, nursing, anatomy and physiology, Geosciences) and psychology.
Chegg Writing ($ 9.95 per month)
Chegg Writing is a written work service that includes plagiarism checking, proofreading, grammar and spelling checking, and a tool to create and save citations in the correct style. You can submit up to 15 posts per month of up to 3,000 words each. An expert provides feedback on the main idea and writing style, and turnaround time is generally 24 hours, according to Chegg. When you upload papers, they are added to Chegg’s plagiarism database, which is common with plagiarism detection services.
Without a paid account, you will receive limited suggestions and no plagiarism check. For a free service, it is better to use Grammarly’s entry level.
Bundle, also known as Study Package ($ 19.95 per month)
The last offer is called a Bundle or sometimes a Study Pack. For $ 19.95 per month, you can get all three services mentioned so far: Math Solver, Study, and Writing.
Cost of books
Chegg offers textbook rental and purchase, usually used copies. It used to buy used books from students, but it no longer does. When you borrow books from Chegg, you’ll see the return date long before you need to provide a credit card. Often the books are available for the duration of a semester, around five months. The return is included in the cost.
You can highlight pages of books that you rent, but you are not allowed to write in them. Rentals have a 21 day refund period. Whenever you decide to purchase a loaned book, Chegg always offers you the option to do so. Used books and loan books do not contain any additional materials such as DVDs, lab manuals, or access codes that a new copy may come standard with.
Let’s look at Chegg’s prices for borrowing and buying, some examples of books actually needed for courses at a major university. For comparison, the prices for buying and lending the books are given directly in the university bookstore. Here are three examples.
Physical geology, 3rd edition:
Chegg Rent, Purchase: $ 14.49, $ 21.49
University rent, purchase: not available, $ 165.75 used or $ 220.75 new
REVEL for Essentials of Sociology 11th Edition, A Down-to-earth Approach – Access card:
Literary Theory: A Very Brief Introduction, 1st Edition:
Chegg Rent, Buy: $ 11.99, starting at $ 16.99
University Rent: $ 4.78 used, $ 6.57 new
University digital rent: $ 4.00 for 180 days
University Purchase: $ 9 used, $ 11.95 new
As you can see, sometimes getting books through Chegg is economical, and sometimes you can pay double or triple the cost of renting or buying the book elsewhere.
Of course, Chegg is not the only source for buying and renting the texts you need. Campusbooks.com is a site that searches for textbooks on a number of sites and shows you prices from online vendors with the title. This allows you to compare prices from Chegg, Amazon, AbeBooks, SecondSale, and others in one easy-to-read table.
A bag full of student services
Chegg is a collection of student services, a mishmash of resources and databases, contracted experts, and so on. It doesn’t feel uniform overall, and some of the pieces are half-baked, like the mediocre flashcard app. Chegg would be better if it had a clearer direction, such as focusing only on math and science and no other subjects, or making textbook rentals and sales a different brand. As it is, it comes across unpolished and fuzzy.
Chegg also needs to iron out kinks on the marketing side by providing clearer information upfront about device restrictions and who those Chegg “experts” are. The prices are also high for students. There is also room for growth. For example, it would be nice to see Chegg offering a Teams type subscription for study groups who then pay a lower price per person and can share resources within the group.
Parts of Chegg can be very helpful, especially for students who need additional guidance on math and science work. Just read the fine print before signing up.