Should I use a computer, tablet, or smartphone to study for an exam?


Students frequently ask us what kind of device they should use to study, and whether a laptop, tablet, or smartphone is best. In this post, we will give a quick reference for which materials we recommend using on each type of device, and which devices work well for each type of materials. The HOCK website is optimized for all sizes of screens including smartphones. This means that you can access and use My Studies and the PassMaps on all devices.

Note: For our purposes, a tablet is a full color touchscreen device running iOS or Android with at least a 7 inch (18 cm) screen. Black and white or eReader tablets are not supported.

By device:

  • Computer: A computer is ideal for using the HOCK materials. With a large screen, you can easily read the textbook, watch the videos, and answer practice questions.
  • Tablet: A color tablet works well with the HOCK materials. We do recommend doing the mock exams on a computer to mimic the exam environment and get practice taking the exam on a computer.
  • Smartphone: We do not recommend reading the textbook on a smartphone, but you can still watch the videos or use the practice questions on your phone. The audio files can be downloaded and played offline, so listening to the audios on your smartphone is a good way to use travel or exercise time to study.

By type of material:

  • Textbook: The textbook is easily readable on computers and tablets. While the textbook can be viewed on a smartphone, it is tedious to read with a lot of scrolling and zooming required.
  • Videos: The videos work well on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Some slides with a lot of text may be difficult to read on smaller smartphone screens. The closed captions may also be difficult to read on a small screen.
  • Practice Questions: The practice questions can be used on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The smartphone is not ideal because longer questions require scrolling or zooming, but most questions will be easy to read.
  • Flash Cards: Our electronic flash cards are in PowerPoint format and can be viewed with any program or app that can open PowerPoint files. Some cards with more text may be harder to read on smaller screens.


A computer or tablet are both good choices to study for your exam. While all HOCK materials are usable on smartphones, we do not recommend using only a smartphone to study for an exam. However, the smartphone is a great way to supplement your studies when you are not able to use a larger device, especially by listening to the audio files.

If you have any questions about the HOCK materials or how to use them on any type of device, we will be happy to help.