How We Test Essay Apps

published April 25, 2023 - updated November 23, 2023

Do you know what makes a quality essay-writing app? It’s okay if you don’t because it is a complex set of criteria that is hard to keep up with. And who wants to download every paper drafting tool in the App Store? That’s just a waste of storage space.  

Well, we spare no phone memory and download all the apps to find out about their intricacies. At the end of this process, we came up with a general A*Help score that covers all the essential aspects and evaluates them according to their level of importance and availability. We will share what exactly goes into the creation of our compound grading system in the text below.

What Makes the A*Help Score for App Rating

How We Test Essay Apps

Our team researches the most important factors of mobile applications for essay writing and fits them into three vital A*Help score categories: Overall Experience (30/100 pts), Value for Money (20/100 pts), and Paper Quality (50/100 pts). We also recalculate the ratio of points according to the level of importance that each aspect carries for the users.

Here, the Overall Experience is designed to evaluate the convenience and simplicity of the app, and whether it is at all suitable to use for essay writing services. The Value for Money index accounts for the versatility of features provided by the platform and their price range. Paper Quality is dedicated to the assessment of work quality done by the app’s writers. 

All features are assessed during the process of mystery shopping, where our A*Help team downloads each app from the App Store, personally registers, and places an order for an actual homework assignment. We do everything that you would while using the software: from interacting with support to adjusting notifications, and asking for revisions. We then give each aspect the mark it deserves and sum everything together to get the A*Help score results.

Overall Experience (30% of the A*Help Score)

Overall Experience (30% of the A*Help Score)

App Store Experience – 6 pts
Convenience & Usability – 8 pts
Support – 4 pts
Security & Privacy – 4 pts
Purchases & Payments – 5 pts
Writer-Customer Communication – 3 pts

Most people will choose an application over a website because it’s faster, easier, and more accessible. And that’s what the overall experience of using an essay writer app is all about. So, when our team assesses this aspect, we count on different features that contribute to a pleasant customer journey.

App Store Experience

Before you install an app, you look it up in the App Store. And it’s essential that this page includes as much information about the app as possible. Only then you will have clear expectations about the service and will be sure that the software is what you are looking for.

That’s why our team pays attention to the description of an application and whether it distinctly outlines its purpose and main features. We also check if you can see an example of real use of the app on the presented screenshots. Other factors that come to our attention are update frequency, whether the app is in an appropriate category (so that it’s easy to find), and whether there are any reviews and recommendations from other users as well. 

Convenience & Usability

Using an application is all about your comfort. So, what we check here is whether the chosen essay-writing software utilizes an easy-to-navigate and bug-free platform. We also check whether the installation and loading time is quick and free of errors. 

Another part that contributes to the convenience is the simplicity of order placement. The form should be designed to fit all the needed instructions for writing assignments while also being short and easy to fill in. The option for order tracking is also a great feature, as it can help you keep up with the progress of your dedicated writer. A definite plus is if you could use the app and place your order without registering first, as it gives you an opportunity to get accustomed to the platform and decide whether you like it or not before creating a profile. 


Should you have any questions or issues to fix, you need to have an opportunity to get assistance from support right away. So, our team checks how well the customer support channels are organized, how fast you can get an answer, whether you can ask for extra discounts, and if the client service is at all helpful. We also pay attention to the notification system and the opportunity to adjust it to your liking. 

Security & Privacy

It’s of high importance that an app you decide to install has decent privacy policies in place. What is meant by that is that it asks you for permission to use or share personal data as well as provides you with an opportunity to withdraw the consent if needed. We also check whether there’s an option for account deletion within an app and if it uses security codes for payments.

While assessing the levels of privacy, we look at the data that you need to provide for registration – for example email or phone number, or both. Your mobile is a more private piece of information, that’s why we prefer software that only uses emails for signing in. Third-party logins (Apple ID, Facebook, or Google account) are more comfortable and less complicated. That’s why apps that utilize such profile creation options are considered to be more user-friendly. 

Purchases & Payments

Payments are an important part of your experience as a customer. That’s why they need to be quick, simple, and safe. Our team, as we place our orders as well, checks what kinds of payment methods are available on the platform. 

Most services accept card payments like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. However, as we review applications, we also look for opportunities to use PayPal and Apple Pay (and/or Google Pay, if it’s available for Android) for payments as well. These wallet options make purchasing much faster and easier.

Writer-Customer Communication

When you order your task, you want it to be done right with all the requirements taken into account. That’s why you need to be able to talk over your task with a dedicated expert. We check whether this customer-writer connection is available and whether the professionals reach out to their clients as well. 

Value for Money (20% of the A*Help Score)

Value for Money (20% of the A*Help Score)

Ordering & Price – 3 pts
Free Services – 5 pts
Additional Services — 5 pts
Average Paper Price – 4 pts
Discounts & Loyalty Programs – 3 pts

Value for money is an index that shows the ratio of prices and the variety of offered services. That’s why this aspect mainly focuses on what features you can find within the app and what they are worth. 

Ordering & Price 

This factor is dedicated to evaluating the minimum and maximum deadlines that can be set on the platform, available writer categories, and academic levels. 

This information will tell you how far ahead you can order your tasks and whether the service can handle urgent time limits. By looking at the variety of experts, you will know which professional will best fit your academic needs. And of course, you need to be sure that the app can handle assignments of your academic level so that you won’t waste your time redoing everything afterward to match the expected standards. 

Free Services

When you start ordering, some features are already included in the service. In most cases, applications add free revisions alongside your assignment request. Still, some platforms offer more than that and provide their customers with chargeless formatting, plagiarism reports, and title page creation. We always check how versatile the selection of these free features is.

Additional Services 

Additional services are features that can be included in your order for an extra cost. Many of such options can make the completion and arrangement of the paper much easier. It’s important that you have a choice when it comes to such add-ons because you never know what you will need for your homework. It also shows that the platform is ready to cover your needs and requirements, which is always a good sign.

Average Paper Price

As we order our own assignment, we check how the prices are formed and can judge what the average cost for the services is. This knowledge will help you plan out your budget in advance.

Discounts & Loyalty Programs

The availability of coupons and any kinds of retention programs show that the service provider cares for its clients. We always note whether there are first-order discounts, special offers, loyalty, and referral initiatives. These are the aspects that can make your app usage experience not only more pleasant but also cost-effective.

Paper Quality (50% of the A*Help Score)

Paper Quality (50% of the A*Help Score)

The quality of the completed assignments takes the bigger part of the A*Help score as it’s the main reason you choose to get help from an essay writing application. After all, you expect to get a better piece of writing done by a knowledgeable expert. 

To test how well the application’s writers can handle tasks, our team places an order for a 2-page response paper for the English Literature class. The essay has to be written on the story of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and delve into several topics:

  • The religious aspect of the story
  • The main character’s self-scrutiny
  • And the reason why all this led to his loss of belief.

The paper needs to be formatted in an MLA style and include in-text citations. The deadline given for this assignment is 24 hours. We also ask for revisions to see how quickly and coherently the experts can handle the required corrections.

After that, we collect completed assignments and send them for evaluation by our partner US college professor, Dr.Sybil Low. For the assessment, she uses a 100 pts grading system, which is widely accepted and used by most universities. According to this model, 60/100 pts is the lowest acceptable score, below which the works are deemed unsatisfactory. 

During the assessment, Dr. Low pays attention to several aspects like spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word choice. Format style (MLA or APA) and citation referencing are also taken into account. The grade also considers the reasoning and logic of the paper, based on the text’s acuity, efficiency, objectivity, and clarity. After the thorough assessment, the final 100 pts mark is converted to 50 pts A* Help score with the help of a simple mathematical proportion.

Negative User Feedback

Most naturally, when downloading a new app on your phone, you read through the feedback of users. This gives you a perspective on what to expect from this software. And that’s the reason why we pay attention and collect negative comments on different review platforms (but mainly on App Store or Google Play). We want you to know which hurdles you may face when utilizing a particular application. We highlight the most common and possible issues, mentioned by clients, and present them to you in this section. This way you can make your own decision regarding whether the tool is worth installing. 

Final Word

We try hard to make our research as objective as possible. That’s why we implement a special ranking technique, as it provides a clearer understanding of the results. Still, we are not the supreme authority, and we acknowledge that the experience of other users may differ from ours. Our A*Help score is merely a guide for you to form your own opinion and make a decision right for you. 

Read more:

How We Test Essay Writing Services

How We Test Custom Dissertation Writing Services

How We Test AI Essay Writers

How We Test Programming Homework Help Websites

How We Test Everything We Review

How We Test Tutoring Websites

How We Test Plagiarism Checkers 

How We Test Paraphrasers

How We Test Citation Generators


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