We’ve all heard the saying “there’s an app for that” but usually we’re referring to getting directions or finding a new pizza place. Thanks to technology, you can now boost your GPA without really trying, by downloading some handy-dandy study apps. Things like flashcards, quizzes and even personal tutors are (literally) right at your fingertips. The app store is a pretty crowded place, but we found the best of the best to help get you closer to that 4.0.
10. Sleep Cycle
How many times have you heard that getting more sleep leads to better health, mood, grades and just life in general? Well, you’re about to hear it again. Better sleep leads to better concentration, which will, without a doubt, lead to better grades. So hop on over to the app store and get yourself Sleep Cycle. It’s not your average alarm clock. You place your phone under your pillow at night and Sleep Cycle tracks your REM sleep cycles. The app then wakes you up at an optimal time—depending on your unique sleep patterns— to ensure that you have laser-sharp focus throughout the day.
If the ‘notes’ section of your phone is crowded with random ideas, this is the app for you. Instead of just jotting down your thoughts on a notepad, SimpleMind makes everything visual, by spreading them out in a spider diagram. It’s great for planning essays, or jotting down facts you really need to remember for the next exam.
8. iTunes U
Even if you’re SAT scores weren’t quite stellar enough to get you a ticket to MIT or Harvard, there’s now an app for that. No, it won’t get you a degree from there, but you will have hundreds of lectures, from the top universities around the world, right at your fingertips. It’s ideal if you want a different perspective on a topic, from someone other than your monotone Economics professor.
Chegg is known as the #1 way to avoid over-paying at the bookstore, but the site (and app) offers more than just renting textbooks. With their huge bank of textbook solutions and Q&A section, it’s basically like having a free tutor with you 24/7. The next time you’re stuck on a tricky Chemistry problem, try searching it on Chegg. Odds are, they’ve got an answer for you.
Imagine this: you wake up one morning, only to just remember you missed a homework assignment due at midnight the night before. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to download iHomework. The app lets you load up all your assignments and set alarms to let you know when something is due. So, if you have an assignment due on Monday, you can set an alarm on Friday to remind you to get it done ASAP.
5. Speed Reading Trainer
Calling all procrastinators, this is the app for you. We’ve all had that moment where we put off our reading assignments and suddenly had to ready 100+ pages in one night. The Speed Reading Trainer app does exactly what the name would suggest—teaches you how to read like a ninja. It’ll show you a passage and give you a set amount of time to read it, with a comprehension quiz at the end. It’s tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, the skill lasts for a lifetime.
4. Grades 2
At some point in the semester, you’re going to think: “What’s the lowest grade I can get on this exam, and still have a decent grade in the class?” Grades 2 tells you exactly that and more. It’s a grade calculator that lets you create different categories (tests, quizzes, homework, etc.) and weigh them accordingly. Then, you can spend hours determining exactly what score you can get away with on the next exam. Cue that extra hour of sleep.
Think of Quizlet as the answer to all of your test-taking prayers. Not only can you make your own flashcards and quizzes on the app, but you can also search for your specific course and borrow what past students have created.
2. Genius Scan
You can barely stay awake in your 8 a.m. bio class. Your solution? You snap a couple quick photos of the whiteboard notes on your phone and then doze off. Except, when you open up those “notes” later on, you find your photos are completely blurry and unusable. Yeah, we’ve been there and done that. Thankfully, now there’s Genius Scan. This ingenious little app helps you take the perfect photo every time. You can even zoom in on the notes later and they’ll still be crystal-clear.
This semester, it’s time to step-up your note taking game. Go download Evernote, and prepare to have your life changed forever. It’s not just a digital notebook—you can record lectures and even share your notes with friends. Plus, your account synchs across all devices, so you can take notes on your laptop one day, then on your iPad the next, and still have everything in one place.
With that, we’re off to the app store to ace our next calculus exam. We can practically see our names on the Dean’s List already. Do you have a favorite study buddy app that we didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments.