Why study harder, when you can study smarter? These days, there are millions of apps designed to make students’ lives easier and better. From note taking to waking up on time to getting home safely, there are apps for almost every aspect of a student’s life. We have waded through the mass amounts of information to bring you a condensed list of hacks and apps that we think will make your studying more efficient, thus making your life just a little bit better.

  1. Read aloud apps: Use your smart phone’s built-in screen reader, like VoiceOver for Apple users or TalkBack for Android users, to go through Brightspace postings and readings. You could even use it to proofread the flow and organization of papers and written assignments.
  2. Online lectures: Want to learn a subject quickly? Google the subject matter + “filetype:ppt” (for example, anatomy filetype:ppt) to find free online lectures on any topic.
  3. Online readings: If you can’t find the link to that super useful file you saw three weeks ago, try this Google hack to get rid of irrelevant formats. Type the article name + “filetype:pdf” (for example: canada criminal code filetype:pdf).
  4. SelfControl: This free app is perfect for those students who get easily distracted during lectures or studying sessions. It lets you block your own access to distracting websites, mail servers, or anything else on the internet. Set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and let the studying begin. Until that time expires, you will not be able to access those sites – even if you restart your laptop or delete the app. This app is available on Mac OS devices. For other similar apps, see our Distraction Fighters story.
  5. Level up your alarm clock: If you are someone who snoozes their alarm clock every morning, try one of the apps that demand more of you. They might ask you to solve simple math questions to turn off the alarm, scan particular objects in your house, or solve a logic puzzle. There are a variety available, like AMdroid Alarm Clock for Android and Freaky Alarm for iOS.
  6. GoConqr: This app is perfect for revisions and retaining information. Use mind maps, PDFs, charts and notes to study for exams or quizzes.
  7. Circle of 6: This safety app enables you to connect with six reliable phone contacts (e.g. roommates, spouse, parents) easily and quickly. Whether you need help getting home or need an interruption, Circle of 6 is a fast, easy to use tool to prevent violence before it happens.
  8. Wolfram Alpha: For when you are tired of using Google, try this search engine for different, and often more in-depth and direct, results.
  9. Simplemind: When you have a big project and you have no idea where to start, try using this mind mapping app that helps you organize your ideas and structure solid essays and projects.

By Bianca Chan