May 7, 2014

Ten Top Educational Apps

With the testing month approaching, many students are scrambling to boost their grades. However, the distraction of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices can make it hard to focus. Why not kill two birds with one stone and get some studying done using 10 apps that also will give you your electronic fix?

With the testing month approaching, many students are scrambling to boost their grades. However, the distraction of smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices can make it hard to focus.

Why not embrace a way to get some studying done while at the same time getting your electronic fix? These 10 apps may help:

Benchprep – This app offers test preparation courses for the SAT, ACT, AP subject tests and many more. It also covers numerous subjects, such as algebra, chemistry, anatomy, Spanish, calculus, biology and geometry. According to, these courses consist of hundreds of practice questions, flashcards, in-app purchases and almost 600 study lessons. It’s available for free on iOS and Android devices. Mobile – With the help of this app’s large library of definitions, synonyms and antonyms, you’ll soon be speeding through books and increasing your vocabulary at the same time. “I use it when we need to define vocabulary words,” said Allison Younkin, a sophomore at Turlock High School. “It was pretty helpful because it also had the roots of the word. I like it because it’s much faster than looking up words in a dictionary, and it’s on my phone, which I always have on me.” According to, word enthusiasts will appreciate the trending words feature, the Hot Word blog and Word of the Day updates. It’s available free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Kindle Fire and Nook.

Duolingo – This app helps you to learn or reinforce a foreign language through modern and entertaining activities. According to Adam Costa at, such exercises require you to read and listen to various phrases and translate them interchangeably between English and your language of choice. “I downloaded it to help me learn German along with my school curriculum,” said Ashtyn Nichols, a sophomore at Turlock High. “I like it because I can take quizzes or read articles right on my phone or iPad and practice the language wherever I happen to be. The app is aesthetically pleasing, organized and easy to use.” Duolingo is available free for iOS and Android.

Easybib – Many students are familiar with EasyBib online because of its quick and easy citation generator in MLA, APA and Chicago bibliography style. Its app works similarly by featuring a book bar code scanner and title searcher. It also allows you to simply email and export the bibliographies to yourself, as affirmed by This app is available for free for iOS and Android devices.

Evernote – This is one of the must-have apps for students, due to its usability in lectures. For example, you can use it to take notes – whether scribbled, spoken, or drawn – and quickly turn them into study notes. According to, the app syncs all of your text, audio, photos and videos to an online account, so you’re always connected with resources to study. Now you have no excuses not to study! Evernote is available free for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. The premium version is indisputably more useful, at $5 a month or $45 a year.

Khan Academy – If all you need is a quick review for an upcoming test, Khan Academy’s app may be your best bet. According to, it offers more than 4,200 educational videos that help you learn about anything in the world, ranging from math and science to the humanities. The iPad app adds more functions, allowing users to track their progress, download videos for offline viewing and has subtitle support for easier comprehension.

Danielle Matsumura, a sophomore at Turlock High, used it last year for geometry and affirms that it was very clear and easy to understand. “They go step by step to explain the problem. I would use it again because they simplify a complex problem. It’s like having a personal tutor,” she said. This app is available free for iOS users.

Mathway – Mathway may be able to solve your math problems for you, if your notes aren’t much help. “If you’re stuck on a problem and want to see if your half-baked solution got you to the right answer, just enter your problem in the app and check if your solution matches,” describes If you’re still stuck on the problem, you can pay for step-by-step solutions and let the app guide you. It’s much cheaper than hiring a tutor, and more convenient. This app is free for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

SAT Question of the Day – This app is precisely what its name states: a daily practice question for the SAT. “I haven’t really begun any formal preparation for the SAT; however, I feel like this app has given me an adequate idea of the type of questions to expect,” said Turlock High’s Nichols. “I like the app because it only asks once per day, hence the name, so I can just attempt the question while riding in the car or something. It’s not a huge time commitment and it gives me helpful insight to answering other SAT questions that may pop up in the future.” This app is free for iOS users.

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