Eight apps save students’ grades


Photo illustration by Gabby Leon

An iPhone home screen shows apps handy during finals.

Gabby Leon, Staff Writer

With finals week approaching, students begin the search for the most efficient ways of studying. Listed below are eight apps that can help you based on your preference of studying.



Based on your method of studying, Quizlet offers different strategies of studying from matching to writing or testing. If you study best by writing down your responses, I recommend using the “learning” option or the practice tests. If you prefer to review the question and answer, the matching game or flashcards are the best method. If you do not want to make your own set of flashcards, you can search for topics and find Quizlets made by other students or teachers. With the app being easy-to-use, you can study flashcards whenever you have spare time.


FocusNow helps you stay off your phone by “growing a tree” as you study. Once you start the timer for a certain amount of time, the app does not allow you to click out of it, or else you “killed” the tree. You start off with an orange tree, but as you continue to use the app, you are given more options of trees to plant. I recommend this app to people who need to focus on studies and restrain from using their phone. You can watch the tree slowly grow, with the end result being a fully grown tree.

Google Drive

If you are on the go or do not have a computer, Google Drive allows for easy access of all your documents and presentations. You can organize your documents into folders and find specific documents by using the search bar. The app allows you to preview your documents, or fully open it if you also have Google Docs downloaded.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has a wide selection of videos and lessons that teach you specific topics. Although it is mostly used for math, the app also includes lessons in history, science and economics. By creating a free account, you can track your progress on these subjects. They have multiple choice questions about key topics and more in-depth articles further explaining the topic. For math, the videos show the step-by-step process of problems and includes practice problems that you can do. I recommend Khan Academy if you need to relearn subjects or need at-home lessons. The lessons are thoroughly explained and further your knowledge.


By creating a free account, you have access to online flashcards created by other people or the ability to create your own. Brainscape is similar to Quizlet, but differs in that it can track your progress. When you study the flashcards, on a scale of one-to-five, you rate how well you knew the topic. Based on your rating the flashcard with either be shown more often, or not as much so you can concentrate on other cards.


Reminders allows you to set notifications or make a list of tasks you need to complete or remember. You can set specific times for the notifications and where the location is. This is handy when you need to remind yourself to do something later in the day or within the next following days. Personally, I set reminders of homework I did not finish for the following morning so that I do not forget it. I recommend using it to set time intervals of how long you want to study for a class and when you should begin studying for the next subject.


Evernote allows you to type or write notes on your phone. You can create “journals” that can be categorized based on what topics you write about. With the search bar, you can search for keywords throughout all of your notes, finding notes easier. The app also allows you to set reminders for tests or homework you need to do. You can save websites onto the app that allows for easy access. This app works for when you need to take fast notes on your phone that can be synced onto your computer or another device. I recommend creating a journal for each final and then creating study guides on Evernote.


With Instapaper, you can bookmark websites to return to. By creating a free account, you can access the websites on your phone or on any other device. Once you save a website, you can access it anytime with or without internet connection. The app allows you to annotate or highlight on the pages. If you find videos on YouTube that you want to bookmark, you can also save the video onto the app.

Apps are available on both Apple and Android except FocusNow and Reminders which are only available on Apple.