Here on the Class Tracker blog, we’ve covered how to study so that you can ace your exams. Research has shown that learning is a two-part process, requiring both encoding (the process of putting information into the brain) and retrieval (the practice of taking the information you are learning out of your brain and recalling it without using any reference materials). The key to studying efficiently is to make sure that you spend time learning the new material through various encoding methods (i.e. reading, listening, watching, doing ) and that you test what you have learned by practicing different methods of retrieval or recall.
There are a ton of study apps out there, but only a handful that require recall or encourage you to engage with the material in different ways. We've narrowed down our top 5 apps that make studying fun and effective.
Quizlet began as a digital flashcard app but has grown to include all kinds of study games and tools. It includes the ability to create your own flashcards, but the main draw is the existing wealth of flashcards, quizzes, diagrams, and study guides on all kinds of subjects. Quizlet is our top app for anyone looking for an app that gamifies studying and can be used at any education level. Available for both Android and IOS, both free version and Quizlet Plus ($47.99 yearly).
Powered by Google, Socratic is geared towards high school students. Subjects covered currently include Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, and Literature. Socratic relies on a combination of existing study materials across the web as well as visual explanations created by teachers and experts for the app. Socratic is available free of charge for both Android and IOS.
The app formerly known as StudyBlue (it was acquired in 2020) lets you crowdsource flashcards created by other students and educators, as well as create your own on any subject you choose. It also includes the ability to add images to your flashcards. Want to share your flashcards with a classmate? Just copy and share the url for that flashcard/deck with them. Chegg Prep is free to use and available on both Android and IOS.
This app uses cognitive science to help you learn faster by using an algorithm based on a learning system they call Confidence-Based Repetition (CBR). As described on their website, CBR consists of three parts: “First, Active Recall. Rather than simply "recognizing" the correct answer from a series of multiple choices, Brainscape forces you to recall the fact from scratch, thereby strengthening the neuron connections that your brain uses to encode that information. The second step is Metacognition. As soon as you manually reveal the answer to a given flashcard, Brainscape asks you to rate on a 1-5 scale how well you think you know the material. This act of self-assessment further deepens your new neuron connections. Finally, the Spaced Repetition component. Brainscape uses your self-reported confidence rating to determine exactly how frequently to show you the flashcard, with low-confidence items repeated more often until you increase your confidence rating.” Available across all devices, the free version allows creating, sharing, and studying your own content. If you choose to upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll have access to over 1 million flashcard classes created by top students, professors, publishers, and experts. Paid plans start at $4.99 a month.
Kahoot is ideal for study groups. Create your study questions and play it as a game with your study partners (think JackBox games but for studying!). You can even cast it on a TV using AirPlay and Apple TV, or Chromecast. It’s rare to describe a study app as “fun” but that’s exactly what Kahoot offers. Their basic plan is free for students and available across devices.
Did we miss your favorite study app? Tell us about it in the comments below! You can find more resources and tips for studying on the Class Tracker blog.