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Most Helpful Apps for Students

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There’s (almost) an app for everything nowadays, and this can make student life easier, cheaper, safer and more fun. Whether you want help with taking notes, revising, waking up on time or keeping fit, read on for our pick of the apps for students

1. Lecture capture apps

Lecture capture

Just a few years ago, students attending lectures would have to spend the entire time scribbling wildly on notepads, in order not to miss any vital bit of information. Then along came technology, and now, lecture capture apps are a reality. Although the recording of lectures has been common practice within universities for a while, lecture capture apps allow you to record and listen back to classes without having to spend extra money on expensive recording equipment.

SoundNote (iOS) is a popular lecture capture app for iPad users, acting as a notepad and audio recorder, so you can store an entire lecture in both visual and audio form. If it's a whiteboard you want to capture, however, Office Lens allows users to photograph a whiteboard, convert it to a PDF, Word or PowerPoint file and store all the data via OneNote or OneDrive for catch-up and revision purposes.

Other than SoundNote, one of the most popular lecture capture apps – keeping it simple with the name – is Lecture Capture (iOS), but Notes Plus (iOS) and Audio Memos Free – The Voice Recorder (iOS) are also of good quality.

2. Revision apps

Revision apps

The revision app is in big business this century, and it seems technology has achieved what we never thought possible: making revision fun.

If you’re a flash card fanatic you might like to consider StudyBlue, a student app which uses your course information to create a selection of card sets for related revision. You can also make their own flashcards and test yourself.

Another useful revision app is GoConqr, which offers resources to create revision charts, mind maps, flash cards, notes and quizzes, as well as the ability to connect and collaborate with friends, classmates or students from around the world. Another choice is the aptly named Revision App (iOS), covering all education levels, while Exam Countdown (iOS) keeps track of the days until each of your exams.

3. Exam prep apps

Exam prep

There are also student apps now available for exams such as the MCAT, GMAT, LSAT and GRE tests, which are used by many graduate schools as part of the admissions process. BenchPrep uses social networking-style functionality which allows users to connect with other test-takers and peruse revision materials with quizzes, notes and more. You can also use the app to track your learning progress.

TCY Exam Prep (Android) is another exam prep app, aimed at business students in India and the US. It features study resources for MBA/CAT tests, GRE, GATE and bank exams.

4. Student planner apps

Student planner

Organization is key for success and wellbeing at university, and student planner apps are becoming increasingly popular. As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device.

Popular student planner apps include Timetable (Android), an app featuring a sharp and clean interface which you can map your timetable onto with ease. For more familiar-looking planner apps for students, consider those with a more traditional spreadsheet-style layout, such as My Class Schedule (Android) or Class Timetable (iOS).

5. Bibliography helper apps

Bibliography

If you’ve ever spent hours writing up a hefty bibliography, you’ll know just how much work goes into making sure you’ve included all the information in the right places in the right format. EasyBib is an extremely useful app for students, which creates an academic reference for any book simply from a scan of the book’s barcode. As bibliography styles vary depending on where you study, EasyBib offers referencing in MLA, APA and Chicago styles. Simply take a picture of the barcode or type the title of the book into your device, et voila, professional referencing done!

6. Video call apps

Video call apps

Most students will be aware of video calling software such as Skype and FaceTime by now, and this technology is becoming even more easy-access as computer companies integrate quality cameras into their products and internet connection speeds get faster. As the overall technology improves, so too do the versions available on smaller devices. Using FaceTime on an iPhone has become as easy as making a call, while Skyping on a tablet makes it brilliantly possible to cook dinner/browse the web/compose a text while talking to your parents back home. Other video call apps include Fring and Tango.

For tips on how to conduct a successful Skype interview (for a job, internship or admissions interview), check out this blog post.

7. Student safety apps

Student safety

A number of apps for students have been developed promoting personal safety, for use both on- and off-campus. These student apps help to keep users safe if out alone at night. The Circle of Six app works on both Android and iOS, and was designed for university students to keep connected with close friends. The app is particularly useful for locating lost friends on nights out and also allows users to send their circle of six friends an instant call for help at the touch of a button. The GPS tracker will mark your location on your friends’ devices, ensuring you’ll always be able to find one another if necessary.

Other student apps to promote safety include bSafeBugle, React Mobile and GuardianSentral (iOS), which is an on-campus guardian app being road-tested at select institutions.

8. Wake-up apps

Wake-up apps

If you happen to be a persistent snoozer who always wakes up about 20 minutes too late for lectures, then Alarmy: Sleep If You Can is the app for you. Alarmy is an alarm app for students which requires users to complete small tasks (such as taking a photo of something specific or shaking the phone up and down a number of times) before the alarm turns itself off. Not only will this mean you’re alert and raring to go, Alarmy will also give you the latest weather update so you can decide whether to arm yourself with an umbrella before leaving home.

Meanwhile Sleep Cycle aims to correct its users’ sleeping pattern by waking them up during their lightest sleep phase. The app does this by monitoring both movement and the time the user went to sleep. This means you should wake up feeling less groggy in the mornings, and you might also get an extra 10 minutes of breakfast time.

9. Responsible-drinking apps

Responsible drinking apps

You may be a student, but that doesn’t have to mean becoming irresponsible when it comes to alcohol. The responsible-drinking app WiseDrinking charts how much you’ve been drinking, gives you suggestions about how much is safe, lets you know the optimum time to call a cab, and maps your location in relation to public transport services.

Using inputs of gender, weight and height, the app calculates blood alcohol content (BAC) levels by calculating the amount, type and timing of alcohol consumed and when the user’s last meal was. Although the app is entirely dependent on user input and therefore should only be used as a guideline, WiseDrinking can help you to stay aware of your consumption and give you guidance should you feel a little worse for wear.

If you want something a little more scientifically concrete, then you might consider investing in Alcohoot, a smart breathalyzer that attaches to your smartphone and tells you when you’re edging over the sensible limit.

10. Fun fitness apps

Fitness apps

For those who would normally find running boring, the app Zombies, Run! is a fun (and funny) way to motivate yourself when jogging. The app plays your own music playlists alongside recorded audio depicting a zombie apocalypse, in which you must run from the infected. More than a little terrifying, yes, but as a super-intense workout it’s hard to beat!

If you’d like to keep your fitness routine zombie-free, other fitness apps include Nike Training Club (iOS), SworkitMovesFitbit (iOS), JeFitRunKeeperStrava7 Minute Workout and MapMyFitness. If you decide to get them all, Nudge is another app that collates all your fitness data and stores it in one place. This means you can keep track of your nutrition, exercise, hydration and sleep, without checking the progress reports from each app.

11. Healthy eating apps

Healthy eating apps

If you’re keen to eat healthily while keeping to a student budget, consider downloading a few healthy eating apps. Examples I’ve come across which are perfect apps for students include Rockin Ramen (iOS), a student app featuring a number of nutritious recipes with ramen as a main ingredient, and MealBoard (iOS), an app which plans healthy meals, grocery shops and recipes based on what you’ve got in the fridge.

Other helpful student apps

  • Oxford English Dictionary – to look up words on the go (free with adverts, or paid with no ads).
  • Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus – dictionary and word-finder for those on a budget; also works offline.
  • Dropbox for mobile – access and edit documents, upload photos and play your own videos anywhere.
  • Penultimate – a handwriting app made by EverNote, allowing users to write with a digital pen and upload the work to any device.
  • Skout – a friend-finder app helping students meet new people in their locality.
  • Socrative – student app for quizzing and assessment.

This blog post was originally published in September 2014. It was updated in October 2016.

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a former staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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15 Comments

I think an important "safety" App for students in the UK is the SelfEvident App, which allows you to report incidents directly to the police, or other organisations, using your smartphone. It is designed to make it easier report incidents such as sexual assault, hate crime, street violence, cyber bullying, as well as giving the user more confidence -https://www.witnessconfident.org/self-evident-app
Matt H.

You can find apps for anything or any type now days because of development in advance information technology and fast 4g internet where you can easily find your answers or get help online or study online in colleges/Universities make your career portfolio online don’t need to traveling anywhere for work just start home based work apps are available you just need to identify what you need. You can make your note or task sheet as a reminder at Any.do where you can create to-do-list
Mailbox: which help you to manage your emails and also create reminders for you.
Drop box: Best Storage place where you can store your assignments or personal data online in your account.

Communication between schools and parents is turning out to be a lot easier with the new school phone apps that are there on offer. School Communication Apps is very helpful for teachers, parents adn for student too. Teno App a School Communication Apps which is free a app can be used for such sommunications. know more about this app at https://tenoapp.com/

Great tips!

I got through my first year of college through a lot of help from the locals, as i was a freshman move-in. I got a lot of help mostly via Getmii application. It's basically a place for people to go on and exchange everything they would like, from ideas to plane tickets! if they want lol. I usually go on to ask for nice cafes to get coffee, new bars to find new friends, and nice nail salons. But some people go on to arrange sell and purchase too. It's very helpful and convenient. Check it out guys! you will love it :-)

Hi!
I wanted to relate to the post focused on time management apps: https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/top-time-management-apps-students-2015 but it's not possible to comment. So I write here :)
I would like to ask you for your opinion about http://kanbantool.com/ In this app you can manage your tasks in general but I am especially amazed by the time management functions. The time tracking helps me to control my working time. I can compare different tasks and estimate how much time would I need for them. I used to have problems with planning my time, and now I can do (almost ;) ) everything on time.
Do you have similar experiences?
Greetings,
Patricia :)

Hi Patricia I tried the tool that you suggested, Kanban and it looks quite good and i might use it. I would say though is that it is very generic planning tool, you need to come up with all the tasks yourself. If you want something that generates your study plan have a look at Planner Pig (http://www.plannerpig.com). It's more geared for professional students but can be used by anyone that needs to generate a plan for their exams and track progress.

Thanks for sharing this useful information about most helpful apps for students. Safety Apps are very helpful for School management and as well as school students also. Because these kind of Safety Apps helps us in any kind of trouble and some kind of critical problem especially for girls and women. If the school administration wants a safe environment in the school, then they should have used these kind of safety apps for the students, teachers and staff members' self protection. Like 911cellular provides a best Safety Apps for the human community which is used both emergency or non-emergency alerting system pressing only one button.

There are so many no of safety apps are available because Self-Defense is necessary for everybody which helps you in any situation.There are some best self-defense apps for emergency notifications & protect your self with smart way. Safety app service providers provides new technology based campus safety app which is very helpful to students & teachers in any emergency.

I like it Apps no doubt good for education purpose...

Interesting for me and very useful.
Thanks to author!

Glad it could be of use! Thanks for reading :)

look nice

Hey, great post indeed and I used Evernote a lot, which was GREAT!

I also recently discovered Dragdis, which is great for sorting out research material and compiling information for different arguments. Plus, Dragdis just introduced collaboration folders, which are great for group projects as you can create a folder, share it with your peers and then co-create a library of useful readings/ materials to include in the project. Is anyone else using it for studying?

As someone with exams coming up I've tried pretty much every memory technique and app available and all sorts of tips to improve my revision but the tried and tested method of flash card testing and repeating this over time is the only thing that makes information stick in my head.