Originally Posted: Mar 19, 2016
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2018
Do your parents ever get on your case for Snapchatting instead of studying? With these seven helpful apps, your phone will become as valuable as any textbook, if not more!
1. Mathe Alarm Clock
(Free for iPhone)
I’ve been setting an alarm clock since I was seven years old. Unfortunately, my willingness to leave the warm safe haven that is my bed has significantly decreased in the past 10 years. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, this is the app for you. At night, you choose a difficulty level and the number of math problems you want to solve. Upon waking, your alarm will not shut off until you answer them all. The easiest questions are just simple multiplication and addition, but the hardest are full-on order of operations! It forces you to wake up and gives you some good math practice in the morning.
This app comes in several varieties—math problems, barcode scanning (for example, your toothpaste), remember the pattern, and, for those of you who really hate waking up, “Snooze U Pay.”
This one might seem obvious to you more jaded app users, but if this is not on your phone, it needs to be. Quizlet is the app that replaces that stack of 300 notecards you made freshman year; you create vocab sets and then learn them through flashcards, fill-in-the-blank questions, and matching games. You can also access sets made by anyone else in the world, so if you don’t want to spend three hours making an SAT set, you don’t have to, because someone else probably has.
Half of you are looking at this with utter confusion right now—what does a music app have to do with school? My answer: everything. Spotify not only provides the soundtrack to my breakfast, morning routine, and ride to school, it also has tons of studying playlists with music that helps you concentrate! I, unlike 99% of the population, absolutely cannot concentrate with any sound at all in the background, but most of my friends like having music playing while they do homework. Spotify’s study playlists don’t have any songs that will distract you, so it’s perfect for that purpose.
I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for money for college. Scholly is a mobile scholarship search app—you put in some basic characteristics about yourself, and it pulls up hundreds of matches instantly. You can tap on the title of a scholarship to get more information on it, including its due date and a link to its website. Then, if it fits, you can save it to your personal list and come back to it later. If you tap on the due date, it will even put the deadline into your phone calendar! This app also has a section that has sample essays on all kinds of prompts, in case you’re looking for inspiration. Overall, one of the best scholarship apps out there.
Sometimes I have a very hard time putting my phone down and actually doing my work. Forest is an anti-procrastination app that forces you to keep your phone away. Every time you start your work, you set a timer and plant a tree. If you exit out of the app before your timer runs out, your tree dies and a dead branch is left in its place. Every day, you can look at your forest, and even go back and see how you did on other days. Every time your tree grows to full maturity, you get tokens that you can use to buy different types of trees (ones with treehouses and flowers) and the longer your timer is set for, the prettier your tree is.
($2.99 for iPhone)
Possibly the most useful app on my phone, Carrot has been with me since freshman year. It’s a to-do list run by Carrot, a ruthless AI that is happy when you complete tasks but angry when you don’t. With Carrot, you can set alarms to remind you when things are due, and the more you get done, the more awards you earn. As you progress, she gives you a pet cat that goes on adventures, and the more tasks you complete, the further the cat’s plot develops. Carrot has an easily navigable interface and is by far the most entertaining and motivating to-do list I’ve ever encountered.
Whether you’re looking to supplement the lessons you learn in school or you want to pick up another language on the side, Mindsnacks is a great app that has fun games and challenges to help you learn. If you’re looking to learn how to write, maybe go with Duolingo or something similar, but in terms of spoken language, Mindsnacks trumps the competition. You learn through a series of mini games, and the more you play, the more games you unlock! Within two months, I could count to 100, know how to say dates and years, and structure basic sentences in Mandarin. Maybe not perfect by itself, but in combination with other resources, Mindsnacks is invaluable. The first lesson is free, and after that it’s $4.99 for one language and $19.99 for all of their available languages. They even have SAT vocabulary! If the price deters you, at least try it once for free. You may find yourself surprised; I was.
Thanks to modern technology, being a high school student on the go has never been easier. I encourage you to try all of these apps and watch your productivity triple. Happy studying!