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The Best Study Apps According to Function and Learning Style

Michelle Polizzi
September 14, 2020

Young woman using a cellphone on city streets

Scrolling through the app store in search of a study app can be overwhelming to say the least. There are dozens of options, and many of them look functional and helpful. But how do you know which one’s right for you? How do you choose one that can help you ace your test and achieve your career goals?

Fortunately, today’s students have a wide range of technology that can make studying more enjoyable and more effective. Study apps help students with memory recall through digital flashcards, to-do lists, quizzes, step-by-step learning, and more.

Whether you’re a high school student needing help with science or a college student in search of better math study tips, study apps can help you study more effectively.

What Makes a Great Study App?

There’s no shortage of study apps available on the internet. But what differentiates an average study app from one that yields results?

One important thing to look for in a study app is whether or not it has reviews. If students are actively using and praising the study app, there’s a good chance it’s reputable. This also means the app is being updated often, so you can count on the latest features and bug fixes.

Next, get clear on what you need the study app for. Do you want something to help you memorize vocab terms? Consider a flashcard app. Need something to help you tackle a lot of information in a short amount of time? A time management app can help.

Another point of concern is whether or not to pay for a study app. While many apps are free, others require payment in order to access premium features. Paying for an app doesn’t necessarily make it more effective. Rather, it’s more important to choose a platform that’s right for your learning needs.

For example, digital flashcard apps are helpful for students with strong visual memory, as seeing the word on the screen can help them associate it with the definition. In contrast, apps with dictation, meaning words are spoken aloud, can help auditory learners better retain information. Apps that emphasize quizzes can strengthen your testing skills in difficult subjects, especially if you’re specifically studying for a big test.

Understanding how you learn, in addition to what you need the app for, is the best way to choose a reliable app that’s designed to suit your learning needs. Read on to learn more about the different types of study apps for Google, Android, and Apple iOS, and which ones rank highest for reaching your learning goals.

Study Apps With Digital Flashcards

College student using study apps in a library

Flashcard apps are a favorite study tool for high school and college students because they help you review material straight from your Android or iPhone no matter where you are. Some apps let you upload specific study materials to make your own flashcards, whereas others have pre-created material based on the subject at hand.


GoConqr is a free app that offers a wide range of study tools, including flashcards, quizzes, mind maps, and flowcharts. One benefit of this flashcard app is it allows you to customize your study experience and emphasize the areas where you need the most help.

You can also add images and videos to flashcards so you can memorize pictures along with definitions — a great tool for visual learners tackling subjects like art history or chemistry. If you don’t already have terms, GoConqr has a library of user-generated study sets made by students just like you. Choose from different types of resources on different themes to find something that best suits your needs.


StudyBlue is a study library that’s been crowdsourced by students across the globe. With 400 million flashcards available, there’s no shortage of information available.

StudyBlue is focused on making studying more effective and efficient to help students maintain a healthy school-life balance. This is possible because StudyBlue shares only the most high-quality study content, and students can access flashcard recommendations from friends and classmates.

Note-Taking and To-Do List Apps

A person holding a phone at their desk

If you’re looking to effectively create digital to-do lists, study apps for note-taking help you access your to-dos from your smartphone.


The Evernote app is a favorite among college and high school students alike. Touted as the best digital note-taking app, Evernote emphasizes both personal organization and team collaboration. Evernote allows you to highlight important information on more than just text. You can use it to take notes on images, voice notes, and files that are important for studying. A tool like Scanner Pro can help you upload hard copies of notes and study guides to the app.

Whether it’s study notes, test reminders, or to-do lists, Evernote keeps your information in one place and helps you manage it online and offline. Plus, Evernote helps you share information with friends and classmates if you’re collaborating on projects or studying together.

My Study Life

My Study Life is a comprehensive study app designed to help you create and manage study schedules and to-do lists for better results on tests and assignments. Designed to replace paper planners, My Study Life creates space for all of your learning to-dos, including readings, rotation schedules, revisions, essays, quizzes, and exams.

Another perk is that it syncs in the cloud, meaning you can access it at any time – even when you’re offline. This free study app is available from Google Play and Apple on all devices, from Mac to Android.

Quiz and Exam-Focused Apps

Study apps: hands holding a white phone at white desk

The best way to prepare for an upcoming quiz or exam is to test yourself on the material at hand. Quiz and exam-focused apps use information you provide to create quizzes that test your knowledge.


This learning app makes it easy to master complicated topics and subjects. It has pre-made guides to a wide range of common fields, including everything from French to economics. Quizlet has an impressive range of subtopics under each field of study (psychology alone has nearly 50), so you’ll find help with specific or niche areas of study.

You’ll also find advanced courses, like AP for high schoolers and policy material for law school students. Plus, Quizlet offers free study guides, diagrams, flashcards, and practice tests.

Exam Countdown

If you’re managing multiple study schedules at once, Exam Countdown can help you pace your review so you study the right material at the right time. Exam Countdown also has a free version, which is extremely simple to use.

The streamlined layout of this app helps you see all your upcoming exams in a single view. This allows you to prioritize which exams to study for and decide when to study. Download it on your Android or Apple smartphone to keep track of your tests.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a free, simple resource that can make it exponentially easier to create and maintain a study schedule. In the same way that professionals use Google Calendar to block off time for meetings, students can schedule time for studying.

This not only reminds the student when they’re set to study — it also alerts friends and parents the student is unavailable during that time so they can more easily stick to the schedule. Use different colors to categorize different subjects, and include dates for upcoming exams to help you stay on track.


Duolingo is a free app that makes it easy to learn a new language. It includes helpful features like personalized learning, which helps you go at your own pace and review terms as needed. It also includes rewards, which help motivate you to raise your fluency score as you go.

Additionally, Duolingo’s dictation feature allows you to hear and see the new word or phrase, then write them down manually or record your pronunciations via a text-to-speech app. Duolingo is free, but you can sign up for a paid version to remove ads.

Study Apps for High School and College Students

Whether you’re distracted by social media or you need help remembering test dates, study apps can help with scheduling study time, reviewing material, and preparing for important tests. While some apps make it easy to upload your own information, others are filled with high-quality study guides that already have the material you need to review.

Students who understand the different types of study apps, and how each one helps the learning process, will be well on their way to a more successful and productive school year. Visit TutorMe for more help with studying, and learn how a private tutor can support you with tactics like creating study schedules and reviewing important material.

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