Midterm season is one of the more frustrating and stressful times of the school year for students. On top of all the homework, extracurriculars, jobs and internships that students have to juggle, taxing exams represent yet another challenge to students’ balancing acts.
Preparing for midterms usually consists of reading and re-reading textbooks and notes or mechanically practicing intricate math and science problems — tasks that can quickly get tiresome.
But, thanks to technology, studying does not have to be tedious. Educational apps can quickly transform a sleep-inducing study session into an engaging and meaningful learning experience.
For those who are required to write in-class essays as part of their midterms, VocabWiz can expand vocabularies enough to thoroughly impress professors. VocabWiz has more than 4,500 words and is specifically catered to college students, even offering vocabulary relevant to the TOEFL, GRE and the GMAT exams. Brush up on some of these words using VocabWiz and you won’t have to worry running into a word you’ve never seen before during a test.
When it comes to analyzing dense passages, there is no need to agonize. Looking up obscure words has never been easier with Dictionary.com’s official app. With more than 2 million definitions for words, this app becomes especially handy when reading a particularly technical paper or novel. And in case a definition is not sufficient, the Dictionary.com app also comes with example sentences, word origin and history for every word as well as a feature that allows users to shake their iPhone for a random word — just for kicks.
If it seems smartphone apps are partial toward the humanities, think again. The Free Graphing Calculator app, for instance, is every mathematician’s dream. Straightforward and precise, this app works as a scientific calculator, graphing calculator, unit converter and more. The app includes scientific constants and formulas for topics ranging from trigonometry to classical mechanics, useful for studying or just to look up when an answer is not coming to mind. Though the calculator cannot be used during a test, the app works as a study tool as well as a resource for checking graphs and answers.
In terms of science, the chemistry realm boasts Molecules, a brilliant application for viewing three-dimensional images of molecules. As an open source project, Molecules works not only as a molecular databank but also as a continually growing project that gives large visual representations of small-scale particles.
Taking a music class? If it deals with the fundamentals of music theory, the Scales & Modes app might be a valuable purchase in the long-run. Major and minor modes are displayed on a musical staff and one can listen to every note in any key. Musical scales are also available for viewing and listening. Scales & Modes makes reviewing the basics less of a chore and more of a reward.
When it comes to the pure memorization of facts and information, there is no better way to study than with flashcards. But why go through all the trouble of actually buying notecards and spending time making them when there is the A+ Flashcards Pro application? A+ Flashcards Pro allows users to download existing flashcard sets from Quizlet, a popular learning resource website; create sets complete with text, images and audio; incorporate languages with Microsoft Translation and Online Search; share sets with friends and much more. A+ Flashcards Pro is an application appropriate for just about any subject.
Of course, no study session is complete without a study break. Try your hand at Roo Run Roo, a simple and unique game that has quick, short levels, or Beat Sneak, a graphically stunning puzzle and maze. Drool over some delectable photos of food with apps like Gojee, which also offers users delicious recipes, or Epicurious. Maybe even take a few shameless selfies of yourself with the PopBooth or CatPaint apps. Just make sure to keep these limited breaks in check.
Still, even though these apps help ease the pain of studying, it is important not to become completely dependent on them. Though technology is convenient and accessible, nothing can truly replace group study sessions or studying in advance for a midterm. It might be cliche, but make sure to get some rest and eat a hearty breakfast before your test — and do not get too carried away with CatPaint.