Sure, the semester is coming to a close, and you’re probably in the midst of finals week, and you’re thinking – well, why would I read this article now? The reason is quite obvious – statistically speaking, most students don’t do nearly as well as they planned in a semester. Finals – being the last chance at improvement – typically don’t go too well for most students. So unless you’re a young Feynman, you’re probably thinking about what you did wrong, and how you can improve. While the real key to improvement lies in your approach to studying, technology must not be neglected as a means of assistance. The iPhone – your most portable computer – is an unbelievably helpful tool when it comes to educational organization, studying, note taking, staying connected with other students, data reference, and more.
This application is all you need to keep track of your homework and reading assignments. Simply enter your full class schedule, along with course number, building, room number, professor, days, and start/end times. Then, when entering an assignment, choose which class the assignment applies to. Also specify the type, the due date, and add any additional notes.
The application notifies you of any late or upcoming assignments. Late assignments are red, next day upcoming assignments are orange, and all other assignments are blue. Swipe accross the assignment iPhone style to delete, and flick the screen to flip between the pages.
iHomework is essentially a more grownup version of the app above, but it costs a buck. In addition to all the features of myHomework, iHomework extends past the realm of homework, and serves as a general to-do list as well. Also, iHomework allows you to record your grade on each assignment, allowing you to keep track of how your doing in each class.
In addition, this application allows contact integration (great for professor contact info.)
This application keeps track of your grades so your GPA isn’t a mystery until the semester comes to a close. Knowing where you stand is crucial to success. While everyone is capable of doing these calculations on their own, most students aren’t organized enough to keep track of all grades.
GPA+ allows you to calculate your GPA based on your current grade, or you can input grades for every assignment to get a cumulative score. You can imput grades as letters or as percentages, and the application allows you to input assignment weights, which is crucial. While the application does not work on an overall point system, it’s very simple to convert from points to weight (given an assignment point value, and an overall point value…just divide).
GPA+ has a tool which tells you what grades you should strive for to maintain a pre-defined GPA.
iProcrastinate Mobile is an excellent to-do list application – boasting a variety of straightforward options and a zero dollar price tag. The options are similar to the homework/to-do list applications listed above, with a tad more customization available.
Evernote is a famous application that allows you to store notes, ideas, snapshots, and recordings, and have it all instantly synchronize from the iPhone, to the internet, and to your Mac or PC. The purpose of this application is to remember everything. Any snippets of information – no matter what their forms are – are instantly saved through Evernote. Everything is automatically geotagged, and all photos are searchable.
For example, if you’re taking an organic chemistry course, you can take a picture of the board with your iPhone through the Evernote app. Now the image is stored securely, and the text is entirely searchable. You can now use Evernote to highlight, for example, only the -OH groups of the molecule.
It’s also useful for sharing notes with friends, and is much more efficient than going to the copy machine.
Be sure to register and download the desktop client for free here.
Everyone with an iPhone must download this application. It is fantastic. Not only is iTalk free, but it gives your iPhone extremely high quality audio recording capabilities. I have personally used this app from the last row of a 400 person lecture hall, and it recorded the speaker’s voice clearly. This app is a must for all college students – just open iTalk and leave your iPhone on your desk – and you’ll have the entire lecture recorded.
Be sure to use “Best” recording quality, and sync frequently because the recordings take up a lot of space (especially if you’re recording entire lectures).
Griffin offers a free desktop client which allows you to wirelessly sync all recordings to your Mac or PC. Download it here.
There is a $4.99 premium version which is the exact same app but without ads. So unless you really like giving away five bucks, stick to the free version.
“Notecards” is one of those apps that tells it all in the title. This application allows you to store an unlimited number of notecards in an unlimited number of groups, and study them in various ways. You can share flash cards via Wi-Fi, track your success percentages, sync with a free Mac only desktop application, and study in any iPhone supported language.
There are six different study modes:
- Groups (you study a certain group of flash cards until you reach a certain correct percentage, and then move to the next group)
- Worst (study flash cards in which the correct percentage is less than some user-defined percentage)
- Growing Groups (you start by studying a small group of flash cards and as you master them the program adds on more cards)
- Shrinking Cards (study in shuffle mode but throw out any cards that you feel you mastered, so you only focus on the tough ones)
Note: There is a free version as well, but it allows a maximum of only 50 flash cards.
This application offers an easy way to create flashcards with text, pictures, or audio. You can sort the cards in an unlimited number of groups and subgroups, and each card can have any combination of text, pictures, or audio. FlashCards offers several study modes, and tracks all your progress. You can search within any of the cards.
There is an update coming soon which will allow automatic text imports from Excel, Google Docs, and all similar applications.
This app is only better than the one above if you need to memorize images, not just text.
The Lange Series Flash Cards
- Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Flash Cards (App Store)
- Pharmacology Flash Cards (App Store)
- Pathology Flash Cards (App Store)
- Biochemistry and Genetics Flash Cards (App Store)
These applications are specifically targeted towards students in the medical field. While these apps are in no way cheap, they are certainly helpful and improve exam performance.
Price: $34.99 each
Also look for…
- The Netter Flash Card Series
- Anatomy Flash Cards
- Musculoskeletal Flash Cards
- Advanced Head and Neck Flash Cards
- Histology Flash Cards
- The Law in a Flash Series
Enough said. If you’re a student, get on facebook. Aside from the “fun” aspect of it, facebook is extremely useful to keep in touch with your classmates and sometimes your professors too.
This application is extremely useful for all students in any kind of chemistry course, eliminating the need to try and remember where you put your paper copy of the periodic table. The application is easy to zoom, shows a detailed description and history of each element, shows every physical property, and just gets the job done.
Although all your professors say the same thing, “Don’t trust Wikipedia! If you cite Wikipedia you will fail!”, let’s face it – Wikipedia is still your go to reference for quick facts. This free application puts Wikipedia on your iPhone in an easy, compact form.
As you can tell, the iPhone has a lot to offer to students. Let us know if these apps help you, or tell us about some other apps which didn’t make the list.