12 FREE Online Study Tools and Apps for College Students

It’s easy to forget about school work when you’re on the internet. From cat videos on YouTube to Reddit to TikTok, there are so many rabbit holes to go down! But the internet has also made studying much easier. There are thousands of websites and apps out there designed to be used as tools to help learn new skills, manage everyday life, and to help college students better study and prepare for their classes.

Here we’ll shine the spotlight on 12 online study tools dedicated to being your new best study-buddy. Whether it’s time management, digital flashcards, self-made quizzes, study games, or other educational tools, these websites and apps can help students of any age get ready for upcoming tests, all for the low, low price of absolutely free.

A student typing on a laptop with one hand, and writing down notes with the other.

Study Tools for College Students

1. GOCONQR

Visual learners, rejoice. What makes this site unique are the mind maps, a web of information that breaks down broad subjects into smaller topics. When you create a map, it allows you to see how things are connected. This helps with both memorization and understanding.

The site also has numerous other helpful features like flashcards, a note-taking platform, self-created quizzes, study planner, a collaboration tool, and a way to track how much you’re learning. This versatile tool is also available across multiple platforms for studying on the go.

2. QUIZLET

With this site, you provide the information and Quizlet provides the study tools. Users can create “sets” in any subject under the sun. Based on the set, the website will generate flashcards, quizzes, practice tests, matching games, and even auditory tools. Quizlet also has a free app for learning on the go and studying even offline.

The two games, Scatter and Space Race, allow you to learn the material and have fun doing it. In Scatter, users drag definitions or information to their related counterparts as quickly as they can, clearing the screen. In Space Race, definitions scroll across the screen and you type in the correct word or phrase associated with it before the definition reaches the end of the screen.

3. EVERNOTE

Studying can sometimes cover several different platforms, but with Evernote, all of your notes, information, and research can be together in one place. An invaluable organizational tool, this site can sync your info across computers and phones, share with other users, gather web-clips, and create all from one central platform.

Evernote can be used in a multitude of ways: keeping research paper information in order, organizing presentation notes, creating study guides off of in-class note-taking, not to mention everyday non-school related tasks, too.

4. Chegg Flashcards

Chegg is a great resource for studying, and did you know they offer flashcards to help you study? Accessible anywhere on mobile devices, you can take advantage of over 500 million flashcards on the site! And don’t see what you need? Don’t worry – you can make your own. They have sets on everything from accounting to religion and law to medicine.

Chegg is also a great resource for textbook explanations, exam prep, topic breakdowns, grammar assistance, and more.

5. MARINARA TIMER

Despite making you hungry for some spaghetti, this site is dedicated to increasing productivity. Inspired by the Pomodoro method of productivity—working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break—Marinara Timer allows you to customize your own personal timer (complete with entertaining alarm sounds like “alien bot ordering lunch” or “echoing into space”) to study effectively.

Taking a small break while studying increases attention span, focus, and productivity. This site can help you reward yourself for your hard work by letting you know it’s time to sit back scroll through your Twitter feed or watch a few funny videos. It then lets you know when it’s time to get back to work.

6. STUDYSTACK

Despite making you hungry for some spaghetti, this site is dedicated to increasing productivity. Inspired by the Pomodoro method of productivity—working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break—Marinara Timer allows you to customize your own personal timer (complete with entertaining alarm sounds like “alien bot ordering lunch” or “echoing into space”) to study effectively.

Taking a small break while studying increases attention span, focus, and productivity. This site can help you reward yourself for your hard work by letting you know it’s time to sit back scroll through your Twitter feed or watch a few funny videos. It then lets you know when it’s time to get back to work.

7. SCHOOLTRAQ 

When you keep track of assignments, tests, and events, planning time to study becomes a lot easier. Schooltraq is an online digital planner that keeps due dates in check. An alternative to the traditional paper agenda, this site ensures you never lose your schedule as it syncs up between your phone and computer.

The design is sleek and simple, allowing for clarity and low stress. When your ducks are all in a row, school life becomes more manageable. This site can go beyond helping you study for your next test since you can use it for your personal life as well.

8. GRAMMARLY

Part of doing work in college is ensuring your grammar and spelling are correct. If your writing can do with a bit of assistance, Grammarly can help make sure that your studying and resulting work are correct. The browser add-on is easy to use, informative, and will help correct your writing, teaching you where your work can be improved.

Whether you’re writing an email or collaborating on a project, this free tool can assist you with your approach to work. It clearly outlines what needs to be changed and tells you why it needs to be changed, so you learn from the experience.

9. HIPPOCAMPUS

How do you learn? If visual stimuli help you approach your study time better, then Hippocampus may be for you. Free, it contains information and multimedia content on a wide variety of subjects from economics to religion.

Visiting the website will give you access to 7,000 videos on all their available subjects. The website also shows you other collections or tools that can further your education.

10. KHAN ACADEMY

Khan Academy is another amazing option for those who want to study and learn more outside the classroom. This free resource presents you with class options tailored to your education level and interests. You can find information on basic geometry, electrical engineering, organic chemistry, microeconomics, personal finance, and more.

Once you select your interests, Khan will set you up with courses to get you on your way to your goals. The program tracks your progress to help you stay on track!

Many of the sites on this list have upgraded packages or “pro” accounts for some cost. However, every single one has free tools ideal for any student. Give them a try and see which ones help you out the most.

11. Duolingo

The Duolingo app is a great resource if you need a bit of extra help practicing a foreign language! There is a free version which is perfect for getting started with a new language and is plenty for most students. Available on a browser and as an app, the program tracks your progress as you learn new words, practice pronunciation, and study vocabulary. You can also compete against your friends to see who can study and learn the most.

12. Udemy

Udemy is an online platform with a wide variety of courses available in everything from drawing to Python. While the resource does have a lot of paid classes, there are also several free resources and courses available on the site! These classes can cover things like communication skills, time management, coding, animation, marketing, and personal development. These can be great assets in addition to your courses in college and help you get ahead in your class.

Making the Most of These Study Tools

As with any approach to studying, you need to have the right foundation to take advantage of these study tools. Free or not, you’re not going to get the benefits from these websites and apps if you’re not putting in the work. Proper study habits, dedicated work spaces, routines, planning, and academic goal setting will help you stay on task and advance your skills.

If you’re struggling to stay on task, be sure to add some free planner tools to your desktop. Google Calendar, for instance, is completely free and can help you track important dates, tests, and deadlines. Utilizing the cloud, such as Google Drive, can also ensure you’re able to study wherever you go. In addition, there are plenty of free browser extensions that can check your grammar, restrict distractions, and just aid in your overall approach to studying.

The correct approach here will help improve your chances of academic success.

Other Free Resources for Studying

You’re absolutely not restricted to these 12 free study tools. There are countless other websites, apps, and resources that can help you advance your education and skills. Here are a few ideas to get started:

Attend Group Study Sessions

Group study sessions through middle schools, high schools, and colleges are often free, and they tend to be available for a wide breadth of subjects. Simply talking to your teacher or looking online can help you identify the sessions that would work best for you. If one doesn’t exist, you can always create one yourself or you can look into free virtual study groups.

Sign up for Free Tutoring

Did you know that many colleges offer free tutoring to their students? You’ll likely work with an upperclassman or more advanced student, but just about every department has free study resources available. If you’re struggling in a class or just want to improve your grades, be sure to reach out to your professor or the department head about more information.

Use Free Programs to Make Your Own Study Tools

While the websites and apps listed above can be great tools for studying, you may not find the best resources for your needs. Designing your own study tools can be a fantastic way to take initiative and create a study plan that meets your unique needs and goals in the classroom. Free programs like Google Docs and LibreOffice can help you make flash cards, for instance.

These are just some of the free study tools college students can use to help study and better prepare for their classes! And there’s more, too. Check out our other article for an additional 10 free study resources you can take advantage of today right here.

Taking the initiative to learn on your own time and enhance your skills can pay off big time for college. It also looks amazing on college applications! If you’re ready to start crafting your applications, it’s time to start looking for the colleges that meet your goals. Our College Match tool allows you to identify the best schools out there for your wants and needs – and it’s completely FREE! Start here today!

6 thoughts on “12 FREE Online Study Tools and Apps for College Students”

  1. Araceli Delgado Vargas says:

    Hola soy profesora del Instituto Politécnico Nacional y me gustaría utilizar esta aplicación con mis alumnos pero ¿sólo está en inglés???

    1. A student says:

      Hi, yes I believe it is only in English, but you may find other forms that are similar. ¡buena suerte!

  2. Zari says:

    College is challenging in many ways, and even the best high schools may not properly prepare you for college academics. Many high school students, even those in AP or honors programs, studied minimally and did very well, but this does not hold true for college. However, studying successfully in college does not mean spending hours upon hours memorizing in the library.

  3. Owen Davis says:

    I used Evernote, pretty amazing. Not sure why I stopped using it, perhaps don’t do as many notes now. Memory got better? Hmm.

  4. Jeffery says:

    College is a challenge at times, especially when trying to juggle work with assignments. I use to use Studystack which helped me become an expert at statistics. Now I’m an expert at statistics and teach it part-time at http://www.myknacks.com. it’s free to sign up and you get paid to teach when you’re available. Pretty fun and simple.

  5. Samantha Collins says:

    Great sources! I used to use Memorize to learn definitions, it was really helpful. Also I use some apps to improve memory in my work and study life.

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