These online study tools for college students can help you prepare for exams and improve your grades
Need help acing the big exam and improving your GPA? Online study websites like Quizlet offer homework help, textbooks solutions, study guides and more to make learning (and cramming) easy. Of course, Quizlet isn’t your only option – here’s a list of 30 study sites, updated for 2020 and complete with feature lists, apps, reviews and associated costs.
Learn from more than 300 million user-submitted study sets covering a variety of topics (or create your own shareable study set).
- Quizlet Learn study guidance
- Study diagrams
- Online flashcards
- Interactive games
- Learning quizzes and tests
- Test prep premium content
How much does Quizlet cost?
- Free for most features
- Quizlet Plus offers ad-free learning, offline access and more study set creation options for $23.88/year
- Quizlet Go offers ad-free learning and ad-free studying for $11.99/year
- Common Sense: “Just about everything students and teachers will need in a quiz and flashcard tool.”
- PC Mag: 4 out of 5. "Though limited in scope, the excellent Quizlet provides a simple, user-centric online tool for rote learning."
- G2Crowd: 4.4 out of 5. "Straightforward and basic, you can't get more into the bare bones of creating and conducting a quiz than this program."
- Edshelf: "Quizlet makes it easy to create and share study materials, to study with a few friends or an entire class."
This community-driven study site grants access to millions of textbook solutions. Search for your textbook to see a list of answered problems; or, upload your own textbook solutions to help other students. The community can rate solutions and add comments.
How much does Slader cost?
- Slader is free to use
- An ad-free version called Slader Premium is available for $1.99/month
- AllMyFaves: "If you're having trouble with your homework, or if you just need a little more explanation than your teacher offered in class, Slader is the virtual tutor that'll make your life much easier."
- Apple App Store: 4.3 out of 5. Users say the app is very helpful but express annoyance with ads, user interface glitches and incorrect solutions.
- Google Play: 4.3 out of 5. Overall excellent user reviews; negative reviews cite frustration with ads, user interface glitches and incorrect solutions.
3. Chegg Study
Membership provides access to step-by-step textbook solutions for more than 22,000 ISBNs, many with guided video walkthroughs, a library featuring more than 21 million homework solutions and expert Q&A in as little as 30 minutes.
How much does Chegg Study cost?
- Chegg Study costs $14.95/month
- Chegg flashcards are free
- Chegg math solver and writing tool are $9.95/month each
- Chegg tutoring costs $6.95 for a single chat lesson, $14.95/month for unlimited chat lessons and $30/month for up to 60 minutes of video calls per month
- Chegg test prep costs range from $49 for one month of GRE prep access up to $2,499 for live online or in person MCAT courses
Chegg Study reviews
- Apple App Store: 4.8 out of 5. Many reviewers tout Chegg Study for its quick and easy textbook solutions and homework help. Negative reviews cite incorrect answers and billing issues.
- Google Play: 4.1 out of 5. Reviewers like detailed textbook solutions and homework help, but some state answers are sometimes incomplete or incorrect.
- Cool College Helpers: "The expert Q & A is a good feature we at Cool College Helpers appreciated, but we found not all the experts were right all the time."
Koofers offers free test banks compiled from student governments, fraternities, sororities and academic organizations. The library features past exams and study guides from specific classes, professors and universities as well as social studying, which allows you to ask classmates about upcoming exams. You can also make your own printable flashcards or review more than one million community-created flashcards.
- Text banks
- Study guides
- Printable flashcard maker
- Flashcard library
- Professor ratings
- No apps are available in the Apple App Store or Google Play
How much does Koofers cost?
- Techcrunch: "Koofers is driving the reinvention of our university system."
- Entrepreneur: "By logging into Koofers… a student in an introductory chemistry class of 30 can now swap and share materials with tens of thousands of students studying the same curriculum worldwide."
Use SparkNotes alongside classic and contemporary literary works ranging from Shakespeare to the Hunger Games to aid comprehension and help prepare for tests. SparkNotes also offers study guides for math, biology, government, sociology, physics and poetry. Popular study guides feature quick quizzes to test retention.
- Literary notes for more than 500 works
- Literary study guides
- Side-by-side translations
- Other subject study guides and quick reference SparkCharts
How much does SparkNotes cost?
- Website summaries, quizzes and other resources are free
- SparkNotes no longer offers downloadable or printable guides, but books can be purchased at Barnes & Noble for around $5 each
- The SparkNotes app costs $.99/month or $4.99/year
- New York Times: “Professor Fisher said SparkNotes’ analysis was more contemporary than that offered on some of the other sites.”
- Common Sense Media: 4 out of 5. "Detailed study guides a solid supplement to required books."
- Good Housekeeping Institute: 2 out of 5. "A bit limited. Quizzes received great scores in our testing for their ability to reinforce material and pinpoint areas in need of review, however."
Provides online courses and study guides for a variety of subjects, plus test prep for the ACT, SAT and AP exams. Much of the content is geared toward high schoolers preparing for college.
- Study guides, videos and articles
- Online courses
- Essay lab
- Flashcard builder
- Test prep
- College planning
- Shmoop does not currently have an iOS or Android app
How much does Shmoop cost?
- Study guides are free
- Online courses, test prep, essay lab and flashcards cost $14.99/month or $150/year
- CNET: "Shmoop is a fine study guide for students, but it also has the potential of being an assistant for those that don't want to study."
- Common Sense Education: 4 out of 5. "Pop culture plus solid content equals legit learning."
- Education World: 4 out of 5. "Its overly complicated navigation bar aside, Shmoop does an exceptional job in presenting a variety of academically relevant content for teen users."
Acquired by Chegg in 2f018, StudyBlue is the largest crowdsourced study library. Use it to create and store your own digital flashcards and other study materials, with access to more than 400 million flashcards, notes and study guides from other students.
- Flashcards by school or make your own
- Homework help
- Study materials by school and class
How much does StudyBlue cost?
- Engadget: “You can use it to create your own custom decks of flash cards for specific classes. More important, though, you'll be prompted to select a school and the courses you're enrolled in once you've installed the app.”
- Education World: 5 out of 5. "StudyBlue is 100% free to use, but unlike other free online tools, the digital flashcards provided here look and work like those for which others happily pay."
- Make Use Of: “Making flashcards online is easy with StudyBlue.”
8. Course Hero
Share and access course-specific resources with more than 10 million members. Unlock course materials by uploading your own documents.
- Course-specific study guides
- 24/7 homework help
- Textbook solutions
- Practice problems
How much does Course Hero cost?
- Upload original study materials, review content or refer friends to unlock free study resources and tutor questions
- Get instant access with Course Hero Premier ($119.40/year, $59.85/quarter or $39.95/month)
Course Hero reviews
- Trustpilot: 4 out of 5. Positive reviewers like the quality of study materials and homework help tutors. Negative reviewers cite incorrect materials, high cost and billing issues.
- Apple App Store: 4.6 out of 5. Most reviews are positive about Course Hero’s study materials and tutors. Negative reviewers mention poor value for the expense and billing issues.
- Geek And Nerd: 7.5 out of 10. "The quality of the resources available is very high. In this coursehero.com review, it is worth mentioning that you can readily find resources for a specific course at a particular college or university."
A self-described computational knowledge engine that uses its own knowledge base and computational ability to give specific answers on practically any topic.
- Step-by-step solutions
- Problem generator
- Practice problems
- Guided calculations
- Exam practice
- Data uploads
- Customized visuals
How much does WolframAlpha cost?
- Free for personal, non-commercial use
- WolframAlpha Pro for students costs $6.99/month, $33/semester or $57/year and includes step-by-step solutions, practice problems, guided calculations and more
- WolframAlpha Pro Premium for students costs $12/month, $57/semester or $95.88/year and includes everything in Pro plus advanced computational time, additional guided calculators and priority support
- Wired: “Using WolframAlpha is similar to executing a Google search, but WolframAlpha delivers specific answers rather than endless pages of potentially relevant results.”
- Popular Science: “Use WolframAlpha to find out everything Google can't tell you.”
- EdShelf: "WolframAlpha has rapidly become the world's definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation."
- PC Mag: 3.5 out of 5. "WolframAlpha can be useful for comparing similar items, but it can be hit or miss."
- Common Sense Media: 4 out of 5. "Storehouse of data answers questions – if specific."
Create, share and access digital learning content with a library of more than 9 million resources created by more than 4 million members. Use it to create your own social learning network, create online resources and collaborate with friends and classmates.
- Mind maps
- GoConqr is discontinuing its iOS and Android apps in May 2020 in favor of its own mobile version
How much does GoConqr cost?
- The ad-supported basic version is free and allows up to 50GB of media storage and unlimited public resources creation
- The premium version is ad-free and allows unlimited private resources creation plus up to 1GB of media storage. It costs $4.95/month
- G2 Crowd: 4.5 out of 5. "GoConqr is a free online learning platform where you can create, share, and discover Mind Maps, Flashcards, Study Planner, and other resources."
- Lifehacker: "Whether you're a student using it to learn or a teacher using it to distribute materials to a class, there are tools to help you find what you want to know."
View short online videos to help prepare for a test or learn new material. Study.com has content for a variety of students, from middle schoolers to adult professional learners. You can also earn college credit via online video courses.
- Video lessons
- Step-by-step homework help and textbook solutions
- 24/7 access to tutors
- Practice tests and quizzes
- Practice problems
- Study guides
- Literature guides
How much does Study.com cost?
- The basic plan costs $29.99/month and includes video lessons, step-by-step textbook solutions and 5 tutoring sessions
- The premium plan costs $59.99/month and includes everything in the basic plan plus an additional 5 tutoring sessions, study tools like quizzes and flashcards, literature guides and additional expert lessons
- Forbes: “These videos are about 5-10 minutes in length and are developed by well-credentialed subject matter experts who build the content from the ground up and later review it for accuracy and relevance.”
- eCampus News: "For students who are properly motivated, Study.com could prove to be an invaluable resource."
- Education Dive: "Its courses seem to be thoughtfully designed."
You can find literature notes, study guides and test prep for high school, college, graduate school as well as professional exams here. Study guides are written by teachers and professors, not students.
- Literature notes on more than 300 titles
- Free study guides on a variety of subjects
- Test prep for the SAT, ACT, ELM and PSAT, GRE, GMAT, Praxis and other exams
How much does CliffsNotes cost?
- Many online resources are free
- Print resources start at $5.99
- New York Times: "CliffsNotes is one of the most thorough, one of the most insightful. If a student wanted to use it along with the text, it would be worthwhile."
- Make Use Of: "Great tools with understanding and analyzing the text."
Offers open education resources, classroom core content instruction and study help for college students with more than 7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas. HippoCampus features collections by organizations like Khan Academy, STEMbite and NASA. Many videos correlate to real-world textbooks.
- Multimedia approach
- Video presentations
- Worked examples
- Make your own playlists
How much does HippoCampus cost?
- Free for individual users
- Common Sense Media: 3 out of 5. "HippoCampus provides credible information on a wide range of topics, although some of the lessons are more enjoyable than others."
- Good Housekeeping Institute: 3.5 out of 5. "HippoCampus.org was the highest-rated website for assisting students with multiple subject areas because it offers video, audio, and written tutorials, plenty of examples, and interactive options."
Create flashcards, study user-submitted flashcards, organize flashcards in “stacks” and participate in learning activities generated from flashcards.
- Games and activities
- Quizzes and tests
How much does StudyStack cost?
- Free for ad-supported version
- Pro membership is $1.50/month or $10/year and removes advertisements
- EdShelf: “The variety of study activities enables users to memorize data quickly without getting bored from using a single method of study.”
- Education World: “Students will enjoy learning facts at this interactive and fun site.”
- Blinklist: "This free solution is definitely one you should investigate for developing your own web-based study aid."
15. Study Guide Zone
Study Guide Zone features test prep materials like practice tests, study tips and links to study guides, flashcards and other resources to help students prepare for the ACT, SAT, LSAT, MCAT and more.
- Practice questions
- Links to study guides and flashcards
- Study tips
How much does Study Guide Zone cost?
Study Guide Zone reviews
- Yes College: "Study Guide Zone ACT Test helps students with each subject on the ACT with guides and practice outlines, along with test anxiety help."
- Rolling Meadows High School: "Designed for the college student with benefits for the high school student."
Enotes features more than 40,000 literature study guides with summaries, analysis and criticisms. The site also offers annotated texts and Q&A homework help, with questions answered by certified educators on any subject. Users can ask questions and browse a library of more than 377,000 answered questions.
- More than 40,000 literature study guides
- Annotated texts
- Homework help Q&A
How much does Enotes cost?
- Enotes costs $14.99/month or $49.99/year. The monthly plan comes with 10 homework help questions and 4 PDF downloads per month; the annual plan comes with 20 questions per year and 10 PDF downloads per month. Additional homework help fees may apply
- Apple App Store: 3.7 out of 5. Reviewers give Enotes positive reviews for quality of content. Negative reviews primarily pan the subscription cost.
- Google Play: 3.5 out of 5. Positive reviews cite ease-of-use and quality content, while negative reviewers cite subscription cost and app issues as reasons for giving poor ratings.
- Retail Reviews: 4 out of 5. "In-house editing makes sure articles are accurate… Not a lot of materials for STEM students."
Boasting nearly three million members, Cram offers more than 195 million flashcards covering a vast range of subjects.
- Create your own flashcards or use the existing flashcard sets
- Example essays and research papers
- “Cram Mode” memorization, which utilizes the Leitner System to focus study on trouble areas
- Games (flashcards are "gamified" into games like Jewels of Wisdom and Stellar Speller)
- Curated flashcard sets for easy studying
How much does Cram cost?
- Cram is free for flashcards
- Unlimited access to essays, papers and study materials costs $29.95/month, $59.85/quarter or $119.40/year
- Make Use Of: “Cram.com makes it super easy to create flashcard decks for any subject with a free account.”
- appPicker: "Highly intuitive and easy to use."
- EdShelf: "Very easy to use."
- New York Times: "Offers numerous prebuilt flashcards uploaded to the app and the website… Menus and interface are slightly clunky, but it is free."
18. Flashcard Machine
A flashcard-based learning system with advanced features and more than 122 million user-submitted flashcards.
- Flashcard library (and create your own)
- Collaborative group flashcard editing and sharing
- Add multimedia like images and audio to flashcards
- Standard review-and-flip study mode or “4D” time-based learning
- Multiple choice, speed and pop quiz games
How much does Flashcard Machine cost?
- Flashcard Machine is free with ads
- Contributor accounts start at $10/year and offer an ad-free experience
Flashcard Machine reviews
- Learn.org: “If you're looking for a totally free way to use web-based flashcards, you might want to take a look at Flashcard Machine.”
- Blinklist: "Make easy study aids in 20 minutes."
- The Idaho Librarian: 4 out of 5. "Flashcard Machine is not flashy, but it's flexible and completely free."
Cramberry offers a simple premise: “studying doesn’t have to be painful.” The site provides online flashcards for a variety of subjects, including science, history, languages, accounting and medicine.
- Make your own flashcards or study millions of user-submitted flashcards
- Tracks your progress and services the flashcards you’re struggling with more often
How much does Cramberry cost?
- Free for up to 30 flashcards per day
- $9/year for unlimited flashcards, CSV import, and auto-translate (Cramberry Pro)
- Lifehacker: “The clean and simple style makes this worth a look for anybody trying to memorize facts for class.”
- TeachersFirst: "Flash cards made easy."
- ReadWrite: "Cramberry has the potential to be incredibly useful by taking a familiar technique and making it much easier to use."
Create your own “Kahoots,” quizzes and learning games designed to help you learn. Best played in a group environment, but can be used for individual learning.
- Quizzes and learning games
- Create your own quizzes and games, duplicate and edit public games
- Host group games
How much does Kahoot cost?
- The home version is free for up to 10 players
- EdShelf: 5 out of 5 for "learning curve," 4 out of 5 for "pedagogical effectiveness," 5 out of 5 for "student engagement."
- App Ed Review: 7.5 out of 10. "Kahoot is a tool designed for users to create digital, game-like assessments."
- Ed Tech Review: "Learners of all age can benefit from Kahoot. Today, many students possess smart devices, and by using Kahoot on their own devices, students can actually make group learning fun."
21. Khan Academy
This nonprofit organization championed by Bill Gates offers a free learning system covering a wide variety of subjects: math, science and engineering, computing, arts and humanities, economics and finance and test prep.
- Practice exercises
- Instructional videos
- Personalized learning dashboard
- Guided math missions
How much does Khan Academy cost?
Khan Academy reviews
- PCMag: 4 out of 5. "Generally helpful tutorials paired with large database of machine-graded assessments. Video markup can be onerous. Assessment is impressive in scale, but ill-suited to some subjects."
- Consumer Affairs: 4 out of 5. Reviewers cited a large course selection and ease-of-learning as pros, though some reviewers noted a lack of breadth and a tendency to become bored as potential cons.
- Site Jabber: 4 out of 5. Most reviews were positive and stated Khan Academy makes learning easy. The few negative reviews complained that the lessons lose their fun factor after a while.
- Success at School: "One thing that Khan Academy does really well is explain complicated theories in simple terms."
22. Pink Monkey
A “G-rated” study source that claims to be the world’s largest library of free online literature summaries covering more than 460 books.
- Book notes
- Study guides
- Chapter summaries
How much does Pink Monkey cost?
- Pink Monkey study guides, chapter summaries, and online book notes are free
- Downloadable and printable book notes (Monkey Notes) cost between $3.49 and $7.99 each
Pink Monkey reviews
- Make Use Of: "Along with detailed summaries, other helpful features... include things like key literary elements, overall analyses, and study questions."
- Busy Teacher: "You will never need another set of Cliff's Notes again."
23. Study Briefs (Textbook Rush)
Offers comprehensive Study Briefs (ebooks) covering specific sub-topics in subjects like science, technology, math, reference, history, business and language.
- Subject summaries
- Facts and definitions
- Equations and answers
- Course material highlights and shortcuts
- Study Briefs is not apparent in the Textbook Rush app
How much does Study Briefs cost?
- $1.99 to $4.95 per Study Brief
Study Briefs reviews
- No reviews found for Study Briefs
24. Free Book Notes
A literature study guide search engine that allows users to search learning resources for more than 44,000 books from sources like Enotes, SparkNotes, Cliffs Notes, Shmoop, BookRags, Pink Monkey and more from a single place.
- Book notes
- Study guides
- Book summaries
- Chapter summaries
- Book analysis
How much does Free Book Notes cost?
Free Book Notes reviews
- No relevant reviews found
A points-based Q&A system: ask questions and spend points when they’re answered. You can also earn points for answering questions. Move up the ranks with gamification features and earn more points for being active in the community.
- Ask and answer questions
- Search past questions and answers
- Community participation
How much does Brainly cost?
- Most answers and features are free
- Gain access to all answers, including verified answers, with Brainly Plus. It costs $18/6 months or $24/year
- TeachersFirst: “The site's point system encourages you to return and participate within the network.”
- Highya: "Brainly's simple concept and extremely large user base means that the site is easy to use, and you'll very likely receive answers to any of your homework problems in 10 minutes or less."
- EdTech Roundup: "A wonderful resource that provides lots of fun incentives for getting students involved with helping each other."
Claims over 90% of its 2.2 million students have improved by at least one letter grade. OneClass sends course-specific notes to users after each class and before exams.
- Class notes
- Textbook notes
- Study guides
- Exam prep
- Homework solutions
How much does OneClass cost?
- OneClass costs $39.98/month, $59.94/quarter or $119.76/year
- Single documents can be purchased for $39.98 each (does not include homework help)
- Questions cost $4 each
- Homework help costs $24/year or $5/month
- TechCrunch: "Like an Evernote specifically aimed at education."
- VentureBeat: "Let's call it the Jerry Maguire strategy: Help me help you."
27. Study Guides and Strategies
Although a bit dated, this site has tons of valuable information on how to learn and study. Rather than helping you study for specific courses and quizzes, the site teaches you how to study and introduces various study methods so you can learn more efficiently with improved retention. That said, some subject-specific tutorials are available.
- Learning and studying guides
- Project and time management guides
- Writing and vocabulary guides
- Reading and research guides
- Math and science guides
How much does Study Guides and Strategies cost?
Study Guides and Strategies Reviews
- No relevant reviews found
Provides online lessons in math, science and software training. Also offers SAT test preparation, art and science lectures. Lectures are applicable for middle school to college level students.
- Video lessons
- Supplementary practice exercises and practice problems with step-by-step solutions
- Downloadable lesson files and slides
- Forum for communications with students and instructors
How much does Educator.com cost?
- Educator costs $45/month, $180/6 months or $300/year
- The End in Mind: “The videos are well put together, informative and easy to understand, even for a non-math person like me.”
- Ed Tech Reviews: “Overall, Educator.com is a great learning tool for any student or adult professional who is serious about learning and wants to get the most bang for their buck.”
This simple flashcard study platform comes from the creators of Duolingo, a language learning platform, but flashcards are not limited to language learning. Search flashcard decks or create your own to study any subject.
- Make your own flashcards
How much does Tinycards cost?
- College Raptor: “This app has an extremely wide variety of available flashcards, from the periodic table to Greek philosophers to animals in Antarctica.”
- Android Guys: “Playing a stack is pretty ingenious.”
More than a study helper, edX is a free learning platform packed with more than 2,500 online college courses by over 140 institutions like MIT, Harvard University and Boston University. Students can use it to augment their learning and gain a deeper understanding of subject matter.
- Complete college courses to augment learning
- Courses taught by top instructors
- Courses available in a variety of subjects
How much does edX cost?
- edX courses are free; however, you can purchase “verified certificates” for $50 to $300
- PCMag: “Students will delight in its innovative assessments, free (honor) certificates, and a growing catalog of excellent courses.”
Use these online study tools to save your grades, and don't forget to use DirectTextbook.com to save money on your textbooks!