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The best (and mostly free) apps to help you keep up in class

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By design, school is supposed to challenge you — to push at the boundaries of your understanding of the world and make you a more well-rounded person. It’s not supposed to be easy as much as it is fulfilling, but thankfully, there are ways to make your educational journey a little less difficult.

Luckily for you, a lot has changed since most of the Engadget team went to school. To help out, we’ve gathered a few apps here that should prove especially useful as you gear up for more long days of learning. (Trust us, you’ll probably miss them someday.) Oh, and don’t worry: Every one of these handy apps is available for iOS and Android, so everyone gets to benefit.

StudyBlue

I’m a firm believer that working with flash cards is one of the best ways to commit things to memory, but hoarding stacks of them probably isn’t great for the environment or your room’s tidiness. That’s where StudyBlue comes in: 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 — that’s all so you can access flash card decks created by fellow students who have already (or are currently) taking the same courses.

Now, people don’t always share the same priorities when jotting down information to remember on flash cards, so you might not be able to study effectively with someone else’s deck. Don’t worry about that though. If nothing else, sifting through a fellow student’s cards can be a great way to make sure you’ve accounted for all the subject matter you’re responsible for — even the stuff you might have forgotten about the first time around.

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