15 Sensational Online Study Tools

For everything from math to foreign languages, from essay inspiration to online flashcards, here are 15 free websites to make your studying more efficient, organized, and fun.


  1. Quiz Sets: Quizlet
  2. One of the best, most complete study services available on the Web is Quizlet. The site offers organized information in almost every conceivable academic topic, divided into sets that you can access as flashcards, quizzes, study games, and more.

    Create your own study set, or search the site’s 14 million sets created for languages, math, science, history, geography, literature, and arts. There are also sets to prepare for standardized tests, like the ACT and GMAT, as well as sets for professional-level students in law, medicine, banking, accounting, and computers.

  3. Flashcards: Studyblue
  4. Flashcards are a simple, powerful, time-tested study tool. A number of websites offer a flashcard service accessible on the web and on your mobile device; one of the best is Studyblue, which can be integrated with your Facebook account. Set up your flashcards and then share them with classmates. You can also view others’ cards, organized by subject.

  5. Study Groups: Google+ Hangouts
  6. Study groups keep you focused and productive. If your study buddies can’t meet in one room, Google+ Hangouts are a great alternative. Use video chat, share your screens, and collaborate simultaneously on an online whiteboard and documents via Google Drive. You can even launch a hangout directly from a Gmail conversation.

  7. Class Notes: Evernote
  8. Organize your class notes along with related websites and multimedia, such as audio clips, photos, and videos, with Evernote. When it comes time to cram for the exam, your notes and selected resources will be searchable and available on your computer or mobile device.

  9. Citations: Zotero
  10. When you find a resource online that you need to cite in your paper, simply click the Zotero button to capture all the information you need. Organize your research with tags and saved searches. When you’re ready to make a bibliography, Zotero will spit out perfectly formed citations in every major publication format, including MLA, CMS, and APA.

  11. Study Sheets: PocketMod
  12. With PocketMod, condense your study material into the most necessary elements. List mathematical and science formulas, the notes in music scales, the names of all the U.S. presidents — the possibilities are endless. Enter the information in the site’s booklet templates, print it out on standard A4 paper, make a few quick snips with the scissors, and fold up your personalized study sheet. You can also create calendar pages (to keep track of your study schedule) and games like Sudoku (for the inevitable procrastination).


  1. Reference: Bartleby.com
  2. Bartleby.com publishes the classics of literature, nonfiction, and reference free of charge. Bookmark the site and return again and again to search the U.S. Government’s World Factbook, Roget’s Thesaurus, dictionaries of quotations, the Bible, Emily Post’s Etiquette, the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Robert’s Rules of Order, the Elements of Style, Shakespeare’s entire canon, and more.

  3. Textbooks: Open Textbooks
  4. The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources provides links for more than 450 community college-level textbooks at Open Textbooks. Search and read textbooks in every subject, from anthropology to music theory to statistics.

  5. Writing: Purdue Online Writing Lab
  6. The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a leading Web resource for help with grammar, mechanics, punctuation, writing exercises, style guides, citations, research methods, and the writing process. Search subject-specific writing guides for everyone from creative writers to engineers to nurses, as well as guides to writing resumés and both undergraduate and graduate school applications.

  7. Literature: Project Gutenberg
  8. The pioneering Project Gutenberg offers more than 40,000 free ebooks, all of them painstakingly proofread and available for free download. The site only offers books whose copyright has expired, so it’s not a free library of everything in the world, but with titles by Plato, Mark Twain, James Joyce, Jane Austen, and hundreds of other classic authors, it is worthwhile to check out the digital stacks before dropping money on books for your literature classes.

  9. Math: Math.com
  10. For math homework help, practice, tutoring, calculators, games, and more, look no further than math.com. The site offers help in basic math, everyday math, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, calculus, and advanced topics.

  11. Chemistry: Periodic Table
  12. Michael Dayah did the whole world a favor by creating a Dynamic Periodic Table. Click on any element to see the Wikipedia article on it. You can also view each element’s properties, orbitals, isotopes, or compounds.

  13. Foreign Language: Duolingo
  14. For help learning a foreign language, try the remarkable, crowd-sourced Duolingo. The website has users translate level-appropriate text culled from the Internet, so as you learn you’re also helping translate the World Wide Web — truly a worldly service! Languages currently offered include English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian.


  1. Inspiration: TED Talks/Ed
  2. Looking for inspiration? Need an essay topic, but don’t know where to start? Click around the free videos at www.ted.com, a treasure trove of lectures and presentations by some of today’s brightest minds and industry leaders.

  3. Productivity: StayFocused
  4. The Internet offers as many distractions as helpful study tools. Google Chrome has an extension called StayFocused that restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Configure it to your own habits, whether they be Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblrs of cat pictures; once your allotted time is up, the extension blocks the sites for the rest of the day. Now get to work!

Accredited Online Colleges & Universities

Purdue University
Purdue University » One of the biggest name brands in online education, Purdue University offers associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in a wide variety of fields. For those professionals that demand further expertise in a specific area, Purdue offers certificates in education, business, information technology, arts and sciences, healthcare, nursing, criminal justice, and law.
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Ashford University
Ashford University » Ashford University features a campus located in Clinton, Iowa and a full offering of online degrees, so students have the option to select the style of learning that's right for them. The university offers Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees in more than 50 programs. Ashford U is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Ave, Ste 100, Alameda, California 94501, (510) 748-9001, wascsenior.org.
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Liberty University
Liberty University » The distance learning division of Liberty University offers over 35 degree programs from the associates to doctoral level. The online program runs unilaterally with the on-campus semester program. Students rave about the university's Christ-centered learning. It's mission is to promote both the intellectual and spiritual development of its students.
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St Leo University
St Leo University » Founded in 1889, St Leo University specializes in higher education for working professionals. The university boasts an enrollment of over 60,000. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the university features campuses across the USA, for those looking for a more traditional approach.
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Walden University
Walden University » Offering degrees at the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Ed.S., Ed.D., D.B.A., and Ph.D. levels, Walden University is quickly becoming a leader in online education. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
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Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University » Southern New Hampshire University offers undergraduate and graduate programs both online and at the campus. This adds another layer of flexibility and convenience for students to use to their advantage. Moreover, SNHU uses results-focused curriculum to help students obtain the knowledge needed to conduct tasks and responsibilities in their chosen careers.
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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University » Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University provides online and on-campus learning in such fields as education, liberal arts, business, and healthcare through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Doctoral Studies, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts and Production, the College of Nursing, and the Ken Blanchard College of Business.
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Boston University
Boston University » Boston University boosts six Nobel Prize winners, and numerous Guggenheim and MacArthur fellows. The university offers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, medical, and dental degrees through 18 schools and colleges on two campuses. Boston U offers 75 study abroad programs in over 33 cities for the enterprising student with programs available online.
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Herzing University
Herzing University » Herzing University is in a unique position to offer its students a dynamic online learning environment. Herzing is able to provide the resources found on a traditional college campus, including mentoring and tutoring support, library and research databases, career service counselors, and academic advisors.
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Northcentral University
Northcentral University » Northcentral University (NCU) is an online university founded in 1996 with the goal of providing accessible, high-quality, and relevant degree options to working professionals. NCU prides itself on its unique "One-to-One Teaching Model", in which one member of NCU’s 100% doctoral faculty is paired with one student in every course, to create a more personalized education experience. The University offers degrees ranging from bachelor’s to doctorate in the following areas: Business and Technology Management, Education, Marriage and Family Sciences, and Psychology.
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