Essential iPad Apps for College Students

College. A continuous cycle of doing homework and late night study session in the university library. It's no secret that it all can be somewhat difficult and extremely overwhelming. As a current junior this is something that I can definitely relate to. At the start of the Fall 2016 semester, I purchased a 12.9 iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and it has honestly changed my college behavior. The large screen space partnered with the Apple Pencil is perfect for taking notes while viewing the slides for your lecture in split view. As the semester went on I discovered some amazing apps that I think could be extremely helpful to all college students. Check out some of the apps that I think are essential to easing any student's college experience.


Notability is an amazing note taking application and also my personal favorite. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil and includes support for drag and drop. A few features it has includes drag and drop compatibility, the ability to complete and sign documents, and the ability to import PDFs of your textbooks or lecture slides into the app so that you can take notes right there on the material. One of the killer features, however, is the ability to record as you take notes. But please make sure that you have the professor's permission before you start recording. There may be rules against this at your school, and even may be prohibited by law without your prefessor's consent.

Notability is a PAID application and costs $9.99, you can find out more here

Pages, Keynote and Numbers

Apple's iWorks apps are their own personal version of Microsoft office and the best part about it is that it is completely FREE. These apps include Pages, Keynote, and Numbers (Word, Powerpoint, and Excel respectively) and there is absolutely no subscription required to use them. These app support continuity and as long as you have it enabled you can start a document on your desktop or computer and easily pick up where you left off on your iPad. You can also save documents to your iCloud drive. The iWorks apps are great if you want to stick strictly to Apple and their services, something I personally like to do.

Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are FREE applications if you have a newer iOS device. If that is not the case then will have to purchase the apps for $9.99 each. You can find more about each application by clicking on the names above.


One of the best apps out for studying would definitely have to be Quizlet. With both an iOS app and a web-app, it gives you the ability to create digital flashcards that you can study and test yourself with. There is no limit to how many note cards you can make and if you're lucky they might already have a set of flashcards your classes, created by other students,  already on the website. With Quizlet there's no need for endless piles of note cards anymore!

Quizlet is a FREE application. You can find out more about it here.


Another great app that I find essential for not only studying but also lightening your backpack load would have to be the Kindle app. Because Kindle is an Amazon application you can easily purchase your textbooks or any books that spark your interest and they will load right into your library which you can take with you on the go. One great feature it has is that your library saves across multiple platforms so if you are getting ready for the next class lecture on your desktop or laptop you can pick up right where you left off on your iPad. They also have a built-in flash card feature that lets you highlight and create flashcards right from the text.

Kindle is a FREE application. You can find out more here.


Another amazing note taking app would have to be GoodNotes 4 and it's not just because it's a couple of dollars cheaper than Notability. This app is also compatible with the Apple Pencil and also supports iOS 11's new drag and drop feature. You can also annotate PDFs and search for your notes. One thing that it does not have, however, is the ability to record audio, if you want that it will probably be best to use Notability.

One great feature it does have is a ton of customization. There are quite a few page and cover styles to choose from and you can even upload custom ones if you can't find what you're looking for. GoodNotes 4 also gives you the option of two different pen styles which are a fountain pen or a ball pen and the ability to change the size and color of them to what ever you want.

GoodNotes 4 is a PAID application and costs $7.99. You can find out more here.

While these may be some of the apps that help ease my college experience they might not necessarily be your cup of tea. Let us know what apps help you get through those crazy late nights of homework and all-nighter study sessions in the comment section below!

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