Study help ‘at hand’

Published Saturday, December 4, 2021 by Dave

Here’s something to do with your smartphone that will make you smarter.

There are a number of apps that make excellent study aids. I’ve downloaded and tested several and found a few that are great for memorizing vocabulary and more.

For iPhone or iPod Touch users, Flashcard Touch is a study game-changer. This simple application allows you to create your own flashcards or, even better, download sets of flashcards from Quizlet, the online flashcard-sharing community. Imagine being able to carry Excel’s list of SAT vocabulary words everywhere you go! Now you can.* It costs $4.99 and is worth every penny. I’m currently using it to memorize the 238 national capitals, and I’m creating a set of flashcards to learn the Periodic Table of Elements in Chinese.

* From the Flashcard Touch main screen,  click “Browse for more”, then click the magnifying glass icon to search for username “ExcelTest”. You can download all six sets of Excel Vocabulary flashcards.


Credit must go to Princeton Review for having spent money on a vocab app that is fun to use, with a lexicon of 250 words that tracks pretty closely with Excel’s list. It tests your understanding of each word in four ways: its definition, antonym, synonym and connotation. You’re given three choices and must eliminate the two incorrect choices before a 10-second timer runs out. For connotation, slide it up if you think the word is positive and down if you think it’s negative. However, the app does cost $4.99 and will only help you with SAT vocabulary. In other words, you won’t be able to use it to download my Periodic Table of Elements in Chinese.

If you’re on a budget, AccelaStudy makes a free app for memorizing vocabulary. It contains 500 words which it claims are “the most commonly tested words on the SAT and ACT exams.” I compared AccelaStudy’s list with Excel’s own and — I’m biased — I like Excel’s better.  But hey, expanding your vocabulary can only help you.

If you are on Android OS, you have a choice between two highly rated applications: Flashcards 101 (left, $1.99) and Kaka Flashcards (free), which will allow you to download sets of cards from Quizlet, as well as create your own.

A final note: Flashcards aren’t the only way a smartphone can make you smarter. Click on the pic at the top of this post for an article on how they’re being used in high schools across the country to teach everything from math to music.

Know a great study app? Comment below to share!




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