Back to School: 14 Must-Have Apps for Successful High School Students

Back-to-school season can be the most daunting time for high school students. Freshman see a noticeable difference in the difficulty of course work. For veterans, grades can be more important than ever, whether a graduate is headed to post secondary school or the workforce. These educational apps for high school students may offer an edge:

Apps for High School

Math Apps

Math Formulas – Apple – $.99 – This app is one of the best ways to study formulas from algebra to integers.

Algebra Tutor – Android – A great app for practicing everything algebra. You can review terms and examples in the “Learn” section, and then head over to “Practice” to test skills. The app keeps track of how well a user is doing across topics and highlights strengths and weaknesses.

Graphing CalculatorsAndroid and iTunes – While they may not have the functionality of a graphing calculator, they also aren’t going to run you almost $100. Here are two free graphing calculator apps for Android and iOS and users.

History Apps

Today in History – iTunes – Free (lite) – This simple app can be used to learn about a historical event every day.

Map Master – Android – $.99 – Learn capitols, geography, and famous landmarks in this interactive map. The study tool can be used to learn or test knowledge with the challenge options.

US History – Android – Free – This app summarizes historical events in the United States, but also allows you to delve deeper into important topics.

Literature Apps

Sparknotes – iTunes and Android – Free – Sparknotes sometimes gets a bad rap because it is synonymous with not reading the book. However, it can be a great way to reinforce what is previously read as well as delve deeper into the story or learn more about themes and motifs. This app comes with 50 pre-installed study guides as well the option to install more.

23,469 Classics to Go – iTunes – Free-  As the title implies, this app lets you download more than 23,000 books to read and enjoy at your leisure. Books include Alice in Wonderland, The Art of War, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin.


Chemistry Lab Suite – Android – Free – Get help with chemistry calculations, or use as just a quick reference guide.

Biology – Android – Free –  An all-in-one biology guide with everything from cell structure to action potential, this app gives a definition of each term complete with images for quick reference and easy studying.

Physics – Android – Free- This organized app allows for easy access when reviewing physics. Each subject is broken down by chapters, with images and text to create a very comprehensive way to review concepts.


DuolingoAndroid and iTunes – Free- Duolingo is the popular app that encourages users to learn a new language. The creator of the app made sure it was effective, free, and fun. This translates well, as the app is easy to use and prompts you to set goals.

Rosetta CourseAndroid and iTunes – Free- Rosetta Stone’s free mobile app allows language study on the go! There is a large community behind Rosetta Stone to encourage and support new users who are ready to learn.

AP Exam

K12 AP Exam – iTunes and Android – Free and Paid – Great for those heading off to college soon and for students preparing for the AP Exam. There are lite and paid versions,  and both are great for studying for certain subjects on the exam or just for general knowledge.

Did we miss a great app? Feel free to share other apps for high schoolers in the comments section.

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This article was updated August 2015

Image Credit- Jhaymesisviphotography / CC by 2.0

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