11 Apps and Gadgets for Surviving College

From discovering that an 8 a.m. lecture on a Monday is not a good idea, to figuring out which dorm serves the cheesiest slices of pizza, there are some insider college tips you’ll need to learn as you go. Fortunately, there’s some great tech that can help optimize your school experience immediately. Here are 11 must-have gadgets and apps for college.

Photo By: BenchPrep

Photo By: Clocky

Photo By: Recordium

Photo By: Concentrate

Photo By: Skype

Photo By: Mophie

Photo By: Mint

Photo By: Venmo

Photo By: bSafe


GRE, LSAT, GMAT … all these acronyms can strike fear into a student’s heart. BenchPrep is a system built to help you hone your scores (and settle your nerves) via interactive testing, games and strategy tips. It’s like a Princeton Review course, home version.

Clocky Alarm Clock

If you’ve ever pressed “snooze” in your sleep, you may benefit from this deceptively cute alarm clock. Press “snooze” and it jumps off your nightstand and starts whizzing around, beeping all the way until you chase it and shut it off (or your roommate forcibly wakes you).

StudyBlue Flash Cards

If you’ve ever nursed a cramped hand after cutting up a thousand tiny flash cards, here’s a more humane method. StudyBlue lets you create your flash cards online so you can access them anywhere and quiz yourself — plus browse other students’ cards and share your own.


Remember handheld voice recorders? This app turns your phone into a recorder (no more racing to jot notes as Professor Motormouth goes off on a tangent). Better yet, you can edit as you go, cutting out that random story about your professor’s cat.

Dragon Dictation

You’ve got classes back-to-back, sports practice and work, and somehow, you also have to write a term paper. This dictation app lets you speak your ideas (or even whole paragraphs!) on the run, while it types them up for you.


You have one night to cram — er, prep — for your poli-sci exam, yet Facebook, eBay and YouTube beckon loudly. This free Mac app lets you shut down your favorite distracting sites so you can’t take a five-minute break that turns into a two-hour cat video spree.


When you’re on a student budget, there’s no reason to pay for things that you can get for free, like a landline telephone. Get on video or make regular calls via Skype, and you can turn any of your devices into a phone complete with group chat. Plus even if it storms, you don’t have to cancel study group.

Mophie Juice Pack

You’re using your phone to jot notes, record dictation and use apps — and when it’s time to actually make a call, your battery is inevitably near-dead. This smartphone battery case gives you a secret source for extra charge, so you’ll have power when you most need it.


Now that you’re on your own (kinda), you get the privilege of handling your own budget. And you have no idea how to do that. Mint takes care of the details, keeping you apprised of exactly how much you have and how much you owe.


Next time your roommate joins you for dinner and forgets her wallet, introduce her to Venmo. You can both send and receive money for free if you link a bank account or drop money into Venmo. (There’s a 3 percent fee for using a credit card.)


A whistle and pepper spray might sound like good ideas, but they can be hard to grab when you need them. The bSafe app turns your phone into a one-touch alarm that alerts loved ones and shares your location. There’s even a “Fake Call” button so you can abort a bad date less awkwardly.

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