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9 must-have apps for the exam period

Date:19 October 2022
Hylke shares 9 must-have apps for the exam period.
Hylke shares 9 must-have apps for the exam period.

The exam period begins next week - are you ready? For many, this period can be stressful with many exams, deadlines and long study hours in the library. Luckily, there are apps that can help by making everything a little less stressful - here are 9 we recommend to help you to be more organised and productive!

Google Calendar 

You probably already have a calendar app on your phone, but if you don’t - I highly recommend downloading a calendar app. My app of choice is the Google Calendar where I add my exams and deadlines with reminders so I don't forget. During what can be a chaotic time, you can easily miss exams or deadlines as you might be focusing on more than one thing at a time. However, with an app to help keep all this organised, you are unlikely to miss things.

Google Drive and OneDrive

One of the worst things that can happen is working on your essay that’s due that evening and spilling that much needed coffee on your laptop causing it to crash - especially if you have not backed up your documents. To ensure that you can always make a deadline, Google Drive or OneDrive are a great solution. Both apps synchronise your laptop with your phone, so you can work on either device. Google Drive offers 15 GB of storage for backups for free, but I personally use OneDrive as I have a laptop that runs on Windows and many many documents to store. Added benefits is, as a UG student you can get a discount with Office365, which includes 1 TB storage on OneDrive!


One of my favourite free apps for organisation is Notion which is perfect for making to-do lists (my main use of the app). It’s also great for writing notes in class, group projects, budgeting and a lot more. You can customise and personalise the whole space with colours, headings and emojis which, for me, makes organising a fun experience. And for the lazy amongst us - the templates and Youtube tutorials are great to have! Generally - a great app that takes the hassle out of being organised and staying on top of your work.

Be Focused Timer

If you struggle to concentrate or to stay off your phone while studying, the Be Focused Timer is one of the best free apps that help with this. The app follows the pomodoro method, which is proven to be very effective if you are a procrastinator (like me) and is designed to help boost your productivity. The way it works is… you choose a task, then set a timer for 25 minutes. At the end of the 25 minutes, a timer goes off and you have a break for 5 minutes. This is repeated for 3 times, after which you then get a 25 - 30 minute break. After one set of 4 sessions, you have been productive for two hours and are still able to study more because you get breaks in between focusing! 

But if the pomodoro method isn’t for you, you can also shake things up and customise your whole study scheme in the app. You can choose how long you want your study sessions and breaks to be, after how many sessions you will have a longer break and how many sessions you want to aim for that day. You can even write down your to-do list in the app and decide which task to tackle first. I really like this about the app, because sometimes I just want to take things slow.


The Forest app offers a different way to focus…by growing trees! You can grow a forest in the app by setting a timer and focusing on a task during that time. If you check your phone - your tree dies. At the end of the day, you will hopefully have finished your to-do list and will have planted a forest - alone or by connecting with friends through the app! Another plus is, you can contribute to the environment as you can spend the virtual coins you earn with each study session on planting real trees. 


Photomath is a free app for students who need to solve mathematical problems. It’s as simple as uploading a photo of your mathematical problem (not written in text) - and the app will solve it. What’s so amazing about the app is that it will show you the steps it took to solve the problem soyou not only get the answer, but you can also learn how to solve a similar problem yourself in the future. 


If you’ve spent time on Youtube - you’ve probably seen one of the Grammarly ads! It’s a great app if you are writing an essay or professional email and want to check your spelling, grammar and sentence structure. After installing the app on your phone or laptop, Grammarly will automatically suggest words or sentences and check your spelling while you are writing. As with many apps, to access the full features you will need to pay but the free version still works well at improving the way you write. Worth trying if you feel you need to work on your writing skills!


We all know that things can get quite stressful during the exam period and how important it is to get enough rest as this will help you to be more productive. Calm helps you to relax and fall asleep easily after a long day by offering several free sleep meditations, sleep sounds and even bedtime stories. Personally, I like to meditate before I go to sleep to help me unwind as I have a hard time turning off my thoughts. Give it a go even if you don’t usually meditate as it might lower your stress levels and help you sleep better.

Hopefully, these apps will help you to stay on top of your work, be productive and, as a result, achieve the goals you’ve set - all with less stress. If you have other app recommendations for studying, let us know in the comments!

About the author


Hiya! I’m Hylke, a Dutch MA English Literature student. People often ask me if I’m Frisian, but sadly I’m not; I just have a Frisian name. I love reading, writing, meeting with friends, and the colour yellow, so much so that I take pictures of every yellow wall I can find!


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