Study Tools for Online College and Grad Students

Study Tools for Online College and Grad Students

Middle and high school students should start planning their college journey as early as possible. Keep in mind that your academic success in college will be the result of prompt and proper preparation combined with effective study habits, time management skills, and use of the best online study tools. Indeed, choosing an online college or university for your undergraduate and graduate degrees makes good sense!

In a study, the majority of students surveyed expressed their positive attitude toward online learning during the pandemic and their interest in taking online courses or pursuing online degrees. Indeed, while many colleges and universities offered online and hybrid options before the pandemic began, the past two years have seen an acceleration in both the number and variety of degrees offered and the number of students enrolled in online programs.

While working professionals are usually seen as forming the majority of online students, this isn’t always the case. According to studies, more traditional students are enrolled in online programs offered by brick-and-mortar colleges and universities as well as in large online institutions.

In both traditional and non-traditional students, there are common drivers for their choice in online programs and degrees—flexibility, convenience, and affordability as well as academic excellence, excellent employment and career advancement opportunities, and continuing education.

But prospective online students must be aware of the challenges that come with online learning! Since there’s little to no in-person, face-to-face interactions in online classes or on campus resources, traditional study methods don’t really work. Instead, students need the best online study tools and virtual communication tools including emails, messaging apps (e.g., Zoom), and discussion forums.

Digital resources, such as online course modules, e-books and digital libraries and databases, are used instead of traditional textbooks, and courses are delivered via learning management systems. Online programs feature student support services and career development services for online students.

The academic life among online students is just as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts, too. In fact, online students must stay motivated and focused on their goals because it’s so easy to slack off - you can, after all, study at your own pace, which can be a source of procrastination. Time management is crucial!

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of resources and tools for online study that students entering colleges can use, from preparing for their entry into college life, while in an online program, and during their transition into graduate school. Read on and find out more!

Read on for a look at the top student resources for preparing to get an online degree, succeeding in online college, and continuing into online grad school. online student working on a laptop to do online coursework

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College Prep Resources


As an incoming student in college, your preferred online program may have a foreign language requirement. Duolingo is among the best of the online study tools for learning a foreign language, whether it’s a widely spoken language (e.g. French, Italian or Spanish) or lesser-known languages.

Gamification techniques, bite-sized lessons, and adaptive learning methods, such as personalized challenges and exercises) contribute to productive learning experiences. Users choose between a free version and a paid version, as well as download it to their mobile devices, enjoy the community and social features, and choose from multiple learning formats.

Ask any student in college about a crucial aspect of their academic life and paying for their college education is among their topmost concerns. This is where Edvisors come in, a website that enables students to access useful information and resources related to financing their college education. These include scholarship search, financial aid information, and student loan resources as well as financial literacy resources.

Students swear by the effectiveness of Evernote, a user-friendly note-taking and organization app available on mobile devices, web browsers, and desktop operating systems. Its primary functions are:

  • To create digital notes including text and images, web clippings, audio recordings and file attachments
  • To organize and categorize digital notes by using tags, notebooks, and stacks (e.g. to-do lists, meeting notes, and project outlines)
  • To sync the digital notes across all devices where it’s installed
  • To allow for fast searching and sharing of digital notes
  • To save online content to their account

Both free and paid versions are available.

online student participating in an online study group
Getting into your dream school is about more than test scores and GPA. Show off your real-world skills and abilities on your college application by taking part in an internship. is sponsored by Chegg, and it can match you with an internship to help you stand out to an admissions officer.

As a premier educational technology company, IXL provides students with online learning resources that support their academic success. Students benefit from the personalized learning experiences, usually through interactive challenges and adaptive learning exercises based on their skill level and progress.

The learning experiences are complemented by immediate feedback that allow them to understand and learn from their mistakes in answering the questions. Parents and teachers have access to detailed reports and analytics of their students’ progress and areas for improvement. There’s a wide range of subjects and skills to choose from, as well as the opportunity to access the features on all devices.

Khan Academy

While Khan Academy is known for being the most comprehensive SAT preparation website, it actually offers a wide range of useful online study tools! As an SAT preparation website, it uses PSAT scores to develop a personalized study profile to target your weak spots and maximize your performance on all standardized tests.

Among its study tools are instructional video lessons that explain complex concepts and practice exercises with instant feedback. Students are also provided with recommendations based on their progress and with content based on their skill level and individual needs. Aside from math and science subjects, students also choose from content in art, economics and history, among others.

Study Guide Zone

Prospective college students should check out the study tools, tips, and resources available on the Study Guide Zone website. We love that its resources are designed according to different learning styles, such as visual learners or kinesthetic learners, even learners with ADHD.

Furthermore, it’s an excellent resource for high school students preparing for standardized tests and exams. There’s an abundance of practice tests, flashcards, and study guides for college entrance exams, such as SAT, ACT, and LSAT.

online college student working on a lesson
Being able to type quickly and accurately is a must-have skill for students, especially those in college, who want to take notes while listening to online lectures! The typing lessons, exercises, and games available on enables students to improve their typing skills, a must in the digital age when keyboards are part of academic life.
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Online College Resources

Accounting Coach
High school students who want to take up business administration, accounting, or finance are well-advised to take advantage of the useful online study tools, tutorials, and resources on Accounting Coach. This is an excellent resource for learning accounting and finance concepts, which are discussed in a clear and concise manner, through lessons, quizzes, and other learning materials. Plus, it’s an excellent resource for learning financial literacy, a must-have skill among students taking charge of their finances for the first time.
If you’re looking for an extensive array of online study tools, resources, and services as a college student, then check out Chegg! Students can rent textbooks, usually at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new ones, for a specific period; increase their understanding of subjects through study guides, practice tests, and even solutions to common textbook problems; and get one-on-one online tutoring, homework help, and writing services. Chegg even has a platform where students can search for internship and employment opportunities.
Computer science and coding are tough subjects for a lot of students, particularly in an online learning environment. Codeacademy offers video lessons in specific coding languages, career paths, and technical skills. If you are unsure of where to start, take the free diagnostic test to see what lessons would be right for you.

With support from the likes of Johns Hopkins University and Duke University, Coursera offers a wide range of online degrees, courses, and specializations in diverse disciplines. These are developed, taught, and evaluated by experts and professors in their fields of expertise, and allow for self-paced learning, although many courses have set start and end dates or have specific schedules.

Peer grading and assessments as well as financial aid are available, too. Students who want to earn certificates in addition to their online degrees should consider Coursera.

online college student working on an online course

Students looking for online study tools that will improve their writing performance are well-advised to get Grammarly, a digital writing assistant and grammar checking tool. The most useful features are grammar and spelling check, style and clarity suggestions, and plagiarism checker. Students can also set writing goals and receive feedback and suggestions based on them.

Grammarly can be downloaded to all your devices, too, and enables browser extensions and integrations. There’s is a free version, but the premium version is recommended for its advanced features.

Google Scholar
If you’re looking for online study tools that enable effective and efficient searches for scholarly articles, then Google Scholar is one of your best bets! College and grad students alike praise its extensive library of academic content from diverse disciplines, citations and metrics, and full-text access, as well as useful features like email alerts, library integration, and advanced search options and multilingual support.
Hemingway App
Ernest Hemingway’s concise writing style is worth emulating—and students can do so through the Hemingway App. The online text editor and writing tool suggest improvements for complex sentences, passive voice, and excessive adverbs, among other common issues. The app uses readability analysis and provides a readability score, too.

If you’re a visual learner who wants an online study tool with your learning style in mind, then get the app! The transcription and note-taking service transcribes spoken word into written text, thanks to artificial intelligence, in real time.

With its search features, users can also search for certain words and phrases within the text, as well as edit and share the transcriptions. Indeed, this is among the best productivity apps for college and grad students who want to stay on top of online lectures.

Project Gutenberg
Established in 1971 to encourage the creation, distribution, and use of e-books, Project Gutenberg offers an extensive library of more than 60,000 e-books! College and grad students can access these e-books for free, too, through the Project Gutenberg website. The e-books span nearly everything that has entered the public domain, from classic literature and historical texts to reference materials and research studies.
Purdue OWL

This has long been considered the holy grail of formatting guides. There is a big chance that your professors will direct you to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) for all of your MLA and APA needs.

College and grad students agree that its writing and research guides, citation style guides, and sample papers make their academic writing skills and performance better. There are also exercises and quizzes, writing workshops, and subject-specific writing resources available.

Among the most popular study websites that offer online learning tools for college and grad students is Quizlet! Here, students can create digital flashcards for memorization and review purposes, choose from several study modes depending on their learning style, and share study materials.
Even the most dedicated college or grad student with a strict study routine needs their rest and sleep, too! College and grad students should look into the features of, an online tool that calculates the best bedtime and wake-up time based on their specific sleep cycles. You can even take into account your study sessions and due dates when inputting your desired bedtime and wake-up time.
Bright Notes
Be prepared for your freshman English Literature class by taking advantage of Bright Notes. These guides make difficult literature accessible to all students with helpful introductions to the author and the work, character summaries, plot guides, chapter overviews, test essay and study Q&As, and more. With 220 titles available, Bright Notes cover the top classics.
graduate student walking outside on campus
TED-Ed Student Talks

Freshman college students can experience difficulty during the high school-to-college transition period. Fortunately, there’s the TED-Ed Students Talks, a platform on the TED-Ed website specifically designed for students.

Here, useful videos address common and uncommon issues among students, such as imposter syndrome, physical and mental stress, and even bullying. There’s also an abundance of educational and academic videos on diverse topics and online study resources.


College students usually write academic papers on a wide range of subjects, many of which are on unfamiliar topics. This is where ThoughtCo comes in, an educational website that has an extensive library of resources and articles on diverse topics.

Nearly everything offered in academic disciplines, from STEAM to humanities, liberal arts, and business, have relevant articles here. Study tools, tips and guides are also available.

Wolfram Alpha
This is an invaluable tool for students struggling with their college-level math courses! Wolfram Alpha generates structured and computed answers to mathematical questions in algebra, statistics, and calculus. Students also benefit from the extensive features in data analysis, scientific and engineering information, and historical and current data, as well as units and conversions, linguistics and language analysis, and even geographic information.
graduate student walking on campus
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Online Grad School Resources

EBSCO Open Dissertations
This is a freely accessible database of electronic master’s theses and doctoral dissertations that colleges and universities have made publicly available. Graduate students can search the extensive database and use the abstracts, metadata, and even the full texts for their own research projects.
A free and open online community, the MERLOT or Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning & Online Teaching is where students can share and access digital learning materials and tools. This is also a collection of learning resources, such as textbooks, simulations, videos, and course modules covering a wide spectrum of academic disciplines.
MIT Open Courseware
Free courses with open access are available at the MIT OpenCourseware web-based platform! There are many complete courses, too, along with assignments, lecture notes, and video lectures that allow students to learn at their own pace.
Graduate students looking for the best fellowships should look into the extensive opportunities featured at the Profellow website! Access is free, and there are plenty of useful articles on applications and interviews for fellowships.
If you’re interested in continuing education opportunities, you should consider Udemy’s services! The diverse course catalog, self-paced active learning features, and video-based content make for exciting learning opportunities. Lifetime access is guaranteed, too, once you purchase an Udemy course.
three students working together on an online college lesson
At the graduate level, courses can cover multiple topics and move at lightning speed. To avoid missing anything going on in your lecture, use Vimeo’s free screen recording service where you can record your online lecture for later review. The service is available as a website and a Chrome extension.

Find additional study resources with a look at our study guides for students at every stage of the educational journey.

Or get valuable study tips, advice on adjusting to campus life, and much more at our student resource homepage.

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