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Here are the best apps and services to help you study your Leaving Cert subjects

There are many learning services and tools out there both online and on smartphones, but which ones are worth looking at?
Jun 1st 2015, 3:00 PM 37,906 14

THERE ARE JUST a few days to go to the dreaded LC.

There are many services and apps out there that promise to teach you all you need to know about a subject but which ones are worth dedicating your time towards?

Here’s a pick of the best apps out there.

General

Mocks.ie
For: Desktop, iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Subjects: All Junior Cert & Leaving Cert subjects

Probably one that you will be using in a few months time instead of now, but no matter what you’re studying, you can’t beat having the past exam papers to download and work with. There are additional materials and notes you can purchase as well should you need extra help.

screen480x480-4 Source: Mocks.ie/App Store

Khan Academy
For: Desktop, iOS, Android
Cost: Free
Subjects: Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, Economics,

Despite it being focused on the US curriculum, Khan Academy allows you access to more than 4,200 videos covering a wide range of subjects and topics. Certainly handy if you want to learn about something in greater detail.

Khan Academy Source: Khan Academy

CleverNotes
For: Desktop
Cost: Free
Subjects: English, Irish, Maths, French, German, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business, Geography, History, Home Economics.

Another useful site for Leaving Cert students, CleverNotes breaks down all subjects into manageable summaries. Handy for when you need some clarity on a specific topic.

clevernotes-630x384 Source: Clevernotes.ie

Study timing

Toggl Time Tracker
For: DesktopiOSAndroid
Cost: Free
Learning type: N/A

Probably one of the best time-management apps out there, Toggle allows you to break down your schedule into manageable chunks. Want to spend 30 mins on Maths and then an hour on Irish? Sure thing.

More importantly, it also allows you to see where you’re losing time in case you’re having problems sticking to a schedule.

toggl-565x500

Languages

Duolingo
For: Desktop, iOS, Android
Cost: Free

It’s tough to mention languages without mentioning Duolingo, a service that’s become synonymous with language learning on the go. The main languages are covered here: Spanish, French, German, etc., and you can take a comprehension course which will present lessons that are better suited to your ability.

Also a more important element is the Irish course is now available on its site. It’s in beta meaning it’s not perfect yet and for now, it’s only on desktop, but assuming it will be officially released by December, if not sooner, it will be an invaluable companion for learning.

Duolingo Source: Duolingo

Irish

Nemo Irish Gaelic
For:  iOS, Android
Cost: Free (Full version costs €8.99)

If you can excuse the app title, Nemo Irish Gaelic is an app that specialises around phrases. Designed to be dipped in and out of every now and again, it mixes flashcards and spoken words to help improve your accent.

The free version is quite limited and you will need to get the full version if you want to move beyond basic phrases so download first before you decide to pay for it.

Nemo Irish Source: Nemo Irish/Google Play

Irish Grammar App
For: iOS, Android
Cost: €3.59

An app developed by Wicklow teacher Aine McGillycuddy, Irish Grammar App does exactly what it sets out to do. Breaking down each section and providing a written quiz for each section, it’s a handy resource should you need a way of refreshing your knowledge about tenses and prepositions.

Although it should be noted that the app is viewed solely in landscape mode so the bigger a smartphone screen you have, the better.

screen568x568 Source: Irish Grammer App/App Store

English

Shakespeare Online
For: iOSAndroid
Cost: Free (Pro version costs €8.99)

Practically all the works of Shakesphere are here, with full text, notes and explanations to help you out.  There’s a pro version if you’re particularly serious about learning everything there is about King Lear or MacBeth if you’re so inclined.

Shakespeare app Source: Shakespeare

Maths

Math.
For: iOS
Cost: €8.99 (First five lessons are free)

Covering both school and college level maths, Math. contains lessons, video examples and multiple-choice questions and worksheets to ensure you get enough practice in.

screen480x480 Source: Math

Math Tutor
For: Desktop
Cost: Free

Another handy maths resource which breaks the subject down into seven main areas. The text sections can be a little heavy to read (especially in PDF format), but video tutorials, tests and exercises means it’s worth taking a look.

MathTutor Source: MathTutor

 Science

Pocket Physics
For: Android
Cost: Free

An easy to use resource that’s handy to dip in and out of whenever you need help on a specific area. The text can be a little small at first glance, but you can zoom in if needed and the information provided is solid.

Pocket Physics Source: Pocket Physics/Google Play

Physics X
For: iOS
Cost: €4.49

An app designed mainly for college students, but has enough use for Leaving Cert students, it’s comprehensive and provides a number of MCQs and videos tutorials to help you understand each section.

Physics X Source: Physics X/App Store

The Elements: A Visual Exploration
For: iOS
Cost: €12.99

It’s expensive, but what you get is a beautiful presentation and description of each element that exists in the world. While you can get it on your iPhone, it’s best experienced on iPad so you can truly appreciate the work that’s gone into this app.

screen480x480 Source: The Elements: A Visual Exploration

Other

Sporcle
For: 
Desktop
Cost: Free

Not strictly a subject app per se, but there are enough geography and history quizzes here to keep you occupied. Handy for a change of pace or if you want to brush up on your knowledge on areas like countries and cities of the world.

sporcle-630x369 Source: Sporcle

And finally, to get you in the study mode.

Spotify (well, any music app with study playlists)
For: DesktopiOSAndroidWindows Phone
Cost: Free (Premium costs €9.99 p/m)
Learning type: Kinesthetic

Bear with us here. If you’re the type of person who needs to work out problems to understand it, one of the things all music apps have are study playlists.

If you’re going to be doing repetitive work (like compiling notes, or completing equations), you may as well have a playlist in the background. Practially all of said playlists focus on classical music, which is said to help learning. Whether it works for you is a different story, but it doesn’t hurt to find out.

This article was originally published in September 2014. 

Read: Back to school: the apps you need to get your study routine organised >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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