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5 best study apps for Matric learners

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Matric is hard enough as it is, add a global pandemic and a shortened school year - and what you have is the recipe for failure. 

Your future quite literally hinges on your matric year. Universities use the results for admissions so you can't afford to not excel if you plan on studying further.

Luckily, as tech has improved substantially over the years, there are now endless resources to help you study. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the choices but we're here to help. Here are five key apps to help you set-up and follow through with a well-structured study plan.

1. Note taking app

Since you're allowed your phone in class, taking notes has never been easier. Gone are the days of writing on pads of paper only to lose them or have to keep them in bulky files where they get smudged or damaged. 

With note taking apps, you can keep your notes on your phone, organise them neatly, share them with friends as a collaborative study group and even attach links to important sources. 

There is only really one option when it comes to note-taking and that is Evernote.

It has a free basic package which allows you to use most features, the only hitch is the 60MB space per month. But it's unlikely you would need more storage. Notes are not meant to include everything in them, and creating too many isn't good study practice. 

If you do need more space, you will have to pay to upgrade to the Premium package, which is R46,99/ month, which is very affordable.

2. Timetable planner

Writing out a study planner is one way to go, however, downloading an app comes with extra benefits aimed at keeping you on track. 

It's easy enough to ignore your calendar if it's on a piece of paper but if an app keeps reminding you and even gamifies the experience, then you have more incentive to meet your study goals. 

That's why using a simple but effective to-do list type study app like Todait is a good idea. 

This free app helps you set up goals for studying, so you know track your progress. It also automatically adjusts your schedule depending on whether you're behind or ahead of where you're expected to be. 

3. Voice to Note app

While a note taking app is great for getting everything down, it's likely that you have recordings of your lessons. Transcribing these can take up precious time so using a voice-to-note app is very helpful. 

Please note that many of these apps are not 100% perfect. It will be likely you will have to go over them afterwards to correct errors the AI has introduced. This is especially true in South Africa as many don't fully understand our accents. 

A good option is the Speechnotes app, which is designed for longer recordings and is able to handle almost a whole lesson. The app is free, with a Premium option if you want to spend the money.  

4. Study guides

If you're looking for something to help you make notes and give you better understanding of the material, then a study guide app is for you. 

Much like your textbook, this app has the information you need to know, in a more digestible format. 

Matric Live is a great study tool which includes all subjects and focuses on the current matric syllabus. It also includes a terminology search so you don't have to rush to Google every time you don't understand something. The format is easy to use and even includes past papers. 

In addition to being free, the app covers work from Grade 10 to Matric which means you can use it from earlier on.

5. Past paper app

Past papers are key. Once you work through a few you begin to recognise patterns on how the questions are written and identify questions that have been used more than once. 

While some subject like Maths can almost only be studied by going over examples, past papers can help with English, History or Drama. 

Once you've learnt the theory, sitting down and completing a timed past paper will help you see what information you've retained and will make it clear how much more time you may need to put into that particular subject. 

Previously, getting past papers meant downloading them from the government site and printing them out. Luckily, some clever person decided to help by putting the papers into a convenient app. Now you don't have to sacrifice trees for good marks.

PaperMate has  over 2000 installed papers and memos, and is completely free. It allows you to pick your subjects so you don't have to wade through all those on offer just to find the ones you'll be taking. 

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.