Studying and learning, in general, can be hard, which is why most students—whether they’re still in high school or college—heavily rely on web-based study guides to help them understand their lessons better. Study guides have been around for quite a long time now, and they have been helping students prepare for tests, create book reports, and form study techniques.
If you’re looking for a study guide to help you with your subjects, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ve compiled all the best study guide websites we could find. Whether you’re just looking for a general study guide, flashcards, or comprehensive guides, and more, you’ll find something that fits your needs in the list below.
That being said, you need to remember that online study guides should never replace your course texts. Instead, these should only supplement them to make studying and learning easier for you. You must also remember that simply copying paragraphs or text from study guides is considered plagiarism, and you’ll end up receiving a failing score if not suspended from school if you get found out.
Why Are Study Guides So Important?
Without a doubt, anyone who’s still in school can benefit from study guides, especially since many students aim to improve their grades so they can pass with flying colors. Students these days are lucky because there’s a plethora of information available online, but weeding through the various sites and finding the best, most reputable ones can be a bit challenging. Finding a study guide that has all the information you need for the subject you require help with can do wonders.
Even students who are being homeschooled can benefit greatly from study guide websites. The guides available these days are composed of more than just reviews—they now cover a wide range of information and offer helpful tools, such as essay writing practice, grammar review, question and answer sessions, and a lot more. If you find that your teacher or professor wasn’t able to explain a certain concept in a way that you can easily understand, these study guides can help break things down into easily digestible concepts.
The Best Study Guide Websites
Without further ado, here are the best study guide websites we were able to find. Look through this comprehensive list and find the best option for you and your needs.
General Study Guides
It’s impossible to be a student and not know about Cliff’s Notes. It’s considered by many to be the grandfather of modern study guides, and it’s one of the reasons why study guides are a big industry now within the field of education.
Clifton Keith Hillegass founded the company back in 1958, and it initially only had 16 study guides dedicated to Shakespeare. Now, Cliff’s Notes has expanded immensely, and you’ll find study guides for nearly every subject available in school on the website. Cliff’s Notes is especially useful for when you have a literature class and you’re required to read a piece of literary work that’s a bit challenging and overwhelming to understand.
The best part about Cliff’s Notes is that you don’t need to pay for anything—it’s available for free! Anyone who has an internet connection can visit the study guide’s website and look for the subject area they need help on. You can even practice your writing and grammar on the site, as well as practice your math skills, learn a foreign language, take a study break, and more.
While Cliff’s Notes offers different study guides for various subjects, Book Notes focuses specifically on literature. As a matter of fact, this website claims to not only be the very first site of its kind, but it also claims to have the largest collection of literature guides on the internet. What Book Notes does is that it tracks down various book summaries, study guides, and literary notes from different guide sites and then compiles it into one website.
The websites it typically gets information from include Schmoop, Cliff’s Notes, Wikisummaries, BookRags, Spark Notes, Novel Guide, Book Wolf, and more. If you’re looking for a complete and comprehensive guide for literature-related reviews specifically, then you should definitely check out Book Notes.
Monarch Notes is another literature study guide that has been around for quite some time already. On this platform, you’ll find reviews for both children’s and young adult literary pieces. You’ll find familiar titles here, including classics such as The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
All the guides available on the site contain the author’s bio, a list of all their works, an interpretation of each work, along with a critical analysis. To make things even better and more helpful, you’ll also gain access to annotated biographies, questions and answers, suggested readings, and more. If you’re looking for some serious reading, Monarch Notes will have all the material you need.
Unfortunately, Monarch Notes doesn’t actually have its own website. However, it’s typically integrated into countless other sites. You can even find it on Amazon, where you can purchase the various notes available on CDs.
Spark Notes is also another popular study guide site—it’s probably just as renowned as Cliff’s Notes, albeit it’s an “edgier” version of the platform. In fact, Spark Notes’ motto goes: “When your books and teachers don’t make sense, we do.” Some may think this to be daring, but Spark Notes has a reputation for staying true to its motto. The platform offers students a plethora of information for various subjects just like Cliff’s Notes does, if not more.
The site has two interesting sections known as “No Fear Shakespeare” and “No Fear Literature.” For the former, you’ll find a list of Shakespeare’s renowned works alongside a modern language translation. This way, students can easily understand what the literary piece is all about without feeling like they have to decipher what he’s saying. This is ideal for when your English professor asks you to write a reaction paper on one of his works, but you just can’t seem to understand what Shakespeare is saying.
The latter section, on the other hand, is essentially the same thing as the former. However, instead of specifically focusing on Shakespeare’s work, it focuses on various other literary pieces by other renowned authors, including The Scarlet Letter, Beowulf, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and more. Students who have no interest in reading classic literature will most likely find these novels boring, so it’s great that Spark Notes makes them easier to read and understand. Anything that can help keep a student’s attention and interest is already a tremendous help to their grades.
Spark Notes also features a social component called Sparklife, which allows users to interact and engage with other students. Through this social component, you can discuss with other students, take personality tests, connect to each other through movies, music, book reviews, and more. Studying has never been easier and more engaging.
StudyStack is an interactive site that gives students the chance to study a variety of subjects as well as take flashcard quizzes to try and gauge their knowledge levels. Variety is really the keyword here, as StudyStack offers prep materials for 12 different entrance and exit exams, 30 subject areas within the field of medicine, as well as 30 foreign languages.
What makes this even cooler is that you can submit your very own data onto the site. This way, you can customize your flashcards to fit your needs and preferences. If flashcards aren’t your thing, you can make studying more fun and interesting by creating interactive games out of your study materials. For instance, you can create crosswords, word searches, hangman games, and more using the information you need to remember.
Notetaking is an essential part of school life and having an organized set of notes can make all the difference. However, many students end up having messy, disorganized notes because the process of putting all information neatly together can be time-consuming. As such, we’ve gathered some of the best sites that students can use to easily record and manage their notes with little-to-no effort.
Zoho Notebook is a free online service and it’s available to everyone—all you need to do is sign up for an account. This platform is especially useful to professors, as it allows them to create what is known as “live pages” or “Books.” You can then upload the Book you’ve made along with its contents onto the platform, where you can then invite others to view what’s in it. Zoho Notebook is also great for those students who have online study groups, as they can easily invite others to the live pages they’ve created.
Evernote is perhaps one of the most popular note-taking platforms available right now. Launched in 2008, Evernote allows you to search for notes, as well as capture and save audio, text, video, and images.
Last but not least, UberNote is a fantastic tool that allows you to upload all your course materials in the Cloud. This way, you can easily access the different materials you need for your class wherever and whenever. Other than that, it also features other nifty functions, such as drag and drop, multi-page viewing, and more.
Most students know that flashcards are one of the most effective study tools out there. They’re easy to bring around, and they’re effective at helping you memorize and internalize information. While some students like creating their flashcards manually, there are several online platforms that can do the hard work for you.
Quizlet saves you the trouble of writing your flashcards by hand, as it offers thousands of flashcard-style quizzes that cover a wide range of topics and concepts—from foreign vocabulary to medical terms. It even offers tests in different formats to keep you interested.
StudyBlue offers free flashcards that you can fully customize to fit your learning preferences. There are different templates available, too, and you can either choose a ready-made one or create your own design. In order for you to bring around these digital flashcards in case you’re always on the go, StudyBlue also has a mobile app you can download. This way, you can easily check your flashcards wherever you are.
Cram is a crowd-sourced flashcard website, and—believe it or not—there are over 1.1 million users at this point who have gotten a membership. If you have a Cram account, you can choose to create brand-new flashcards or import ones you’ve already made beforehand via Google Drive. To make things even more convenient, Cram also has three different mobile apps you can choose from: there’s the regular Cram app, Flashcard Elite, and lastly, FlashCards++.
Online Study Groups
Of course, studying is always best when you do it among friends, colleagues, or generally like-minded people. Joining a study group prevents you from feeling demotivated about studying and helps keep the learning process entertaining at the very least.
The first site on our list is Open Study, and it specializes in virtual study groups of considerable size. For instance, the site has a math group that has over 168,000 members, a history group that consists of over 29,000 members, as well as a physics group with over 28,000 members. As you can see, these study groups are very large in size, so there won’t be a dull day when you join any one of them.
Google+ Hangouts is typically used for work or personal conversations, but you can actually use it for other things too such as hosting an online study group. This is a great platform to use because it’s highly accessible, and you only need a Google+ account to create a group chat. You can include as many as 10 people into the study group and Google+ Hangouts will be able to support it with no problem.
Lastly, we can’t talk about study groups without mentioning the renowned crowdsourcing site Chegg. Chegg is a fantastic platform for students who need answers to their homework questions. There’s a team of experts who will get back to you as soon as they can, so all you need to do is sit back and wait for your question to be addressed.
While it can’t be denied that online study guides are incredibly helpful to students, let’s always remember that we should only use these as “guides” to help supplement your schoolwork or your learning process. It’s important that you make an effort to develop your knowledge and thinking skills with the help of these study guides rather than just rely on them to fulfill your homework.