August 22, 2019 | 89° F

Useful apps, websites to save your semester

For the naturally organized and motivated student, starting the semester on the right track merely entails aesthetically-pleasing stationary and intricate planners that are color-coded with meticulous detail. For the rest of us, pretty pens and 5-subject notebooks are not enough to help us keep it all together. When social media is not distracting us from our studies, hand-held technology offers ample resources that can aid in our academic lives, some of which many students have no idea exist. Whether you need guidance in writing papers or managing your finances, here is a guide to apps and websites that can help you survive this semester. 

Rutgers Course Sniper

At a large research institution like Rutgers, it is often difficult to register for all the classes you need as they fill up so fast. With Rutgers Course Sniper, putting all your eggs in one basket can be a possible feat. Simply plug in the index codes for up to eight of your desired or required courses, and the site will shoot you an email or text as soon as the class opens up. Course Sniper is especially useful during the add/drop period, a prime time for students to make last minute changes to their schedules. 

Rate My Professors

If you base the way you learn largely on the classroom environment and the course professor or instructor, then Rate My Professors can help you craft your ideal learning experience. Like you would for a restaurant on Yelp, this site allows students to share their opinions — positive or not — about previous and current professors. If you are not fond of reading or public speaking, for example, Rate My Professor can help you weed out certain professors who give heavy reading assignments or require lots of oral presentations. Everyone's experience with a professor varies, though, so take reviews on Rate My Professor with a grain of salt, especially if it is a required course. 


One of the best feelings in the world for a college student is finally completing a paper. On the other hand, the last step of typing up the bibliography tends to be a whole other tedious task. Bibme is an app that can drastically cut down the time as it acts like a calculator for writing Works Cited pages. Using an auto-fill feature to quickly identify the sources you need to cite, Bibme generates proper citations in an instant. 

Self Control

You know when those 5-minute Instagram breaks during an important study session turn into hour-long intervals? For those who just cannot resist the constant refresh, the Self Control app can be a helpful tool to get focused. Pick and choose the apps you find most distracting, and the app will block its usage for as long you need. Although you can easily unblock them, the simple reminder that Twitter is blocked can still be surprisingly effective. 


With a list of more than 153 million study guides that only keeps growing, there is only a slight chance the notes you need will not be posted on Quizlet. Flashcards are an elementary concept that can still be incredibly useful in your college years, and thousands of teachers and students alike upload theirs on Quizlet. You can also create your own personalized study set if the ones offered on the site that do not suit you. 


If your paper is due tonight and you have no time to make a stop to visit a writing tutor at Plangere, the Hemingway app can aid in your essay-editing process. Some of Hemingway's features include highlighting lengthy or unnecessary sentences, suggesting better diction and correcting grammar mistakes. 


Most college students have to work on a tight budget, and Mint is an app that can make managing your finances easy. If you are overspending on eating out or have an upcoming bill to pay, Mint will stay on top of it for you. 


When it comes to communicating with colleagues and fellow club members, many simply stick with iMessage group chats or GroupMe. Slack app is a more advanced and efficient way to talk to your peers as it integrates with Dropbox, making it super convenient to study or communicate with groups remotely. 

Do not get us wrong — having an old-fashioned planner is a classic way to get organized. With the help of apps and websites right at your fingertips, you will be able to survive the semester and be more productive than ever before. 

Clarissa Gordon

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