7 back-to-school apps to help you make the grade

Maximize your educational endeavors with minimal effort and expense with these scholastic apps.

You're already dreading the early wake-up times and the terrifying tests and term papers that are par for the coursework. While we can't excuse you from that 8 a.m. class or from the pop quiz that you're so not prepared for, we can recommend seven educational apps to ease and enrich the coming school year.

iProcrastinate (Mac, iOS)

iProcrastinate keeps you from procrastinating.
In Intro to Psychology, you may have learned that procrastination is a sure sign of not wanting to do something. We get it. Few students are dying to write that term paper or prepare for that final. iProcrastinate makes your course load more manageable with easy task scheduling. Quickly enter new tasks, along with due dates and priority levels, and iProcrastinate will organize these tasks to make them easy to manage and to optimize your time. You can sync tasks with your iPhone, iPad, and Dropbox account for referencing on the go.

Flashcard Hero (Mac, iOS)

Become the memory magician with Flashcard Hero.
Flashcards are great study aids, but who wants to spend money on them or carry around decks of cards for multiple classes? Instead, download Flashcard Hero. This modern, streamlined app lets you input questions and answers using its basic text editor. Afterward you can group cards into decks or split them with easy drag-and-drops. Then test your knowledge with the click of a card.

Smartboard Calculator for Windows

Smartboard Calculator is the wiser choice over a pricey new calculator.
You used to dread being called up to the chalkboard to solve a complicated trigonometry problem in front of the entire class. Smartboard Calculator is far more enticing. This stunning app moves the chalkboard experience to your computer screen, so you can solve those algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics problems away from prying eyes. With the app's export to Excel and backup to SkyDrive, you'll be able to complete your homework directly from the app, without fear of crashes.

GPA Tracker (Windows)

GPA Tracker takes the guesswork out of your grade point average.
Get on top of your grade point average with GPA Tracker. This lightweight app lets you track your grades, so there are no surprises come report card time. Input up to five years' worth of grades, 10 courses per term, by semester or quarter. You can even use this app to predict your end-of-term GPA, so you can plan the party early.

Dictionary.com (Android, iOS)

Dictionary.com includes over 2 million definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that's no excuse for writing essays in emoji. Improve your vocabulary with Dictionary.com, a dictionary and thesaurus that brings 2 million-plus definitions, synonyms, and antonyms to your mobile device. Your on-the-go searches are aided by the app's tablet optimization and features like voice search and audio pronunciations. The Word of the Day home-screen widget keeps the learning process going.

School Note Scan - Scanner App for Android

School Note Scan eliminates the drudgery of note-taking.
No one enjoys the monotony (and hand cramp) of note-taking. So spare yourself the stress with School Note Scan. Just highlight the important parts on your document or screen, and your camera will capture it for insertion into essays or notes. Delete extraneous lines, and save the important ones in easy-to-find bullet points. You can also save, share to the cloud, send via email, or print directly from the app.

TextbookMe (Android, iOS)

TextbookMe is your one-stop-price-shop for course books.
You've just spent thousands of dollars on tuition. Just when you think that the financial hemorrhaging is over, you're faced with paying for overpriced textbooks. Save yourself a trip to the student bookstore and search TextbookMe's extensive database for a better deal. You can search by ISBN or author, or scan the back of your friend's copy. TextbookMe will pull up real-time price results from more affordable online retailers like Amazon.com, Textbooks.com, and Half.com. Because full-retail prices are for people who've already paid off their student loans.

The start of the school year is a great time to upgrade your laptop, tablet, or e-reader. Don't miss CNET's back-to-school tech guide.

About Joshua Rotter

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.