We know that homework can be a real drag. It’s time-consuming, and can be difficult to complete all on your own. So, what can you do if you’re struggling?
You might try looking online or in the app store! If you’ve already looked around you probably know that there are tons of homework sites for students and homework apps out there that all say they can help you improve your grades and pass your classes. But, can you trust them? And what are the best apps for homework help?
Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help apps–free and paid. We’ll go over:
- The basics of homework help apps
- The cost of homework help apps
- The five best apps for homework help
- The pros and cons of using apps that help you with homework
- The line between “learning” and “cheating” when using apps that help you with homework
- Tips for getting the most out of homework sites for students
So let’s jump in!
The Basics About Apps that Help You With Homework–Free and Paid
The bottom line is, homework sites and homework apps are intended to help you complete your take-home assignments successfully. They provide assistance that ranges from answering questions you submit through a portal all the way to one-on-one tutoring, depending on the help you need!
The big plus for both homework help apps and websites is that they usually offer help on-demand. So if you can’t make it to after school tutoring, or if you're studying late into the night (it happens!), you can still access the help you need!
If you’re specifically looking for an answer to the question: “what is the best homework help website?,” you can check out our article on those here! [LINK COMING SOON]
What’s the Difference Between a Homework Help Website and an App?
So if they’re both designed to give you a little boost with your take-home assignments, what makes homework apps and websites different from one another?
First off, homework help websites are optimized to be used on a desktop, while apps are designed to be run natively on mobile devices. So depending on which devices you have access to, you may decide to use a website instead of an app…or vice versa!
The other big difference between homework help apps and websites is that they sometimes offer different features. For instance, with the Photomath app, you’ll be able to submit photos of math problems instead of having to type everything out, which is easier to do by using an app on your phone.
If you’re trying to decide whether to go with a website or app, the good news is that you may not have to. Some homework help websites also have companion apps, so you can have the best of both worlds!
What Makes a Homework Help App Worth Using
Apps that help you with homework should ideally help you actually learn the material you’re struggling with, and/or help you turn in your work on time. Most of the best apps for homework help allow you to ask questions and provide answers and explanations almost immediately. And like we mentioned earlier, many of these apps let you send a picture of a question or problem instead of writing it all out.
But homework help apps offer more than just quick answers and explanations for your assignment questions. They also offer things like educational videos, lectures, tutorials, practice tests and quizzes, math solving tools, proofreading services, and even Q&A with experts.
And the best part is, most offer these services 24/7!
What You Should Look Out For
When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots–of apps willing to prey on desperate students. Before you download any apps (and especially before you pay to sign up for any services), read reviews of the app to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company.
Keep in mind: the more a company advertises help that seems like cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. Actual subject matter experts aren’t likely to work with those companies. Remember, the best apps for homework help are going to help you learn the concepts needed to successfully complete your homework on your own.
If you’re not sure if an app is legitimate, you can also check to see if the app has an honor code about using their services ethically, like this one from Brainly. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” in more detail a little later!)
How Expensive Are Apps That Help You With Homework?
A word to the wise: just because a homework help app costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. And, just because a homework help app is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best apps, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide!
Most of the apps out there allow you to download them for free, and provide at least some free services–such as a couple of free questions and answers. Additional services or subscriptions are then charged as in-app purchases. When it comes to in-app purchases and subscriptions for homework help, the prices vary depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to around $60 dollars per month, with the most expensive app subscriptions including some tutoring (which is usually only available through homework help websites.)
The 5 Best Apps for Homework Help
Okay, now that you’re up to speed on what these apps are and how they can help you, we’ll run you through the best five apps you can use.
Keep in mind that even though we recommend all of these apps, they tend to excel at different things. We’ve broken these apps into categories so that you can pick the best one for your needs!
Best Free Homework Help App: Khan Academy
- Price: Free!
- Best for: Practicing tough material
While there are lots of free homework help apps out there, this is our favorite because it actually supports learning, rather than just providing answers. The Khan Academy app works like the website, and offers the same services. It’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your educational needs.
After you download the app, you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes–with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace.
As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help apps, including several AP classes.
Best Paid Homework Help App: Brainly
- Price: $18 for a 6 month subscription, $24 for a year
- Best for: 24/7 homework assistance
Brainly is free to download and allows you to type in questions (or snap a pic) and get answers and explanations from both fellow students and teachers. Plus, subject matter experts and moderators verify answers daily, so you know you’re getting quality solutions! The downside is that you’re limited to two free answers per question and have to watch ads for more if you don’t pay for a subscription.
That said, their subscription fees average around only $2 per month, making this a particularly affordable option if you’re looking for homework help on a budget. Brainly subscriptions not only cover unlimited answers and explanations on a wide variety of school subjects (including Art and World Languages which aren’t always included in other apps), they also provide tutoring in Math and Physics!
Best App for Math Homework Help: Photomath
- Price: Free (or up to $59.99 per year for premium services)
- Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems
This app allows you to take a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath subscription services also include animated videos that break down mathematical concepts–all the way up to advanced Calculus!--to help you better understand and remember them.
The basic textbook solution service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools, access to one-on-one tutoring, and additional strategies for solving common math problems.
Best App for STEM and English Homework Help: Studypool
- Price: Varies; you’ll pay for each question you submit
- Best for: Science and English homework help in one app
When it comes to apps for science and English homework help, there aren’t lots of great resources out there, much less out there all in one place. While Grammarly is a good service for proofreading, SparkNotes has some decent summaries, and Khan Academy covers science, the best of the bunch if you need help with both subjects Studypool. Instead of using lots of different apps for STEM and English help, they’re combined together here! But while Studypool has great reviews, there are some downsides as well.
The Studypool Q&A model is a little different than other homework help apps. After you create a free account, you ask questions, and tutors submit bids to answer them. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access thousands of notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded.
The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent. There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! It’s also not clear how they choose their tutors, so you’ll need to be careful when you decide who you’d like to answer your homework questions. That said, if you only need a few questions answered per month, this could be cheaper than other monthly subscription services.
Best Homework Scheduling App: MyStudyLife
- Price: Free!
- Best for: Keeping track of your schedule and deadlines
If the reason you’re looking for homework help is less about finding answers to questions and more about needing assistance with organization and time-management, MyStudyLife is a great option. This is a cross-platform planner that allows you to store your class schedule, upcoming tests, and homework assignments in the cloud so you can access it all wherever you are, and on any device.
One of the unique things about it is that it easily works for daily or weekly rotating class schedules that can get confusing, helping you keep track of when you need to finish your homework based on your changing schedule. You can get reminders for upcoming classes and assignments as well as past-due homework and any revisions you may need to do. It can even let you know when you need to start studying for a big test!
Best of all, you can actually schedule assignments and study sessions for multiple nights, and specify how much of the task you got done each night. That way you’ll know how much additional time you’ll need to spend!
While homework apps might seem like magic, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before you commit to one.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Apps?
Homework help apps can be useful tools if you’re struggling in any of your classes. But there are a few problems you might run into if you don’t use them ethically and responsibly.
Below we’ll cover some of the good and the not-so-good parts of using homework help apps to complete your take-home assignments.
3 Pros of Using Homework Help Apps
Let’s start with the pros of using apps for homework help.
Pro 1: All-Around Better Grades
This is undeniably the main pro and the reason apps that help you with homework are so popular with students. Not only can you potentially get better grades on individual assignments, because they help you learn tricky concepts, you can also earn better grades overall.
Just keep in mind that if you want better grades you have to actually learn the material you’re studying, not just find easy answers. So be sure to use apps that provide good explanations. That way you’ll have the mental tools you need to succeed on your class exams and on standardized tests for college.
Pro 2: Flexibility
It’s hard to beat homework help that you can access anywhere you are from your mobile device. You can also get assistance whenever you need it since the best apps offer their services 24/7. This is especially useful for students who need to study during hours when their free school resources aren’t available because of extracurriculars, jobs, or family obligations.
If you need convenient and flexible homework help or tutoring services to fit your schedule, apps can be your go-to resource.
Pro 3: Individualized Learning
Sometimes the kind of learner you are doesn’t match your teacher’s style of teaching. Or maybe the pace of a class is a little too fast or too slow for your tastes. Homework apps can help by allowing you to learn at your own speed and in ways that support your own learning style.
You can use their features, such as educational videos, 24/7 conversations with experts and peers, and tutorials to review concepts you may have forgotten. These apps can also let you dive deeper into topics or subjects you enjoy! With homework help apps, you get to choose what you need to learn and how you learn it.
3 Cons of Using Homework Help Apps
Next, let’s look at the cons of homework help apps.
Con 1: Questionable Info
Unfortunately there are lots of less-than-reliable homework help apps out there. They might not hire actual experts in their fields to provide answers and create study tools, or they rely on user-submitted answers that they don’t verify. In those cases, you might not be getting the accurate, thorough, and up-to-date answers you need to really learn.
In addition to the possibility of running into plain-old wrong answers, even the best apps sometimes just won’t have a specific answer you need. This could be because you’re enrolled in an advanced class the app doesn’t really cover or because of the algorithm or chatbot a particular app uses.
If that’s the case, your best bet will likely be to talk to your teacher or a free tutor (if your school provides them) to get help answering your question.
Con 2: Information Overload
While having tons of information at your fingertips can be helpful, the sheer amount and variety of videos, tutorials, expert answers, and resources a homework app provides can be overwhelming. It’s also easy to get sucked into a research rabbit-hole where you learn new things but don’t actually get your work done. This is especially true for students who tend to be easily distracted.
Additionally, you may be learning to do things differently than you’ve learned them in class, which could cause problems. For example, if your math teacher asks you to solve a problem one way, but you learned to do it differently through an app, you could get confused come test time!
Con 3: Cutting Corners
There are a lot of apps out there that bill themselves as “the best app for cheating.” They allow users to type in a question or take a picture, then instantly provide an answer without any explanation of the material. Many of these are scams or provide unreliable answers, but not all. Some apps are legitimate and provide quick and easy answers that could allow you to do your whole homework assignment in minutes.
The problem is that even though taking shortcuts on homework to save time is tempting, it can keep you from really learning. The point of practicing concepts and skills is so you develop them and can access them whenever you need to. This is especially true if skills build on one another, like in a math or English class.
Sometimes struggling with an assignment or question, trying, failing, then trying again until you succeed can help you learn difficult material. If you don’t let yourself really try, and instead take too many shortcuts, you may end up behind.
When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?
When it comes to using homework help apps, sometimes the difference between “help” and “cheating” is really clear. For example, if you’re using an app to get answers while you’re taking a test, that’s definitely cheating. But what if you’re struggling with a math problem and need to know the correct answer so you can work backwards to learn the process? Is that “cheating” or is it “help?”
The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating.” If you’re not sure, you can always check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours. It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned.
So if you’re relying on an app to do all of the work for you, there’s a good chance using it might constitute cheating.
Think of it this way: say you’re studying for an upcoming math test, and are stumped by a few of the questions on the study guide. Even though you’ve tried and tried, you can’t seem to get the right answer because you can’t remember the steps to take. Using an app to explain the steps as you’re studying is “help.” Using the app to get answers so you can make a good homework grade is “cheating.”
The same is true for other subjects: brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also “help,” provided you’re the one that makes the changes later.
But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or learning to produce your own answers, it’s probably cheating.
5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help App for You
If you’re serious about using a homework help app, our expert tips can help you pick one that’s right for you and your budget!
#1: Decide What Tools You Need to Succeed
While most apps offer Q&A services, the best apps provide study tools to help you learn the material you need to learn.
For instance, if you’re a visual learner, you might need an app that provides lots of videos. If you learn best by reading, an app that provides lots of in-depth written resources might be better for you. Or, if you learn best by actually doing things, look for an app that provides practice tests and quizzes, along with explanations for correct and incorrect answers.
Before committing to an app, take a quick survey of the tools they offer users to make sure they meet your unique learning needs.
#2: Decide Which Subjects You Need to Study
Not all homework apps are created equal. One might provide tutoring in math and science, but no proofreading services to help you with writing. Another might be perfect for American History, but what you really need help with is your Spanish class. So, before you can decide which app is best for you, make sure to create a list of the subjects you need the most help in.
#3: Do Your Research
As we’ve said before, there are tons of homework apps in the app store to choose from, and the most important thing you can do is research what they offer students. Services, prices for those services, and subjects that the apps cover all vary, so it’s important that you look into your options. We’ve compiled our all-around favorite (and reliable) apps here, but it’s still a good idea to do your own research to find out what might meet your individual needs best.
#4: Learn Why People Like and Dislike the App
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “buyer beware?” It means that the person buying something should check for quality before actually handing over their money. This applies to both free and paid homework apps, but especially those that actually cost money.
Before you download anything, be sure to read the user reviews. While all apps will have both positive and negative reviews, you want to look for one that has more positive than negative. And if you’re considering paying for a service, be sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!
#5: Budget Yourself
If you find a paid app that provides the learning tools you need, covers the subjects you need to study, and that has good reviews overall, set a budget to pay for it before you hit that “install” button. The costs for paid homework apps vary, and especially if you’re using one that requires you to pay for individual questions or services, the prices can add up quickly. So make sure there’s money for it in your budget before you commit!
If you’re not quite sure why you’re struggling with homework, or want to know how you can do your homework as quickly as possible, check out this list of 15 expert homework tips and tricks to make your life a little bit easier!
Effective studying requires the right balance of concentration, understanding, retention and rest. So if you need help striking that balance, read these 16 tips for better study habits in both the short and long-term.
Getting good grades is about more than just answering questions correctly on your assignments. It also requires planning ahead and participation. In this article we cover the academic survival strategies that can help you throughout high school.
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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.