Exam week survival sites


By Camryn Dahl

With winter break now over, a daunting task approaches—midterms. To get you through the upcoming month, and the rest of second semester, The Black & White compiled a list of websites to help you achieve academic success.

Wolfram Alpha [X]

Wolfram Alpha is an all-things-academia search engine in the form of a website and app. This website provides answers to subjects ranging from algebra to history to even pop culture. Every time you ask Siri a math question, it taps into Wolfram Alpha to find the answer. One advantage this site has over others is its ability to show step-by-step solutions to math problems. So, if you’re having trouble finding a derivative or factoring a polynomial, Wolfram Alpha is your savior.

SparkNotes[X] and Shmoop[X]

While it’s important to read your books for school, on the off chance that you forgot about those couple of chapters that were homework, these two websites can save the day. The chapter summaries for SparkNotes and Shmoop will give you a solid understanding of the book, so you’re prepared for any in-class essays or quizzes. You can find analysis of each chapter and character development to broaden your understanding. Many have heard of one or the other, but reading both websites gives you a much better grasp on your book, both from a bite-size (Shmoop) and in-depth (SparkNotes) perspective. Both websites also offer prep for AP exams, as well as study tools for other subjects like physics and history.


Time to bid farewell to the notorious NoodleTools. EasyBib is an simple, accessible website for MLA formatting. All you have to do is pick the medium you are citing and enter the URL. EasyBib will extract all of the necessary information and within seconds, your citation will be ready for copying and pasting. A word of warning, however: sometimes EasyBib can’t find everything it needs. If this is ever the case, there’s always an option to manually enter in information.

Khan Academy[X]

For general assistance with your schoolwork, Khan Academy can help broaden your understanding. The website features lessons, practice problems and instructional videos on math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more—all broken down into digestible units, just like school curricula. The math and science courses are the most detailed and feature help with physics, calculus and biology. Khan Academy is a useful tool if you need help understanding homework or need to prep for a test.

Word Reference[X]

Calling all foreign language students! Word Reference is an online dictionary that translates words from 18 different languages (including all of the ones offered at Whitman). The site is preferred by most foreign language teachers over the commonly used Google Translate, which often provides incorrect translations by an oversimplified algorithm. So next time you miss class and need to translate your entire vocab sheet or need help deciphering a full sentence, use Word Reference for more accurate results.


It may seem obvious, but this tool is more powerful than you think. Encyclopedia.com pulls search results from more than 100 sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, word origins and more, making it very useful for big research papers. It provides reliable sources for everything from quantum theory to the Jurassic period. So next time you need more info for that group project, try this one on for size.


Quizlet is an online website and app that allows you to create digital flashcards, as well as browse flashcard sets that other students have made. For people who find flashcards helpful but don’t have time to handwrite over 100 of them for that anatomy exam, this website is very useful. Quizlet also offers stimulating educational tools like Scatter, a timed matching game for learning definitions. If you’re short on time and need to make flashcards for that upcoming test, Quizlet is the site for you.

Crash Course[X]

Crash Course is a YouTube channel created by John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, and his brother Hank. It features 10-15 minute videos on a wide range of subjects like U.S. history, world history, literature, biology, ecology and chemistry. The videos feature amusing animations and recurring segments like ‘The Document of The Day.’ The entertaining delivery of the content keeps you engaged, serving as a great way to review for an upcoming test or learn more about a current unit.