Math madness

Rating the top math websites and apps

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Photo by Brooke Knight

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Story by Aislyn Echols

Math is a subject that all students have had to suffer through. Though there is one tool that makes the subject just a bit more tolerable: a calculator. The problem is that the further you get into math, the less useful a basic calculator gets. That’s when students turn to math websites and apps for help.

The question is: which websites and apps can go the distance throughout your math journey? The rating will be based on how far into math they can go, whether they give you the work attached with it, whether it can solve word problems and whether it comes in app form.

Wolframalpha

Wolframalpha is by far my favorite go-to. It can be used for all levels of math up to the college level. But the reason for my deep adoration and devotion comes from the extensive other subjects that it covers. Psychology, economics, chemistry, history, statistics; the long list of subjects that it covers makes it the ultimate cheat sheet in school. The one downfall is the fact that you have to pay for premium to access the entire step-by-step explanation, but it does solve word problems and does have an app.

Rating: 10/10

Mathway

Mathway is the less intense Wolframalpha. It specifies the levels of math that you can use it for, going up to calculus, statistics, and even finite math. The only downside is the fact that you must make an account to see the steps, but considering that other websites make you pay to see the steps, I don’t consider this too much of a hindrance. It can solve word problems but can have difficulty with more complicated questions. You can take pictures of the problems using your phone, but that is only on the app. 

Rating: 10/10

Desmos

Desmos is great for those who have trouble graphing equations. It puts equations into the graph and can graph any equation for any level of math. What makes Desmos different from other graphing calculators is that it has a long list of standard graphs, and shaded graphs for inequalities. Its insane amount of zoom can go as far as putting numbers into scientific notation. Furthermore, you can share your graph with whoever needs to see it, whether it’s a teacher or your friends. Desoms does what a $100 graphing calculator can do, for free.

Rating: 9/10

CK-12

This site stood out to me because it isn’t giving you the answer, but gives you the material. If your math teacher just isn’t explaining the material in the way that you need them to, turning to CK-12 may be the answer. They also offer practice sessions and expand their learning into other categories like chemistry, physics, photography, history, economics and much more. It doesn’t offer you answers to direct questions, but can be a valuable tool to help you figure it out.

Rating: 7/10

Khan academy

This, like CK-12, is more on the actual learning aspect of helping, and less on giving direct answers. Khan Academy offers tutoring, practice, and unit testing to help students. Though, Khan Academy goes beyond just math, science and social studies. There is ACT prep, SAT prep and AP testing prep in multiple subjects. They do offer live tutoring, but that must be paid for.

Rating: 7/10

PhET Interactive Simulations

This is, as the name implies, more focused on the interactive types of learning. They have games activities that help you practice certain math skills. They organize your search by subject, specificity of that subject, grade level, compatibility with your device and so much more. Once again, it doesn’t outright give the answers to your questions but can make learning more fun and personalized.

Rating: 7.5/10

GeoGebra

GeoGebra is back on the side of giving direct answers. It has both a graphing function as well as multiple different calculators. It can graph any function placed into it based on the type of math that was selected. It also allows its users the ability to draw on the graphs themselves. This site also offers tutoring, practice activities, and it comes in an app. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have the ability to solve word problems which is the main downside. 

Rating: 9.5/10

IXL

The site ranges from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Again, this isn’t a put in the question and get the answer deal. This has timed interactive practices for a multitude of subjects. Math, science, social studies and English. It creates weekly plans for your learning path and even gives you the standard for the state that you are currently in that you are required to learn. What differentiates this site from others is that it tells you, based on the state that you are in, the education requirements that you need to know for the standardized tests.

Rating: 8/10