Top 5 back-to-school apps for Windows Phone

I spent the weekend at my local office supply store, elbowing other parents out of the way of #2 pencils, glue sticks, and pink erasers—an annual end-of-summer ritual for my elementary school-age kids.

For the college crowd, back to school is less about the low tech world of pens and protractors than it is about having the right apps. Luckily, the Windows Phone Store has you covered when classes start. Here are a few that can help you earn that A. You’ll find even more handpicked options in our new back to school collection. Miss your favorite? Please share it in a comment.

Power Planner

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Keeping track of your classes, daily homework assignments and upcoming tests gets much easier with this smart app, designed just for Windows Phone. Its Live Tiles display current homework assignments and reminders. You can also pin your class schedule to Start so you know where you’re supposed to be next. My favorite highlight: the quick-math “What If” mode tells you what you need to score on your final exam to keep your A. Windows Phone 7.5/8; $0.99. Buy it

Encyclopaedia Britannica

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The name pretty much says it all. For more than two centuries, the Encyclopaedia Britannica has been an essential student reference tool, expertly researched and written with sources ranging from presidents to scientists to Nobel laureates and many historical figures. Now, its 80,000 articles are available on your Windows Phone in a fully searchable database. You can download articles for offline viewing, too. Windows Phone 7.5/8; $4.99. Buy it

Flashcards

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We all remember flash cards from childhood, and now they’re even easier to have with you for exercising your memory and reviewing important facts, math equations and words. This app lets you study from six built-in decks covering cell biology, French vocabulary, Spanish vocabulary, state capitols, trigonometric identities – even sports trivia – and you can create custom decks on subjects you’re currently studying, too. A handy review mode flags cards you’re having trouble with, while quiz mode lets you administer self tests. Windows Phone 7.5/8; free. Download it

Class Scheduler

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Class Scheduler is another great option for keeping track of classes, quizzes, homework due dates, and more. You can color code classes for easier scanning and pin reminders to Start so you don’t forget about key due dates or class times. Windows Phone 7.5/8; $0.99. Buy it

Scientific Calculator

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If advanced math is on your class schedule, put this full-featured scientific calculator on your Windows Phone. It offers everything from basic arithmetic, percentage calculations, and powers and roots up to trigonometry functions, integer and fraction modules, factorials and special memory operations. Windows Phone 7.5/8; Free. Download it