Discover 21 Best Study Websites for Students

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21 Best Study Websites for Students

Study smarter, not harder!

Did you know? 31% of students prefer face-to-face instruction over other modes of instruction, but the remaining 69% prefer fully online or hybrid options. And what better way to expand that imagination than with the best study websites for students? From online study resources to interactive learning experiences, we've got a golden ticket to the finest educational websites for students that'll have you saying, 'So much to learn, so little time!' Just like Willy Wonka himself, let's step on a journey of discovery and sweet knowledge. So, put aside textbooks - it's time to take the digital leap into the world of online learning. Here are the top 21 picks for the best study websites for students!

Benefits of Study Websites for Students

Study websites are very useful and beneficial for students worldwide. From grasping more information and saving time to assessing one's learning, there are several benefits of study websites for students. We've listed a few of them below:

1. Better Learning Experience

Study websites and online study internship courses enhance your learning experience by offering interactive tools, visual and multimedia resources, and collaborative learning opportunities.

2. Reduced Costs

Most of the study websites are free, which helps students reduce additional costs on study resources.

3. Flexibility

Students can study at their own pace and convenience, fostering a more flexible and personalised learning environment.

4. Skill Development

Study websites often offer resources for skill development. The tools include time management, critical thinking, and effective study strategies.

5. Real-time Feedback

Most of the study sites offer instant feedback on quizzes and assessments. This helps students identify areas of strength and improvement. 

21 Best Study Websites for Students

We have listed the best study websites for students, which offer several interesting learning opportunities and information that will make studying online more interesting than ever! To help you understand better, we have segregated these study websites based on subjects of interest. Take a look at some top educational websites for students.

Online Education Platforms

Online education platforms are study websites or portals that provide users with all resources, learning materials and educational content a student requires. Here are some of the best online education platforms.

‍Cost: Free Best Courses: Computer Science, Biology‍‍

Founded by Harvard University and MIT back in 2012 for learners everywhere. EdX is one of the best educational websites for students to study from. It offers free and low-cost 1 to 4-month-long courses, called massive open online courses ( MOOCs ), from top universities worldwide. It is one of the best online learning websites for students, where students get the highest quality online courses, including subjects like humanities, maths, and computer science. EdX has over 20 million registered users, more than 2,500 courses, along with videos and podcasts. These factors make EdX one of the best student websites in the lot.

2. Coursera 

Cost: Professional certificate costs $39-$99 per month Best Courses: IBM Data Science, Google IT Support

Coursera is an online platform that offers courses, specialisations, and degrees from top universities worldwide. Coursera offers 1 to 4-month courses in subjects. The subjects include computer science, business, data science, and social science in over 40 languages that is why it is considered one of the best education sites for students. The website also offers verified certificates and degrees for a fee, of course. Moreover, Coursera also offers video lectures, quizzes, peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. 

3. eTutorWorld

Cost: starts at $22/hr Best Courses: K-12 Online Tutoring, Test Prep, K12 Summer Courses

Founded in 2008, eTutorWorld is a Personalised Online Tutoring platform for K-12 students. eTutorWorld is well known for its Maths Tutoring, Live Online Test Prep, and Flexible Online Summer Courses, and they offer a trial class free of cost.eTutorWorld has a unique 'Learning by Design' methodology that focuses exclusively on the individual student. The curriculum is customised according to each student's level of readiness and learning speed, assuring success in the classroom and on tests.

4. Khan Academy

Cost: Free Best Courses: Computer Programming, Microeconomics

Khan Academy is one of the non-profit educational websites for students that provides free online courses and resources to students of all ages. Students who are unable to pay for coaching can use this website. With a mission to provide world-class education to anyone, anywhere, Khan Academy offers a wide range of subjects. Just like Tony Stark, Khan Academy is always pushing the boundaries of what's possible, using cutting-edge technology to bring education to students everywhere. So, get ready to learn something new.

5. CosmoLearning

Cost: Free Best Courses: Software 

CosmoLearning is one of the best study websites for students that focuses on offering information and learning opportunities in the fields of art, humanities, and science. The website is partnered with some of the highly regarded institutions, giving you access to a vast collection of courses and study materials. They cover many topics, including mathematics, history, literature, psychology, engineering, and more. Additionally, you can find notes, summaries, and quizzes to make your learning experience better. 

6. Academic Earth

Cost: Free Best Courses: Economics of Education, Educational Software

Academic Earth is one of the best websites to help you study for any degree. From accounting to engineering, it offers an online degree programme in every subject. You will also find books on specialised topics like behavioural psychology. As one of the best student websites, Academic Earth has partnered with several prestigious universities, including Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and the University of Oxford . The portal offers videos and podcasts in all courses, taking into consideration the student's degree of interest.

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7. Big Think

Cost: One-year subscription $29.99 Best Courses: Content Design

Hungry for more? Big Think is one of the best education sites for students that stores originals from numerous large websites and is one of the best online learning sites for students. It's full of wild ideas and fascinating perspectives, always ready to challenge your assumptions and expand your mind. If you're looking to understand the latest breakthroughs in science, then Big Think is one of the best websites for studying to start.

8. Brightstorm

Cost: Free Best Courses: Math, Science

We could say Brainstorm is like the X-Men of online education taught by experienced teachers and is designed to be fun, engaging, and informative. Brightstorm is one of the best study websites for students to learn from. It provides much-needed assistance to high schoolers as they get interactive quizzes in maths, science, and english, which lessens their studying difficulties. Entrance exams can be gruesome, but don't worry! Brightstorm is there to simplify the competitive test structure and offer detailed information.

Flashcard Study Websites for Students

9. brainscape.

Cost: Free (With an option for premium) Best Courses: Medical, Nursing

Brainscape is an online learning site for students and a mobile app that helps students memorise and retain information more efficiently. It uses a method called Confidence-Based Repetition. It features a vast library of flashcards and study material across various subjects. It uses algorithms to determine the optimal time for a user to review and retain information. Users can create their flashcards or search and use pre-existing ones shared by other users. Brainscape has become a popular tool for self-study, test preparation, language learning, and more.

10. Quizlet

Cost: 7 days free trial, $48 per year Best Courses: Scientific Management

Quizlet is another one of the good websites for studying. It is like the life of the party in the world of study aids! It's not your average, boring flashcard app, oh no! It's a fun-loving platform that helps you learn anything, from vocabulary words to historical dates, quite a useful website for students to study. With features like games, quizzes, and even a team mode for studying with friends, Quizlet is the perfect wingman for anyone looking to ace their exams and impress their teachers. 

Best study websites for students

Focus and Time Management Apps

Do you get distracted quickly or are unable to manage time? Well, these are some of the best focus and time management apps for you! These apps will give you wonderful tips for time management and gamified apps that encourage you to focus. 

Cost: Free Best For: Staying focused 

Want to stay more focused during your study sessions? Then, Forest is one of the best websites for students to study! So, to stay focused, all you have to do is plant a tree. As you study more, your plant grows, and if you stop studying, your tree will die. A great way to make you stay focused! Another highlight of Forest is that you can contribute to the plantation of trees in real life. All you have to do is spend your virtual coins on planting real trees. Yes, we know it gets overwhelming sometimes! In such cases, students can also look for some tips to stay productive while studying online . 

12. Focus To-Do

Cost: Free Best For: Time and Task management

Focus To-Do is an easy-to-use task and time management app that helps you manage your tasks anytime, anywhere. The app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, wherein you set a timer for 25 minutes and study until the alarm rings. Once it rings, you take a 5-minute break and repeat the action. With this app, you can also plan out your work and study, record shopping lists, set birthday reminders, and arrange your schedule. 

Maths App for Students

Maths was all fine until it was simple addition and subtraction. What if we told you that it can still be a cakewalk? With these maths apps for students listed below, learning and practising maths will be a piece of cake for you. 

13. Photomath

Cost: Free Best Courses: Maths

Photomath is like a superhero with a Ph.D. in maths, swooping in to save students from the evil clutches of complex equations. Its camera calculator feature is like having a personal mathematician in your pocket. It is always ready to give you step-by-step solutions to even the toughest maths problems, making it one of the best online learning sites for students. So, if you're struggling with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or any other type of maths, Photomath is here to be your trusty sidekick. Moreover, you get additional tips and visual aids if you upgrade to a subscription plan of $2.99. 

14. Wolfram Alpha

Cost: Free Best Courses: Algebra, Calculus

Wolfram Alpha is like the quirky uncle of search engines; it doesn't give you the most popular answers but the most accurate ones! Wolfram Alpha is an answer engine that uses a vast database of computed information to provide answers and perform calculations. You can also enter a specific problem, which will be broken down and explained. Wolfram Alpha's knowledge base covers many subjects, including mathematics, science, history, and geography. It also generates interactive visualisations, plots, and graphs to support its answers.

Grammar Website for Students

Make your educational content and notes error-free with the best grammar website for students! Let's dive in!

15. Grammarly

Cost: Free  Best For: Grammar checks

Ensure all your content is grammatically correct without any punctuation or spelling mistakes with Grammarly. The website's generative AI gives real-time suggestions for your writing. It can be used as a browser extension on both desktop apps and smartphone keyboards. This website for studying or submitting assignments will make your life much easier and simpler!

Other Study Websites for Students

Apart from the best study websites mentioned above, there are few ones you should consider too! Let's talk about some of the best student websites for students that are popular for other courses like STEM, history etc.

16. Internet Archive

Cost: Free Best Courses: Geologic History

The Internet Archive is a digital library founded in 1996, offering permanent access to anyone and everyone. This is one of the best study websites for students to learn from. Internet Archive includes gifs, texts, audio, and software, along with archived web pages and provides a digital archive of websites, books, music, and other media. It also offers the Wayback Machine, which allows users to access archived versions of websites dating back to 1996. The American libraries offer a selection of free books that are immediately linked to the websites of the college libraries. This is one of the best study sites that are freely available for students, historians, researchers, or literally anyone. 

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17. Futures Channel

Cost: Free Best Courses: STEM 

Futures Channel is an online portal and one of the best educational websites for students worldwide. Futures Channel is an innovative educational platform that provides students with a window into the future, showcasing cutting-edge careers and technologies. With a focus on STEM fields, this website offers students a glimpse into what the future might hold. In contrast to other websites, it only provides the key information addressing the issues students face.

18. Evernote

Cost: Free Best For: Note-taking

Keep all your notes, tasks, and schedules in one place with Evernote! You can keep all your notes organised in this app and automatically sync them to all your devices. The cool thing about Evernote is that you can add images, studios, scans, PDFs, and documents to your notes. Its AI-powered search helps you find your notes quickly making evernote one of the best note-taking apps for students !

19. Howcast

Cost: Free Best Courses: Adobe 

Howcast, one of the best educational websites for students, is like having a personal magic wand for your "how-to" queries. It is the ultimate go-to resource for all your tutorials and life hacks needs. With step-by-step guides on everything from cooking and crafting to car maintenance, Howcast solves your problems. Think of Howcast as the "Harry Potter" of online education - conjuring up answers to all your "how-to" questions with just a wave of its wand. Grab your wizard robes, and let's get learning!

20. MentalFloss

Cost: Free Best Courses: Science

MentalFloss is an excellent study website for learning intriguing information from around the world, covering subjects like food, culture, and science while essentially being one of many time-wasting student websites. With its mission to feed the curious minds of its readers, MentalFloss delivers a fun and quirky take on education and learning. With its curious mind and love for all things strange and unusual, MentalFloss is the ultimate source of information for those who love to learn and have a good time doing it. Indeed, it is one of the best study websites for students to learn from. 

21. Course Hero

Cost: Membership starts at $9.95 ‍Best Courses: STEM and Business

Course Hero is an online learning tool and a super helpful study resource that helps students with their lecture notes, homework, and any other material they may need help with. Course Hero comes with tools like AI homework help, on-demand tutoring, and course assistant features, which are designed to enhance the learning experience for students by providing personalised support. You can seek help on a wide variety of subjects depending on your level of expertise, such as Psychology, Economics, Health, Finance, and Music.

All the above-mentioned study websites for students have one aim in mind - to educate students in one way or another. Whether you're a history buff or a maths whiz, there's something for everyone in this extensive mix of online resources. So grab your laptop, your favourite pen, and a bag of brain food; it's time to hit the books and make studying a wild ride! Who says learning isn't fun? Also, check out this blog to know the top advantages and disadvantages of online classes . 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the study websites for students free of cost, which are the top-rated online learning platforms for students, which is the best website for students in exam time, can i find specific subjects on the study websites for students, are study websites for students free, can i find specific subjects on study websites for students.

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The 34 Best Aesthetic Study Websites & Virtual Spaces [2024]

Staying in the groove and making the most of your time while practicing self-care isn’t easy during a lengthy study period. With study websites and virtual spaces, you can create a relaxing environment, drown out distracting noise, and focus on your mental health. Plus, you’ll find dozens of extensions, tools, and project management apps that can help you level up your learning.

We’ve curated the best study websites, virtual spaces, online communities, and extensions to help you reach your study goals. Scroll and check out our top picks!

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  • First Name First

Table of Contents

Ambient Study Background Websites

Study timer websites, background noise websites for studying, virtual group study spaces & rooms, online notepad & note-taking websites, breathing exercise websites for students, aesthetic chrome extensions for students.

Having an online space that feels like your own and matches your aesthetic is a big plus when working through tricky topics. Check out these top ambient background websites for study!

Flocus: All-in-One Focus & Ambience Dashboard

Find your flow and a moment’s peace with Flocus, an all-in-one dashboard. Flocus is a web app with a three-way toggle switch, flipping between your Home Dashboard, Focus Mode, and Ambient Mode.

Prepare ready for the day by reading dynamic greetings and inspirational quotes, or listening to your favorite Spotify playlists on your Home Dashboard. When you’re ready to start the day, switch to Focus Mode, set up custom Pomodoro timers for deep work, and type your current focus for extra motivation. Taking a break? Escape the daily grind in one of over 10 original Flocus worlds, complete with serene themes and laid-back Spotify playlists.

Go to Flocus

Flocus: All-in-One Focus & Ambience Dashboard

LifeAt – General Virtual Space

Craft the ultimate aesthetic workspace in LifeAt. Pick from over 100 gorgeous spaces, from lofi animations to hi-def nature scenes. Each space features soundscapes and music to match your vibe. Or, choose your own soundtrack with built-in media widgets.

LifeAt offers everything you need to engage in deep work, including notepads, to-do lists, calendars, and Pomodoro timers. Feeling overwhelmed? Reflect on your day with breathing exercises, or read your fortune. Share your spaces and video chat with your friends or coworkers for quick and easy collab sessions.

Visit LifeAt

LifeAt – Virtual Study Space

Drive & Listen – Driving Footage & Radio Website

Drive & Listen lets you take relaxing car rides around the world. Over 55 destinations are available for your virtual space, from Oslo to Mumbai to Hawaii. Jam out to local radio stations while you cruise around your chosen city.

Turn on a city’s street noise for a truly immersive experience. Different car speeds are available, so you can explore cities in a hurry. Buckle up and virtually travel the world by car with Drive & Listen.

Visit Drive & Listen

Drive & Listen – Driving Footage & Radio Website

Lofi.co lets you create the perfect anime-inspired workspace for any occasion. Select one of three modes depending on your mood: jazzy, chill, or sleepy. You’ll find 40+ soothing animated scenes with Spotify playlists and 25+ soundscape sliders to help you get in the zone.

Drag-and-drop widgets for notepads, timers, PDF readers, and bookmarks give you everything you need to work, relax, or play. Save templates of your favorite sounds and scenes so you can hop back into tailored virtual study spaces.

Visit Lofi.co

Lofi.co for Studying

Lofi Cafe – Anime Loops & Lofi Hip-Hop Radio

Lofi Cafe’s retro-futuristic TV channel-hopping aesthetic is a unique take on virtual study spaces. Cycle through visual loops like Lofi Girl, cyberpunk cityscapes, 8-bit animations, and more.

Tune into synthwave, lofi hip hop, and ambient radio stations for easy listening while studying. Get stuck into your work with a simple built-in Pomodoro timer. Change the visual loop and music from your keyboard with the touch of a button.

Visit Lofi Cafe

Lofi Cafe – Anime Loops & Lofi Hip-Hop Radio

Magenta Lofi Player

Featuring nostalgic 8-bit visuals, Magenta Lofi Player lets you build your own custom music room by interacting with in-world elements! Click on each instrument or object in the room, and completely fine tune volume, tone, and patterns of each. The result — your very own, one of a kind virtual room to chill out to or have in the background while working!

Visit Lofi Player

Magenta Lofi Player for Studying

I Miss My Office

If your home workspace is too quiet, I Miss My Office might be the perfect solution. With an interactive floorplan, this ambient site mimics the hustle and bustle of an office environment – keyboard clatters, muffled chatter, and all. You can even increase or decrease your virtual colleague count depending on how much background noise you’re looking for.

Visit I Miss My Office

I Miss My Office Website

Virtual Cottage – Cottage Virtual Space

Cozy up in a custom cottage with this free desktop app for Mac and Windows! Virtual Cottage lets you live out your cottagecore dreams in your quaint cabin beside your browser. A built-in Pomodoro timer, ambient sound and music toggles, and real-time dynamic lighting, will help you get into a flow state while you work away at your to-do list.

Visit Virtual Cottage

Cottage Virtual Space Website for Studying

Lofi Girl YouTube Live Stream

The Lofi Girl YouTube Live Stream is one of the most popular YouTube livestream radio stations. Listen to endless lofi hip-hop tunes with the iconic Lofi Girl visual loop from Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart . Plus, subscribers to the Lofi Girl channel can chat with other listeners while they work.

Visit the Lofi Girl Channel

Lofi Girl Study Stream

Online aesthetic stopwatch and the Pomodoro timers can add structure to your study while keeping you motivated with beautiful backgrounds, lofi playlists, and valuable tools. Scroll down to view a few of our favorite study timer websites!

Flocus Minimalist Timer

Get back to basics with the Flocus Minimalist Timer. Set custom Pomodoro intervals and breaks with sseveral high-quality minimalist backgrounds to help you get in your work groove. Switch between four alarm chimes letting you know when to return to work or take a break.

Bop along to Flocus Radio with the built-in Spotify widget. Embed the Flocus Minimalist Timer in Notion, and create a free account to sync your settings across devices. Reduce distractions and maximize your productivity with this practical and aesthetic study timer .

Visit Flocus Pomodoro

Flocus Minimalist Study Timer

StudyWithMe.io – Aesthetic Study With Me Website

Prefer to match your Pomodoro counter with your workplace aesthetic? StudyWithMe.io features customizable Pomodoro timers with a dozen charming backgrounds, ranging from “Dark Academia” to “Tokyo Sakura.”

Tune into Flocus Radio through the Spotify widget, and sync your settings across the devices with a free account. Plus, StudyWithMe.io is also embeddable, adding extra flare to your Notion aesthetic . Cram for your next big exam in style with StudyWithMe.io’s aesthetic Pomodoro timer!

Visit StudyWithMe.io

StudyWithMe.io – Aesthetic Study With Me Website

Tomato Timers

Study side by side with a hard-working kawaii tomato on Tomato Timers! Customize your Pomodoro intervals and breaks, and set loops to keep your streak going. Add items to your to-do list and mark them complete to stay up to date on your backlog.

Visit Tomato Timer

Tomato Timer for Studying

Animedoro Timer by Flocus

Do you spend your Pomodoro breaks catching up on your favorite anime? Then check out the Animedoro Timer! Motivate yourself for your next break by setting your timer background to one of eight anime-inspired backgrounds. The studio Ghibli-inspired “anime chill music” playlist from Flocus Radio on Spotify provides a fitting soundtrack to your Animedoro session .

Visit the Animedoro Timer

Animedoro Timer by Flocus

Background noise websites are super handy if you find the hustle and bustle of others working motivating, or you’re trying to drown out a noisy neighbor. Curate the perfect soundtrack to your study sessions with these background noise websites!

For more sites like this, check out our full round-up of ambient sound and background noise websites for studying .

I Miss My Cafe – Cafe Ambience Website

Set up your ideal cafe ambiance in your office with I Miss My Cafe. Use sliders to adjust the sound levels of eight cafe sounds, including talking baristas, whirring machinery, and a crackling fireplace.

Save your soundscape preferences and add your own Spotify playlist to match your mood. A built-in Pomodoro timer is there to help you engage in deep work. If you can’t make it to your local cafe, you can now access one straight from your browser.

Visit I Miss My Cafe

I Miss My Cafe – Cafe Ambience Website

I Miss My Bar – Bar Ambience Website

Love a busy bar, but find it hard to concentrate in a crowded environment? I Miss My Bar lets you create a custom pub environment with weekly playlists and sound sliders for bartender noise, street noise, rain noise, and more!

Visit I Miss My Bar

I Miss My Bar – Bar Ambience Website

I Miss My Library – Library Ambience Website

Shh! Check out I Miss My Library if you find the sounds of a cafe or bar too distracting. Clacking keyboards and turning pages are soothing, familiar background noises for your virtual study environment. I Miss My Library also has a built-in to-do list so you can stay on top of your workload.

Visit I Miss My Library

I Miss My Library – Library Ambience Website

Noisli – Relaxing Background Noise

Noisli is a super-simple soundscape generator with 25+ premium background noises to mix and match. Just click a sound and adjust its volume with a slider.

Combine noises for a bespoke ambiance, and shuffle sounds at random. Or, access pre-curated playlists if you’re looking for inspiration. Noisli’s built-in timer and text editor are on hand to help you reach maximum productivity.

Visit Noisli

Noisli – Relaxing Background Noise

Rainyscope – Seasonal Virtual Space

Change the season with the click of a button on Rainyscope. Swap between the dog days of summer, snow storms, and overcast autumn days — whatever matches your mood. Set an hour-long timer to keep you motivated and focused on your current project.

Visit Rainyscope

Rainyscope – Seasonal Virtual Space

Noises Online

Curate your ideal background noise from 30 different sounds with Noises Online. Mixing a soundscape is easy — just click each sound button to raise or lower the volume. Adjust the tone and liveliness of your soundscapes, and save them for future listening.

Visit the Noises Online

Studying Noises Website

The ultimate background noise website for studying, myNoise features hundreds of high-quality original recordings. Travel the world with recordings from Ireland, Japan, and the Sahara. Or, tune in to soothing arrangements like “Gregorian Chanting” and “Tibetan Bowls.”

From tonal drones to restaurant hubbubs to acoustic performances, myNoise boasts sounds for every situation. All sounds are fully adjustable, too! Want more thunder in your “Stormy Weather” soundscape? Adjust the equalizer for the perfect audio.

Visit the myNoise

MyNoise Study Website

Immerse yourself in Noisekun’s ambient sounds that are perfect for both focusing and relaxing between study sessions. Choose from an array of ambient noises in its minimalist grid — ranging from rain, to wind, fire crackling, airplane ambiance, and even underwater sounds. As you listen, enjoy the site’s slow, relaxing hue shift that pairs perfectly with the ambient sounds.

Visit the Noisekun

Ambient Study Sounds Website

Work through tough topics together and find motivation from your peers by joining a virtual study space. Scroll to discover some of the biggest and best study communities on the web!

Check out our full round-up of online study room websites for more.

StudyStream Live

StudyStream Live lets you work alongside tens of thousands of your fellow students from across the globe! Create to-do lists, listen to your favorite study playlists, and track your Pomodoros while you chat and live stream.

Stay motivated by tracking your rank and daily streaks in the StudyStream leaderboards. Unlock perks and achievements to show off your dedication. Join events like fireside chats, journaling sessions, and focus rooms. Use the FocusBuddies feature to find study partners and build an online community!

Go to Website

StudyStream Live Website

Study Together

Study Together is one of the world’s largest virtual study communities, with over 1 million members. Find co-working sessions 24/7 with students from over 215 countries. Start by constructing your personal study space and choose from tons of stunning backgrounds and personalization options.

Join group study rooms, participate in community events, and even find tutors to help you with tricky topics. Practice mindfulness during your breaks with guided breathing and meditation exercises. Rise to the top of the community leaderboards and provide your peers with some healthy competition!

Study Together Website

Flocus Discord Study Server

Join a community of over 16,000 members on the Flocus Discord Study Server! Chat with others about work, digital decor, productivity tools, and more! Not a native English speaker? Discover different language rooms and chat with students around the world.

Inspire others by sharing your daily goals, recent wins, and study hacks. Or find a study buddy and drop in on group study sessions. Level up your profile, earn rewards, and rise to the top of the Flocus rankings. During your downtime, join the #party-room and play classic games like Truth or Dare!

For more servers to join, check out our curated list of the best Discord study servers !

Go to Flocus Server

Flocus Discord Study Server

Whether you’re taking notes, writing an important paper, or collabing with others, online notepad websites are an essential study tool. Check out some of our favorite online note-taking websites!

Notion – All-in-One Productivity Website & App

Notion is a free all-in-one productivity platform — operating both as a website and app to run on your computer, tablet, or phone. Take notes, plan your semesters, study for your exams, track your assignments, and do so much more, all in one workspace. Utilize Notion AI to quickly summarize content, create tables, rework paragraphs, and more.

The best part? You can even personalize your workspace to fit your theme and embed timer widgets. There are several aesthetic , student , and free Notion templates to help you get started — even our all-in-one Student OS Notion template .

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Notion – All-in-One Productivity Website & App

Calmly Writer

Check out Calmly Writer if you want a minimalist all-in-one note-taking site. Avoid distracting formatting options and intricate user interfaces with this simple white text editor. Use keyboard commands or highlight text to change the formatting.

Despite being straightforward, Calmly Writer provides everything you need from a word processor. Import documents from your local files or Google Drive, export files as PDFs, insert pictures, and more.

Enable “Focus Mode” to remove even more distractions from your Calmly Writer documents. Customization options include changing font size and color, toggling dark mode, and enabling smart punctuation.

Calmly Writer for Students

Craft is a project management and aesthetic note-taking app that will revolutionize how you build documents. Craft’s Blocks allow you to move text around your documents seamlessly, while Pages make organizing your documents a breeze. Craft’s built-in AI assistant speeds up your ability to flesh out new ideas.

Invite unlimited team members to collab on documents. You can access all your files offline and sync your Craft profile across devices — perfect if you’re traveling. Craft is similar in function to Notion and is worth trying out if you’re searching for a comprehensive note-taking app.

Craft Docs for Students

Google Docs

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Google Docs is many people’s go-to all-in-one note-taking word processor, with its familiar UI and personalization options. Download extensions like ProWritingAid, DocuSign, and Mailmeteor to make your daily grind a little easier.

Insert charts, download in Rich Text Format, translate documents, and a whole lot more. Share documents with anyone, anywhere, and anytime, by sharing a link to your latest WIP.

Google Docs for Students

Literally taking a breather during a study session will help you relax and reset for your next big push. Here’s a few of the best breathing exercise websites for students!

Check out our full round-up of breathing exercise websites for more.

Calm Breathing Bubble

Get guided through a simple breathing exercise by the sound of a calming Tibetan singing bowl with Calm Breathing Bubble. Watch the bubble expand and contract as your worries wash away.

Calm Breathing Websites

MindfulDevMag Breathing Timer

The MindfulDevMag Breathing Timer offers 4-7-8, 4-2-4, box, and HRV breathing exercises for meditation and relaxation. Toggle the sound on to help with deep meditation, and choose between two breathing animations. Download GIFs for each breathing exercise for use offline.

MindfulDevMag Breathing Timer Website

eXHALeR Web App

eXHALeR is one of the best breathing exercise websites for customization. Adjust the sliders to change how long you breathe in/out and hold your breath.

There are also four presets for popular breathing techniques like pranayama and ujjayi. Toggle day or night mode, and add audio guidance if needed.

eXHALeR Breathing Website for Studying

Whether you’re tracking Pomodoros, blocking distracting websites, or monitoring your mood, Chrome extensions offer many uses for students. Here are a couple of our favorite Chrome extensions for students to download!

Looking for more Chrome extensions for your student life? Check out our full round-up featuring the best Chrome extensions for students !

Otto – Pomodoro Timer and Website Blocker

Let Otto, the adorable blue blob, encourage you to keep up with your Pomodoros! Otto’s avatar lifts weights while you work and snoozes on your breaks.

Add websites to Otto’s blocklist to remove distractions, or use the auto block feature to disable sites depending on how long you spend on a particular page. Gain insights into website usage and Pomodoro sessions for added motivation.

Download Otto

Otto – Pomodoro Timer and Website Blocker

Manage your mental health, monitor your mood, and have mindful moments with the Thyself Chrome extension. Throughout the day, Thyself will check in on how you’re feeling with a wheel of emojis to help you decipher your current mood.

The Thyself dashboard shows your past moods, as well as journal prompts and a self-care to-do list. Take a breather and engage in a Thyself breathing exercise. Invite your friends and coworkers to your Thyself team and work together on your mental well-being.

Download Thyself

Thyself Chrome Extension for Students

Coffeelings

Combine coffee and self-care with the Coffeelings extension! Each day, pick a different shade of coffee roast to match your feelings. View your moods on a coffee-theme palette calendar across the year. Attach notes to each day to remind yourself why you had such a fantastic (or terrible) day!

Download Coffeelings

Coffeelings Mood Tracker for Students

Are we missing any aesthetic study websites? Do you have any other virtual spaces to recommend? Let us know in the comments down below!

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The level system is pog  „ The VC level system keeps me motivated — the more time spent studying, the more levels you gain and the fancier your role becomes. There’s even silent study calls with lofi music, silence, nature sounds and other types of ambience. 10/10 would recommend it to a friend.“

Awesome Community „As a chronic procrastinator, this community really helps me motivate myself to get my homework done. Has cool leaderboards, timers, and study tips. It’s a really large community so it’s pretty easy to meet people, too. “

Productivity Booster „I have never been so focused and productive when studying by myself before. I usually study with a group of friends to stay on track and motivate each other. Since I can’t do that right now, my friends and I joined this server BUT I have also made new friends online so that I can study with someone basically 24/7 if I really wanted too. It has been an amazing help! 💜 Thanks Study Together!“

Goals „I’ve been a part of it for probably a little over a month and I’ve noticed how it’s improved my ability to stay focused. Since everyone is also studying in the call and working hard, I feel obliged to stay on task as well.“

Thank you „Yesterday I completed my one year in this community. I feel so amazed that I have so many study hours without even noticing them, just cuz I was so focused with my study pals to achieve what I wanted to!!“

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More From Forbes

5 free digital marketing courses to study in 2024.

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A career within digital marketing is extremely lucrative and in high demand over the next few years

If you have expertise in digital and social media marketing, your skills could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030 , according to Coursera's Job Skills of 2024 report. In fact, research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that marketing occupations are soaring in demand by as much as 6% yearly, which is faster than the average for job growth.

Digital marketing has rapidly accelerated the success of marketing and advertizing campaigns. With billions of social media users, and billions using the web to search for topics, answers to questions, conduct shopping, and loads more of everyday activities, digital marketing is full of potential and is certainly an in-demand skill worth investing in.

The investment in developing this skill, whether it is financial or time expenditure, is certainly proving to be well worth it. With a career in digital marketing, such as a digital marketing manager, you can expect to realize earnings of as much as $124,000. And of course, the more you learn and develop yourself professionally, and the more senior-level your role, the more you increase your earning potential.

Here are five free digital marketing courses you should seriously consider embarking on so you can launch a successful digital marketing career in 2024:

1. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning has a learning path called "Master Digital Marketing," which contains courses taught and led by industry experts handpicked by LinkedIn. The course content within the learning path ranges from mastering SEO, to marketing on LinkedIn and other social media platforms such as TikTok, to even learning marketing with AR (augmented reality).

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Although perhaps not 100% free in every sense of the word, courses on LinkedIn Learning are free with a 30-day free trial of LinkedIn Premium subscription. Otherwise, with a Premium subscription you can access all the courses without any extra cost.

2. Google Digital Garage

Google Digital Garage has now moved to Google Skillshop, part of the Grow With Google initiative, and it hosts a range of courses including Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, which are totally free of charge to you. After completing the course, you're able to gain a certificate which you can showcase on your LinkedIn profile and to employers.

3. PPC University

This website hosts a range of informative content, via courses and guides such as PPC 101, totally free of charge. These cover topics such as PCC (pay-per-click advertizing), and Facebook ads. Although it does not cover all aspects of digital marketing, this can be a helpful resource if you're seeking to zone in on PPC as a digital marketing skill.

Another free digital marketing course provider is HubSpot, which is already known to be a leader in the digital marketing industry. Their learning arm, HubSpot Academy, provides several courses for all levels from beginner to the more advanced, such as its Digital Marketing Course: Get Certified in Digital Marketing, which also comes with a free certificate.

Meta offers a range of courses and certifications, paid and free, for those aspiring to build digital marketing skills. One free course is the Meta Certified Digital Marketing Associate, offered via Meta Blueprint. It is essential to bear in mind that although the study materials are free, obtaining the certification may cost you.

Undertaking a digital marketing course, and even paying for the certificate if necessary, is well ... [+] worth the time and financial expenditure

All five of these are examples of what courses are available to you if you are passionate about upskilling (or reskilling as the case may be) and taking your professional development to the next level by pursuing a digital marketing career. Learning something new doesn't need to cost much. Through these five free digital marketing courses, you can prove your value to employers, become a trusted expert, and even work as a freelance digital marketing manager.

Rachel Wells

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AI Index Report

Welcome to the seventh edition of the AI Index report. The 2024 Index is our most comprehensive to date and arrives at an important moment when AI’s influence on society has never been more pronounced. This year, we have broadened our scope to more extensively cover essential trends such as technical advancements in AI, public perceptions of the technology, and the geopolitical dynamics surrounding its development. Featuring more original data than ever before, this edition introduces new estimates on AI training costs, detailed analyses of the responsible AI landscape, and an entirely new chapter dedicated to AI’s impact on science and medicine.

Read the 2024 AI Index Report

The AI Index report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence (AI). Our mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, broadly sourced data in order for policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public to develop a more thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex field of AI.

The AI Index is recognized globally as one of the most credible and authoritative sources for data and insights on artificial intelligence. Previous editions have been cited in major newspapers, including the The New York Times, Bloomberg, and The Guardian, have amassed hundreds of academic citations, and been referenced by high-level policymakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, among other places. This year’s edition surpasses all previous ones in size, scale, and scope, reflecting the growing significance that AI is coming to hold in all of our lives.

Steering Committee Co-Directors

Jack Clark

Ray Perrault

Steering committee members.

Erik Brynjolfsson

Erik Brynjolfsson

John Etchemendy

John Etchemendy

Katrina light

Katrina Ligett

Terah Lyons

Terah Lyons

James Manyika

James Manyika

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Juan Carlos Niebles

Vanessa Parli

Vanessa Parli

Yoav Shoham

Yoav Shoham

Russell Wald

Russell Wald

Staff members.

Loredana Fattorini

Loredana Fattorini

Nestor Maslej

Nestor Maslej

Letter from the co-directors.

A decade ago, the best AI systems in the world were unable to classify objects in images at a human level. AI struggled with language comprehension and could not solve math problems. Today, AI systems routinely exceed human performance on standard benchmarks.

Progress accelerated in 2023. New state-of-the-art systems like GPT-4, Gemini, and Claude 3 are impressively multimodal: They can generate fluent text in dozens of languages, process audio, and even explain memes. As AI has improved, it has increasingly forced its way into our lives. Companies are racing to build AI-based products, and AI is increasingly being used by the general public. But current AI technology still has significant problems. It cannot reliably deal with facts, perform complex reasoning, or explain its conclusions.

AI faces two interrelated futures. First, technology continues to improve and is increasingly used, having major consequences for productivity and employment. It can be put to both good and bad uses. In the second future, the adoption of AI is constrained by the limitations of the technology. Regardless of which future unfolds, governments are increasingly concerned. They are stepping in to encourage the upside, such as funding university R&D and incentivizing private investment. Governments are also aiming to manage the potential downsides, such as impacts on employment, privacy concerns, misinformation, and intellectual property rights.

As AI rapidly evolves, the AI Index aims to help the AI community, policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public navigate this complex landscape. It provides ongoing, objective snapshots tracking several key areas: technical progress in AI capabilities, the community and investments driving AI development and deployment, public opinion on current and potential future impacts, and policy measures taken to stimulate AI innovation while managing its risks and challenges. By comprehensively monitoring the AI ecosystem, the Index serves as an important resource for understanding this transformative technological force.

On the technical front, this year’s AI Index reports that the number of new large language models released worldwide in 2023 doubled over the previous year. Two-thirds were open-source, but the highest-performing models came from industry players with closed systems. Gemini Ultra became the first LLM to reach human-level performance on the Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU) benchmark; performance on the benchmark has improved by 15 percentage points since last year. Additionally, GPT-4 achieved an impressive 0.97 mean win rate score on the comprehensive Holistic Evaluation of Language Models (HELM) benchmark, which includes MMLU among other evaluations.

Although global private investment in AI decreased for the second consecutive year, investment in generative AI skyrocketed. More Fortune 500 earnings calls mentioned AI than ever before, and new studies show that AI tangibly boosts worker productivity. On the policymaking front, global mentions of AI in legislative proceedings have never been higher. U.S. regulators passed more AI-related regulations in 2023 than ever before. Still, many expressed concerns about AI’s ability to generate deepfakes and impact elections. The public became more aware of AI, and studies suggest that they responded with nervousness.

Ray Perrault Co-director, AI Index

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Striking findings from 2023

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Pew Research Center has gathered data around some of this year’s defining news stories, from the rise of artificial intelligence to the debate over affirmative action in college admissions . Here’s a look back at 2023 through some of our most striking research findings.

These findings only scratch the surface of the Center’s research from this past year .

A record-high share of 40-year-olds in the U.S. have never been married, according to a Center analysis of the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data . As of 2021, a quarter of 40-year-olds had never been married – up from 6% in 1980.

A line chart showing the share of 40-year-olds who have never been married from 1900 to 2021 by decade. The highest level is 2021, when 25% were never married. The prior high point was 1910, when 16% of 40-year-olds had never married. The share never married declines through the 20th century and reaches its lowest point in 1980, when 6% of 40-year-olds had never been married.

In 2021, the demographic groups most likely not to have ever been married by age 40 include men, Black Americans and those without a four-year college degree.

A Center survey conducted in April found that relatively few Americans see marriage as essential for people to live a fulfilling life compared with factors like job satisfaction and friendship. While majorities say that having a job or career they enjoy (71%) and having close friends (61%) are extremely or very important for living a fulfilling life, far fewer say this about having children (26%) or being married (23%). Larger shares, in fact, say having children (42%) or being married (44%) are not too or not at all important.

About half of Americans say the increased use of artificial intelligence in daily life makes them feel more concerned than excited – up 14 percentage points from last year, according to an August survey . Overall, 52% of Americans say they feel this way, an increase from 38% in December 2022.

Just 10% of adults say they are more excited than concerned about the increased use of AI, while 36% say they feel an equal mix of these emotions.

A bar chart showing that concern about artificial intelligence in daily life far outweighs excitement.

The rise in concern about AI has taken place alongside growing public awareness of the technology. Nine-in-ten adults say they have heard either a lot (33%) or a little (56%) about artificial intelligence. The share of those who have heard  a lot  is up 7 points since December 2022.

For the first time in over 30 years of public opinion polling, Americans’ views of the U.S. Supreme Court are more negative than positive, a July survey found . A narrow majority (54%) have an unfavorable view of the high court, while fewer than half (44%) express a favorable one.

A line chart showing that favorable views of Supreme Court at lowest point in more than three decades of public opinion polling.

The court’s favorable rating has declined 26 percentage points since 2020, following a series of high-profile rulings on issues including affirmative action in college admissions, LGBTQ+ rights and student loans. The drop in favorability is primarily due to a decline among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, just 24% of whom express a favorable opinion of the court.

A growing share of U.S. adults say the federal government should take steps to restrict false information online, even if it limits freedom of information, a June survey found . The share of U.S. adults with this view has risen from 39% in 2018 to 55% in 2023.

In the most recent survey, 42% of adults took the opposite view, saying the government should protect freedom of information, even if it means false information can be published.

Still, Americans remain more likely to say that tech companies – rather than the U.S. government – should be responsible for restricting false information online. About two-thirds (65%) said this in June.

A bar chart showing that support for the U.S. government and tech companies restricting false information online has risen steadily in recent years.

The number of U.S. children and teens killed by gunfire rose 50% in just two years, according to a 2023 analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2019, there were 1,732 gun deaths among U.S. children and teens under 18. By 2021, that figure had increased to 2,590.

The gun death  rate  among children and teens – a measure that adjusts for changes in the nation’s population – rose 46% during that span.

A chart that shows a 50% increase in gun deaths among U.S. kids between 2019 and 2021.

Both the number and rate of children and teens killed by gunfire in 2021 were the highest since at least 1999, the earliest year for which this information is available in the CDC’s mortality database.

Most Asian Americans view their ancestral homelands favorably – but not Chinese Americans, according to a multilingual, nationally representative survey of Asian American adults .

A dot plot showing that most Asian American adults have positive views of the homelands of their ancestors. Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese adults have majority favorable views of their ancestral homelands. Only 41% of Chinese American adults have a favorable view of China.

Only about four-in-ten Chinese Americans (41%) have a favorable opinion of China, while 35% have an unfavorable one. Another 22% say they have a neither favorable nor unfavorable view. This stands in contrast to how other Asian Americans view their ancestral homelands. For instance, about nine-in-ten Taiwanese and Japanese Americans have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of their place of origin, as do large majorities of Korean, Indian and Filipino Americans.

While Chinese Americans’ views of China are more mixed, they still have a more favorable opinion of the country than other Asian adults do. Just 14% of other Asian Americans view China favorably.

Even before the Israel-Hamas war, Israelis had grown more skeptical of a two-state solution. In a survey conducted in March and April , prior to the war, just 35% of Israelis thought “a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully.” This share had declined by 9 percentage points since 2017 and 15 points since 2013.

A line chart showing that fewer Israelis now believe that Israel and an independent Palestine can coexist peacefully.

Among both Arabs and Jews living in Israel, there have been declines over the past decade in the share of people who believe that a peaceful coexistence between Israel and an independent Palestinian state is possible.

A majority of Americans say they would tip 15% or less for an average restaurant dining experience, including 2% who wouldn’t leave a tip at all, an August survey shows . The survey presented respondents with a hypothetical scenario in which they went to a sit-down restaurant and had average – but not exceptional – food and service. About six-in-ten (57%) say they would leave a tip of 15% or less in this situation. Another 12% say they would leave a tip of 18%, and a quarter of people say they’d tip 20% or more.

Adults in lower-income households and those ages 65 and older are more likely than their counterparts to say they would tip 15% or less in a situation like this.

Bar chart showing that a 57% majority of U.S. adults say they would tip 15% or less for an average meal at a sit-down restaurant.

Partisan views of Twitter – the social media platform now called X – have shifted over the last two years, with Republican users’ views of the site growing more positive and those of Democratic users becoming more negative, according to a March survey . The share of Republican and GOP-leaning users who said the site is mostly bad for American democracy fell from 60% in 2021 to 21% earlier this year. At the same time, the share of Republican users who said the site is mostly good for democracy rose from 17% to 43% during the same span.

Democrats’ views moved in the opposite direction during that time frame. The percentage of Democratic and Democratic-leaning Twitter users who said the platform is good for American democracy decreased from 47% to 24%, while the share who said it is bad for democracy increased – though more modestly – from 28% to 35%.

These changes in views follow Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform in fall 2022.

A collection of charts showing a partisan divide over whether misinformation, harassment and civility are major problems on Twitter.

Nearly half of U.S. workers who get paid time off don’t take all the time off their employer offers, according to a February survey of employed Americans . Among those who say their employer offers paid time off for vacation, doctors’ appointments or to deal with minor illnesses, 46% say they take less time off than they are allowed. A similar share (48%) say they typically take all the time off they are offered.

Among those who don’t take all their paid time off, the most common reasons cited are not feeling the need to take more time off (52% say this), worrying they might fall behind at work (49%), and feeling badly about their co-workers taking on additional work (43%).

Bar chart showing more than four-in-ten workers who get paid time off say they take less time off than their employer allows

Smaller shares cite other concerns, including the feeling that taking more time off might hurt their chances for job advancement (19%) or that they might risk losing their job (16%). Some 12% say their manager or supervisor discourages them from taking time off.

An overwhelming majority of Americans (79%) express a negative sentiment when asked to describe politics in the United States these days, a July survey found . Just 2% offer a positive word or phrase, while 10% say something neutral.

Among those who volunteered an answer, 8% use the word “ divisive” or variations of it, while 2% cite the related term “polarized.” “Corrupt” is the second-most frequent answer, given by 6% of respondents.

The top 15 most cited words also include “messy,” “chaos,” “broken” and “dysfunctional.” Many respondents are even more negative in their views: “terrible,” “disgusting,” “disgrace” and the phrase “dumpster fire” are each offered by at least 1% of respondents.

Chart shows ‘Divisive,’ ‘corrupt,’ ‘messy’ among the words used most frequently to describe U.S. politics today

Around half of Americans (53%) say they have ever been visited by a dead family member in a dream or in another form, according to a spring survey . Overall, 46% of Americans report that they’ve been visited by a dead family member in a dream, while 31% report having been visited by dead relatives in some other form.

A bar chart that shows 6 in 10 members of the historically Black Protestant tradition say they've been visited by a dead relative in a dream.

Women are more likely than men to report these experiences.

While the survey asked whether people have had interactions with dead relatives, it did not ask for explanations. So, we don’t know whether people view these experiences as mysterious or supernatural, whether they see them as having natural or scientific causes, or some of both.

For example, the survey did not ask what respondents meant when they said they had been visited in a dream by a dead relative. Some might have meant that relatives were trying to send them messages or information from beyond the grave. Others might have had something more commonplace in mind, such as dreaming about a favorite memory of a family member.

More Americans disapprove than approve of selective colleges and universities taking race and ethnicity into account when making admissions decisions, according to another spring survey , fielded before the Supreme Court ruled on the practice in June. Half of U.S. adults disapprove of colleges considering race and ethnicity to increase diversity at the schools, while a third approve and 16% are not sure.

A diverging bar chart showing that half of U.S. adults disapprove of selective colleges considering race and ethnicity in admissions decisions, while a third approve.

Views differ widely by party, as well as by race and ethnicity. Around three-quarters of Republicans and Republican leaners (74%) disapprove of the practice, while 54% of Democrats and Democratic leaners approve of it.

Nearly half of Black Americans (47%) say they approve of colleges and universities considering race and ethnicity in admissions, while smaller shares of Hispanic (39%), Asian (37%) and White (29%) Americans say the same.

The share of Americans who say science has had a mostly positive effect on society has declined since 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak, a fall survey shows : 57% say science has had a mostly positive effect on society, down from 73% in 2019.

About a third of adults (34%) now say the impact of science on society has been equally positive and negative. And 8% say science has had a mostly negative impact on society.

Chart shows Fewer Americans now say science has had a mostly positive effect on society

Democrats have become much more likely than Republicans to say science has had a mostly positive impact on society (69% vs. 47%). This gap is the result of steeper declines in positive ratings among Republicans than among Democrats since 2019 (down 23 points and 8 points, respectively).

Nearly three-in-ten Americans express an unfavorable opinion of both major political parties – the highest share in at least three decades, according to a July survey . Overall, 28% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of both the Republican and Democratic parties. This is more than quadruple the share in 1994, when just 6% of Americans viewed both parties negatively.

Chart shows Since the mid-1990s, the share of Americans with unfavorable views of both parties has more than quadrupled

A majority of Americans say TikTok is a threat to national security, according to a survey conducted in May . About six-in-ten adults (59%) see the social media platform as a major or minor threat to national security in the United States. Just 17% say it is  not  a threat to national security and another 23% aren’t sure.

A bar chart showing that a majority of Americans say TikTok is a national security threat, but this varies by party, ideology and age.

Views vary by partisanship and age. Seven-in-ten Republicans and GOP leaners say TikTok is at least a minor threat to national security, compared with 53% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Conservative Republicans are more likely than moderate or liberal Republicans – or Democrats of any ideology – to say the view the app as a major threat.

Nearly half of those ages 65 and older (46%) see TikTok as a major threat to national security, compared with a much smaller share (13%) of adults ages 18 to 29.

Read the other posts in our striking findings series:

  • Striking findings from 2022
  • Striking findings from 2021
  • 20 striking findings from 2020
  • 19 striking findings from 2019
  • 18 striking findings from 2018
  • 17 striking findings from 2017
  • 16 striking findings from 2016
  • 15 striking findings from 2015
  • 14 striking findings from 2014
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  • Asian Americans
  • Business & Workplace
  • Death & Dying
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Private, selective colleges are most likely to use race, ethnicity as a factor in admissions decisions

Americans and affirmative action: how the public sees the consideration of race in college admissions, hiring, asian americans hold mixed views around affirmative action, more americans disapprove than approve of colleges considering race, ethnicity in admissions decisions, hispanic enrollment reaches new high at four-year colleges in the u.s., but affordability remains an obstacle, most popular.

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NIH researchers develop AI tool with potential to more precisely match cancer drugs to patients

  • Posted: April 18, 2024

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A simple schematic showing a cluster of tumor cells, followed by an arrow, followed by a single tumor cell producing RNA sequencing data, followed by an arrow pointing to a laptop with the words AI Tool on the screen, followed by an arrow pointing to an icon of patients and different types of cancer drugs.

Researchers have used high-resolution gene expression data from individual tumor cells to fine-tune the ability of an AI tool called PERCEPTION to predict drug responses.

In a proof-of-concept study, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that uses data from individual cells inside tumors to predict whether a person’s cancer will respond to a specific drug. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of NIH, published their work on April 18, 2024, in Nature Cancer, and suggest that such single-cell RNA sequencing data could one day be used to help doctors more precisely match cancer patients with drugs that will be effective for their cancer.

Current approaches to matching patients to drugs rely on bulk sequencing of tumor DNA and RNA, which takes an average of all the cells in a tumor sample. However, tumors contain more than one type of cell and in fact can have many different types of subpopulations of cells. Individual cells in these subpopulations are known as clones. Researchers believe these subpopulations of cells may respond differently to specific drugs, which could explain why some patients do not respond to certain drugs or develop resistance to them.

In contrast to bulk sequencing, a newer technology known as single-cell RNA sequencing provides much higher resolution data, down to the single-cell level. Using this approach to identify and target individual clones may lead to more lasting drug responses. However, single-cell gene expression data are much more costly to generate than bulk gene expression data and not yet widely available in clinical settings.

In the new study, the researchers investigated whether they could use a machine learning technique called transfer learning to train an AI model to predict drug responses using widely available bulk RNA sequencing data, but then fine-tune that model using single-cell RNA sequencing data. Using this approach on published cell-line data from large-scale drug screens, the researchers built AI models for 44 Food and Drug Administration–approved cancer drugs. The AI models accurately predicted how individual cells would respond to both single drugs and combinations of drugs.

The researchers then tested their approach on published data for 41 patients with multiple myeloma treated with a combination of four drugs and 33 patients with breast cancer treated with a combination of two drugs. The researchers discovered that if just one clone were resistant to a particular drug, the patient would not respond to that drug, even if all the other clones responded. In addition, the AI model successfully predicted the development of resistance in published data from 24 patients treated with targeted therapies for non-small cell lung cancer.

The researchers cautioned that the accuracy of this technique will improve if single-cell RNA sequencing data become more widely available. In the meantime, the researchers have developed a research website and a guide for how to use the AI model, called Personalized Single-Cell Expression-based Planning for Treatments In Oncology (PERCEPTION), with new datasets.

This work was conducted by NCI’s Center for Cancer Research and led by Alejandro Schaffer, Ph.D., and Sanju Sinha, Ph.D., previously at NCI, now at Sanford Burnham Prebys. NCI's Eytan Ruppin, M.D., Ph.D., supervised the work.

Eytan Ruppin, M.D., Ph.D., Center for Cancer Research , National Cancer Institute

“Predicting patient response and resistance to treatment from single-cell transcriptomics of their tumors via the PERCEPTION computational pipeline” appears April 18, 2024, in Nature Cancer.

About the National Cancer Institute (NCI): NCI leads the National Cancer Program and NIH’s efforts to dramatically reduce the prevalence of cancer and improve the lives of people with cancer. NCI supports a wide range of cancer research and training extramurally through grants and contracts. NCI’s intramural research program conducts innovative, transdisciplinary basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological research on the causes of cancer, avenues for prevention, risk prediction, early detection, and treatment, including research at the NIH Clinical Center—the world’s largest research hospital. Learn more about the intramural research done in NCI’s Center for Cancer Research . For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI website at cancer.gov or call NCI’s contact center at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):  NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit  nih.gov .

EU proposing post-Brexit joint youth work and study scheme with UK

According to the Commission, they do not foresee the scheme allowing UK citizens to travel around the Schengen area unimpeded, but rather the visa would only be valid for a single state.

By Adam Parsons, Europe correspondent, and Tim Baker, political reporter

Friday 19 April 2024 00:21, UK

EU flag outside the Houses of Parliament

Young people could be able to move more easily between the UK and Europe and stay longer to work, study and train under proposed plans by the European Union

Under the proposal, which has been put forward by the European Commission, new rules would be drawn up to allow for greater movement between the UK and EU countries for people aged between 18 and 30.

Formal negotiations have not yet begun, and a UK source told Sky News no formal proposal had been put forward by Brussels to begin negotiating on.

The proposal will be further discussed by the European Council, which represents all the nations, before negotiations start in earnest.

Politics latest: Police issues Mark Menzies update

The plans proposed by the EU would allow young people to stay in Europe for periods of four years, with the same rules extended to EU citizens coming to Britain.

It would also mean EU students paying the same fees as British ones. Since Brexit , UK universities have charged much higher fees to European students.

More on Brexit

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron enters a car following a discussion with Spanish Foreign Minister Albares, Gibraltar's Chief Minister Picardo and European Commission Vice-President Sefcovic on the post-Brexit future of Gibraltar, in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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Announcing the move, the European Commission said it wanted to take an "innovative" approach to tackling the barriers experienced by young people looking to travel from the EU to the UK and vice versa for longer periods.

"The objective would be to facilitate youth exchanges, making it easier for young citizens to travel, work and live in the UK, with reciprocity for young UK nationals in a member state," said the Commission, in a statement.

"The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union has hit young people in the EU and UK who would like to study, work and live abroad particularly hard," claimed Maros Sefcovic, the Commission's vice-president who oversees relations with the UK.

"Our aim is to rebuild human bridges between young Europeans on both sides of the Channel."

This scheme is separate to the 90-day visa-less travel that UK citizens can take advantage of on the continent.

It added: "It is not about conferring to young UK nationals the benefits of the fundamental freedom of movement enjoyed by EU citizens."

However, visas would not be "purpose-bound" and would allow people to work, travel or study.

Read more: UK to rejoin EU Horizon programme through new agreement New Brexit border post could be demolished

UK Border control is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June 4, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Rather than just being a free exchange, the EU also says it wants people taking part in the scheme to be subject to checks with the bloc or the UK able to reject applications - for example if someone was thought to be a threat to public policy, security or health.

The UK government currently has a series of agreements with 13 individual countries - including New Zealand, South Korea, Andorra, Iceland and India, which provide a similar pathway to what the EU is proposing.

The government has said it is open to the idea of extending those agreements with European countries, but has shied away from doing a pan-EU deal and there will be those who fear that an agreement such as this would be the first step towards the UK being drawn into a "freedom of movement" deal.

The EU said it wants a group deal to "ensure that all member states are treated equally in respect of mobility of young people to the UK" - but the current government seems to prefer its current set of agreements.

The Commission has rejected these fears, with sources insisting there is no intention of either pulling the UK into such a deal, or even offering it.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "We have spoken about wanting to reduce legal migration and also about wanting to support UK talent and skills and that's why we have a system in place whereby we have a number of agreements with individual EU member states where that works in our interests and we have that rather than a Commission-wide agreement."

Labour denied it had plans for a youth mobility scheme.

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Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, a trade body representing the hospitality sector in the UK, welcomed the move.

She said: "Such an agreement would be a huge success for hospitality and tourism and, practically, it would solve challenges for the live music and events sectors."

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