IPad for STEM majors(5 critical things to know before)

A lot of students use and have an iPad as Stem majors and others are also using it in art. Is worth investing in an iPad?

  • how many benefits could adding an iPad have to stem students?
  • is the iPad just for taking notes or more than we could expect?

In this article, we’re going to respond to the most popular question related to iPad use, for stem students.

Ipad for stem majors

A lot of stem students are using iPads while others are still hesitant and thinking to get one for help. Many Stem students like math or physics majors are counting on iPad to help them in their studies.

Students use many apps with their iPads like google drive, and books app and watch also Netflix.

But what makes the experience awesome is a lot of stem students are using it with a pencil. The pencil allows them easily take notes, write essays, highlight principal ideas… But what is special is the ability to read and understand handwriting and other flexible things for students.

Some mathematic teachers send class homework to their students using Ipads. Instead of handing papers and losing a lot of time and money. Even sometimes students are passing mathematical exams and send them to the teacher to correct.

This operation makes things more flexible and useful.

What seems more interesting and helps stem students study is the split-screen option. In other words, you can take notes or solve exercises while watching tutorials or following some guidance on the other side.

The thing that seems essential and useful for stem students or teachers is the ability to explain or express opinions in a static position. That is to say, teachers or students can provide live explanations or give classes easily without moving up.

Ipad is a great tool for people who have disabilities, and who are looking for teaching careers. The same thing for students who can’t go to classes.

Using the iPad to take notes

For taking notes, the iPad is the best tool to do for stem majors. Mathematicians, medical, and engineering students are using it for different note tasks. It is a more helpful and big-time reducer for studies.

It’s a great way to get rid of notebook issues. For instance, graduate students get confused between getting rid of old notebooks or keeping them.

So we all know the problems that paper notebooks are causing. They are taking big spaces also the majority of students forget about them.

What are the recommended apps to take as a stem major?

Is recommended to use the Notability app or Goodnotes app both are good. You could watch in this video the difference between them.

This method is more effective than going back and forth between tabs. In addition, it is like using dual monitors as stem students do.

how to take notes on an iPad as a stem major

So we will list 4 methods to take notes of on your iPad as a stem major:

Asking questions notes: This method is based on taking notes and transforming them into Q/A phrases. As a result, allow students to have a significant sense of lecture.

For instance, what is the stem? ==> Stem is an acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering? Mathematics.

putting question help student to know the sense and the importance of the subject. Therefore, It helps them to fix information in their minds.

Combining information with images: That means adding a lot of images and pictures to written notes which helps so much in the memorization phase. As a human, we have really strong image memory that could be astonishing with little practice.

Also, drawing could be the best option and a better one for people who love drawing. So, making colored notes will be useful for students, and also to share with people especially if they are pretty like this below.

Tree diagram method: The tree diagram method is using mapped structures. It becomes from the general topic and goes down into the ramifications. That creates a good order and flow of information.

It is a great way, to sum up, lectures and give principals keys that allow students to recall all lecture details. We could have them like this example below.

What is good about taking notes on an iPad or notebook is the ability to break things down and build things up from scratch again. So you deconstruct knowledge and build it in your own understandable way.

11 or 12.9-inch iPad for stem majors?

iPad is the most powerful tool in the market for stem and non-stem majors. But it comes with two principal versions 11 and 12.9. The 12.9 version is most costly by 300$ than first the smallest one (11). As a result, a lot of students are wondering about the best one to choose.

So, we will list the 7 differences between these two versions, and know what is the best version to choose as a stem student.

The 12.9-inch version is more expensive at $300

So if you are thinking to buy a 12.9-inch version of the iPad you will need to invest more. the gap between 11 and 12.9 is $300. 11 pro version starts from $800 whereas the 12.9 version starts from $1100.

using an iPad instead computer

if you think to use an iPad as a personal computer and don’t love switching between devices, the iPad 12.9 is a good option. So you can add some extensions like a keyboard and pencil to the iPad and have your own computer.

This idea is only ideal for general use not for students like computer science or engineering.

12.9 is good for multitasking

if you are doing multitasking activities having a bigger screen could be useful. That being said benefit from a good split-screen experience. Splitting the screen into an 11-inch iPad makes things a little bit hard to pursue. It is not comfortable to use as a dual monitor.

12.9 is good to use for non-stem majors like arts or design

12.9 is wide and gives space and ease for people who are working in design or art in general. It is also good for architects as stem majors to help them create clear and detailed projects. So its main advantage is providing a wider vision than the 11-inch version does.

11-inch iPad is enough for taking notes

if you think to use the iPad as a take note tool. So the 11-inch version will be the best. There is no reason to spend an extra $300 and only take notes. The 11-inch iPad helps you to take notes and meet all your needs about that.

11-inch iPad is more portable

It seems hard to carry 12.9-inch iPad for a long time. Moreover, the bigger size of the iPad 12.9 inch doesn’t allow users to carry it comfortably. On the opposite 11 inches is lighter and easy to hand.

11-inch iPad and 12.9 have the same technical configurations

if you think about configurations, 11 and 12.9-inch pads have the same capability ram, battery, graphics all things. The only thing to excepting is the screen. So, you have to understand that $300 plus is only for the screen size.

To sum up if you are an architect or artistic student. That being said loving to find more rooms, investing $300 in 12.9 inch version is worthing.

But for student who would only use it to take notes the 11 inch version is way more than enough and cover everything they need.

What is good for stem majors iPad pro or surface pro?

we will list the important difference that creates the difference for stem and non-stem students:

Price comparison

prices are similar if we talk about surface pro and iPad. to get one of them you need to invest $1100 which is not cheap. But extensions like pens and keyboards are different in price.

It will cost you double to get a keyboard and pen for the iPad

surface pro came with a keyboard that includes a slim pen which cost in total of $279. But if talk about apple you need to invest $279 in keyboard+$119 for a pen. So the total will be $400 that being said saving $119 as a Windows or surface pro user.

Ipad is better in image quality

for people who are looking for high-quality image definitions like students or designers, the iPad is the best option. Ipad has deeper color intensity, better contrast, and a less reflective screen.
less reflective screen means it is easier to watch from different angles, Also good in bright environments.

Surface less powerful than iPad

Ipad has a strong configuration if we talk about ram capacity and graphics. To sum up is more powerful by 40% than surface pro. As a result, a little bit more responsive and faster than surface pro.

Ipad has a durable battery

batteries for iPad can last up to 8 hours whereas 4 for surface pro. This could be important for stem students if they are working outside. using an iPad is better if you don’t like to carry a charger.

Surface Pro is more flexible

Surface Pro offers a good solution for memory. In other words, you can add a 256 SD card which is impossible for iPad pro. In addition for people who are used to windows and its flexibility, the iPad might not be a good option.

IPad doesn’t offer the support that Microsoft does with their application. Ipad has limiting strategies for the sake of commercial reasons.

Regarding of strong technical advantages that apple has, applications are limited and don’t have flexibility and support like Microsoft does.

So for people who to be more flexible and don’t care much about little different technical stuff the surface pro would be the best.

But for peole who are detail and technical oritented apple could be good, but they have to spend more budgets

Is the iPad Pro Worth it for Students? (Conclusion)

Yes is worth it, especially for students who love taking notes and are afraid to lose them. In addition, the iPad allows students to do many different tasks that paper Binders or notebooks could not do.

IPads allow students to make flexible notes that can be edited at the time they want and in the way they want. Moreover, it helps them to study more effectively than traditional methods.

So as long as they don’t get easily distracted, Ipads have good tools to use for stem majors.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.