5 great apps for studying
Are you supposed to be hitting the books, but can’t focus for more than five minutes before your receive a new Facebook notification on your phone?
Here’s a bunch of apps to help you use your attachment to your phone for your greater good.
1. Pomodoro Timer
This simple app was built based on the Pomodoro Technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s and named after the tomato-shaped timer he used as a student. The technique makes you break down large tasks into short but intense intervals of 25 minutes, with 5 minute breaks to keep you sane.
The app allows you to customize your time intervals to suit your personal style of working, but as long as you’re following the underlying principle, you’ll reap the benefits.
Duolingo is a language learning app that guides you through the most basic steps, all the way until you’re fluent – for free! Pick from a list of languages to learn and get to it. It’s great fun for when you’re dying for a break from all your notes, and also for when you’re bored in general.
If you’re looking for a user-friendly citation website, we have you covered in our list of free online tools for students but if you want quick access on your phone, give EasyBib a try. It creates a citation list – in the right format! – when you enter a book’s title or scan it’s barcode.
Silence may be golden, but it can also drive you insane. If you like having a little background music, Spotify has playlists to answer your prayers (seriously, there’s even one called Intense Studying). Just browse through their list and pick a playlist that suits your tastes.
For the rajin students eager to learn more than their prescribed syllabus, Coursera is one of the world’s largest online learning centers. They have courses that stretch across topics such as business, arts, humanities, religion, psychology, and computer science. If that isn’t convincing enough, some of the content are developed by the top universities in the world. Most of it is free, and you’ll receive a certificate for completion (who knows, it might come in handy).
5 apps to help you get ahead in college!
Here are a list of apps to make your student life easier!
College and University may be one of the highlights of a students’ life – it’s the time when you make wonderful friends, mingle, discover parts of your mind and new ideologies, and even find love. However, there’s always the part that gets everyone down, and it’s usually the part that matters the most – the assignments and the tests. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t try to make that part easier to handle. Try these awesome apps to help with your studying, concentration, focus and education!
1. Tiny Scanner (Free – iOS and Android)
Your deadline is coming up, you desperately need something scanned and sent to your teammate or your lecturer, and you see someone slowly scanning a textbook for further reference (and no textbooks are ever thin). With the time ticking against you, you get in line behind him and impatiently tap your feet, but there is nothing more you can do than scowl at him for doing it so slowly. Tiny Scanner helps you avoid that situation completely. By simply utilizing your phone’s camera, taking a picture and cropping out the unwanted bits, you will have a document that is just as good as something scanned by a bona-fide scanner. It even has filters to help it look more gray scale or black and white!
2. Dropbox (Free – iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows)
Ever had your laptop greet you with the dreaded *insert dramatic music* Blue Screen of Death? If you haven’t, congratulations, but if you have, you’d know the pained heartache; that stabbing feeling in your heart when the only copy of the assignment you spent 3 1/2 days on is in that laptop, never to be seen again. By uploading your stuff to the Dropbox cloud, you’d be as carefree as a hummingbird on a bright red rose when your laptop decides to commit technological suicide. Dropbox will not only help you save your files automatically after you’ve finished editing it, it will allow you to access your files wherever you go. You won’t even need to bring USB drives around anymore!
3. Photomath (Free – iOS, Android)
As any engineering or math major will tell you, individually typing equations into a calculator one by one is something that is extremely painstaking, with you needing to be precise when you enter an equation or you’ll be getting a wrong answer that will, in turn, screw over other answers that you might need to get. This app eliminates the painful process of having to type in your equation bit by bit. By simply using your phone’s camera, it will recognize the equation, calculate and solve without the user needing to do anything but hold your phone up to the page. However, it is still recommended that one get used to how a calculator functions because phones are rarely permissible in exam halls. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
4. Vocabulary builder by Magoosh (Free – Android)
Do you find yourself floundering with extravagant wordplay; flabbergasted by bewildering paragraphs or can’t help but be bewildered by words thrown around in an altercation? Then this is the app for you. Whether you are a native speaker of the English language or someone trying to pick up the language, it never hurts to pick up a few more words to impress your friends or lecturers with. By the time you’re done with the app, you’d have a whole new arsenal of words to use to impress.
5. White Noise Pro (Free – iOS and Android)
If you’re the kind of person that can’t study in complete silence but find that music blaring in your ears also distracts you, this app would be perfect for you. Featuring multiple different rain and water sounds, white noises, and even more fun noises such as coins, chattering teeth, and owls. You can finally study and work in peace without having to go to an actual coffee place or plopping yourself down in the midst of a crowd.
Check out our other article on great apps for studying!
Hacks to ace that exam
Worried about failing that exam that you just can’t bring yourself to study for? Fear not, my friend, for if there’s one thing I’ve (somewhat) mastered, it’s how to score top (or top-ish) marks with as little book-time as possible.
1. Study smart, not hard
It’s a widely perpetuated belief, particularly in Eastern culture, that studying hard is the only way to do it. But I’ve had my fair share of experiences where spending hours slaving over a particularly tricky topic (maths, ew) rewarded me with little more than dark circles under my eyes, a headache – and a disappointing grade.
After a few years of this happening to me, I wizened up, and started figuring out how to study smart. It’s easier than you’d think. It begins with accepting that following the pack isn’t doing you any good, and then a bit of experimentation follows – during which you figure out what works for you. Personally, mind maps became my new favorite thing. I enjoyed making them so much that I would map things that I didn’t even need to study.
So, find something that helps you spend less time, but be more productive. There’s a high likelihood it’s out there.
2. Read, read, read
To all the people who constantly question how that one friend that never studies manages to ace all the exams (excluding geniuses – I have no idea how they do it), I’m about to break some serious code and tell you how it’s done.
We read. A LOT. And I don’t mean chick lit or Harry Potter, but articles that offer value (like this one). I read about topics that I find interesting, like psychology, self-improvement (like this one), and human behavior. While you will encounter teachers who don’t approve of you including references from external sources, truth is that once you hit uni, your writing is expected to be of a different caliber. The way to add value to your written words is to absorb value.
Don’t like to read? Watch a documentary on it. Don’t like watching TV? Find someone who might know something about the topic and ask them. There’s a plethora of ways to get info in the age of the internet. Don’t let yourself make excuses.
3. Get your head in the game
There’s a fascinating (but kinda drony) study done by the British Journal of Health Psychology that measured how frequently people exercised over a 2 week period – and what would affect the frequency. In a nutshell, of the 3 groups – control, motivation, intention – 38% of participants in the control group exercised at least once per week. This is the average. The motivation group received pamphlets that touted the benefits of exercising with the intention of boosting motivation – resulting in 35% of them exercising once per week. The group that were told to write down exactly when and where they were going to exercise had a score of 91%. Nearly all of the participants in the intention group exercised at least once a week.
I think the lesson is kinda obvious there, plan your study sessions, and don’t skip out on them. Even if you only plan a 30-min window for mind mapping a day, that’s a lot more accomplished than if you told yourself that you’ll fit it in whenever you feel like it. As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish.
4. Ask questions
Now, this is something that is much truer in uni than it is in school, but it can still be applicable. Uni students, you’ll soon learn (or you’ve probably learned) that the way your paper is marked differs between your lecturers. There is a guideline that they follow, but it’s far from detailed, and everything on the marking scheme is up for interpretation. So, find out how your lecturer grades papers. Don’t bother comparing notes with a kid from a different class. If you’re not being graded by the same person, your grades will vary; possibly substantially. Book a time with your lecturer and have a ask them what they expect to see in your assignment.
If this sounds tedious, consider this: an hour discussing this with your lecturer has the potential to save you the 5 hours you would have spent on memorizing unnecessary details, or reading boring academic journals. Suck it up and do it, you’ll thank yourself for it after.
How to juggle dating and college life?
Find out if you can balance both.
If you are pursuing a college diploma, the last thing you need are distractions and additional stress that come from seeing someone. But dating in college can be doable if you know how to strike a balance. Consider the following tips.
- The 2-month rule. Setting a date with someone you’re attracted to for the first month or two of college is not advisable. The first two months of college life should be spent concentrating on school tasks and building lasting friendships.
- Stay connected. Don’t disconnect from the world the moment you start dating someone. Focus on friendships — don’t take college romantic relationships too seriously. Sometimes there are just infatuations you have to wait to pass.
- Finding the one. Finding someone who controls you will result in too many arguments that might affect your studies.
- Respect. Respect means the other person is willing to accept you as equal. The person you are dating should respect your college goals not someone who will negate your ambitions.
- Say yes! Do not write people off as soon as you meet them. Give yourself a chance to explore until you meet the right date that suits your personality. It’s a good way to know more about people. Don’t get involved with someone who’s attached. In terms of dating in college, you do not want to be too serious as to be involved with someone who is already taken.
- Say No to LDR. Common issues for couples in long distance relationships include problems centering on jealousy and trust. Miscommunication can quickly turn a conversation into a fight and you do not want that if you have midterm exams coming shortly.
- Find someone who makes you laugh. You do not want to aggravate your busy college life schedule by spending it with someone who is too serious. You want to spend it with someone who is fun and enjoyable to be with.
- First things first. Your top priority in college is to get an education so make sure you keep your educational needs first. It’s good to get into a relationship but don’t let it distract you from getting good grades ultimately graduating.
And, most importantly, do not date just because others do. Peer pressure can be too overwhelming when it comes to dating. Decide on your own if you are ready and most importantly, if you are willing to balance college life and having a relationship. After all, both are rewarding in the long run.