Saturday, July 20, 2024

Apps for A’s!

by Sarah Madison Repollo | October 19, 2023

It’s midterm season, Sillimanians!

Stressed expressions, last-minute review sessions, and dregs of coffee just about sum up how most Sillimanians fare during this period of time. Everyone is trying their best to pass, but sometimes, rereading notes alone doesn’t always guarantee a good grade.

In this digital age we live in, the invention of online productivity tools has altered the way students study. They no longer need to rely purely on material given by their professors, since  learning can be achieved online. Here are some of the top tools that could help you ace your exams: 

  1. Fiveable

Motivation is usually found when studying with friends. It’s all too easy to study on social platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, but while Fiveable has no video calling option as of writing, it may become a life-altering discovery for groups of friends because of its handy features. 

The website allows users to make friends through academic pursuits through its chat system in rooms. You can join an existing room created by someone else, or make your own and invite your friends. More importantly, it provides a shared timer, a checklist feature, task cards, music, and many resources — all of which set the mood for a conducive learning session. The site allows you to not only find motivation in learning, but also to find accountability with one another, in a less stressful way.

  1. Notion 

It isn’t a list of productivity tools without Notion in it. Can you believe that this business almost didn’t make it? It began in 2013 but nearly died out because of the lack of popularity. Now, Notion serves as a top organizing tool for students and working professionals alike. Elements can be used throughout Notion pages to carry out things as simple as note-taking or creating to-do lists, or as complicated as forming databases. The selling point of Notion is its versatility!

  1. Picture-in-Picture Extension

With the advent of technology, videos have become a great source of information. Picture-in-Picture is a Google Chrome extension that allows users to watch any video in minimized form. With the lecture on the side, students can take down notes or multitask on their devices whilst listening and learning. 

  1. Kahoot 

Riding on the trend of studying with other people, Kahoot is the perfect tool—or game.

Have you ever wondered why people like to play games so much? Gaming triggers Dopamine release in the brain—a feel-good neurotransmitter. This is why Kahoot, a game-based review tool, encourages learning by making quizzes into something fun. This motivates student users to participate, fosters healthy competition among co-players, and most of all, aids in learning about any given topic. 

Studying doesn’t always have to be something done in a dark room, alone. It can be fun and collaborative with the help of Kahoot!

  1. Anki

Spaced repetition is what makes Anki a top app for students. This learning technique spans across many sessions, giving students shorter studying sessions for easier topics and longer intervals for tougher material. Anki allows users to create their flashcards, but unlike physical cards, you rate each flashcard’s difficulty after testing yourself. Those you found harder will repeatedly show up in any study sessions afterward. 

This tool is the perfect way to refine your weak spots!

  1. Google Calendar 

As a student, it’s easy to get caught up in your busy schedule. A class here, a class there, and you’re bound to get confused sometimes. But with Google Calendar, this app helps you keep track of all your events because it sends the user reminders. It is also most useful when using the blocking method in studying, where you can visualize the time you (will) spend on a particular subject matter.

It’s an accessible tool that comes in mobile forms, meaning you can access it at all times. Besides being able to plan your day, personal calendars can be shared with others to coordinate schedules. If you’re planning a study date with your friend, Google Calendar alerts you both as to when you’re free—or not. Planning becomes a whole lot easier with this tool!

  1. Pomofocus

The Pomodoro technique is another popular study method that emphasizes time intervals. Typically, students will observe a 25-minute learning session, followed by 5-minute breaks. This method is effective in reminding students of their limited time, therefore pressuring them to get the job done and avoid distractions. To contrast the intense 25 minutes, periodic breaks are put into place to avoid burnout. 

Pomofocus is a simple website that makes use of this study technique. It’s aesthetic, free, and allows users to customize their sessions. They can be longer or shorter, and color themes can be adjusted depending on what is more pleasing to the user’s eye. 

Pomofocus may lack the flair of other tools on this list, but it gets the job done all the same.

  1. ChatGPT 

AI tends to get a bad rep in the media, especially one as infamous as ChatGPT. 

This is for good reason as many students tend to use it in the wrong way. 

However, when used properly, ChatGPT can be helpful. It can enhance a student’s learning experience through its conversation-style assistance. Almost anything you ask the tool has an answer, such as easily simplifying any concept or lesson you struggle to understand. It’s like your professor but without the constraints of working hours or formal emails.

While overusing this tool for its convenience seems tempting, helping oneself succeed entails learning, and merely plagiarizing from material online is not helping oneself. So when using this tool, don’t cheat, but do use it for studying. 

With these apps, you can turn your grades into the goals you envisioned. Although tools aren’t everything, they can become the secret weapon you need to face midterms head-on. 

Download these apps or visit these websites today and get those A’s!


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