30 Genius Hacks That Have Students Asking “How Come Nobody Told Me This Earlier?”
Students never have enough time for studying. Especially if they're also working two jobs or have been partying since 2018. So they're trying to "hack" the system. Some are optimizing their Google searches, some are making the most out of non-profit Internet libraries but turns out, there's plenty of useful methods that actually work and can save people a lot of precious hours and energy when completing assignments or preparing for tests. Continue scrolling and check them out!
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Insight Education, an organization that provides personalized and comprehensive guidance through every facet of the high school experience and college admissions process, acknowledges that studying can be tough. To make it easier, it suggests following a clear study schedule. "If you don't develop a study routine, you risk losing focus and hurting your performance in your classes," Insight Education warns. "Write out a study schedule in a notebook, and make it realistic! If you have band practice after school for an hour, then dinner with your family, it’s unlikely you’ll then want to spend 3 hours studying for a calculus test. Be kind to yourself and set realistic and achievable goals for your study schedule."
Next, try to make a goal for every study session. Just flipping through notes or the textbook is not very effective. Instead, set a concrete goal for each study session to gain the most from your homework, for example, reading a certain number of pages in the textbook or mastering a specific concept.
Studying incentive: When you reach a gummy bear you get to eat it
That being said, be careful and avoid cramming. Sure, it can work sometimes, but the knowledge you gain from it is temporary. Cramming becomes especially problematic when you're working on tough assignments where the information is cumulative. Try your best to manage your time and start studying sooner rather than later. A last-minute revision is OK, but don't rely on it too much.
Also, make use of your weekends. Of course, it is a good time to unwind, but you also need to avoid rushing during the week. "Build some weekend study into your schedule, even if it's just an hour on Sunday afternoon. It's important to find a good balance, so you're still getting to see your friends and spend time with your family, but you're also starting the week off on a good foot," Insight Education advises.
My classmate took up a strict 9-5 school schedule, right from the first semester. Every day, he'd work 9-5. He was either in class, working on homework, or studying if he got everything done. At 5pm, he'd pack up his stuff and was done for the day.
He had all his homework done way ahead of schedule and never had to pull all nighters or waste weekends on homework. He was never stressed out or anything like that because he'd spent time studying when he wasn't slammed with homework.
I could never manage it because I'd rather procrastinate and start 3 hours before it was due, but it seemed like the best way to do it.
EDIT: To answer the flood of questions: This was in computer programming. We did get projects estimated at like 60 hours a week later in the couse, but by then he was so far ahead of everyone else that he could start working on them as soon as they were assigned and knew the content so well that he still didn't have to work outside his core hours, while I was pulling multiple all-nighters in the lab trying to catch up. Yes, you might need more time based on your program, the point is to get into a routine and use your time effectively. He didn't have a job because school is affordable where I live (and we were in a co-op program where you work every other semester and can save up some money), but he did take contract work to do in the evenings/weekends for some cash and would have had every night and weekends to work if he wanted to do so.
Additionally, you can try creating a study group. However, if you choose to do so, pick your study buddies wisely. "Make sure this is someone you can actually get stuff done with. Also be cautious with including too many people in your group, as this can make it easier to get distracted. You want to study around people who are motivated to get through their work, and also happy to talk through problems and concepts if you need a hand figuring something out."
As helpful as all of these tips and hacks are, remember to be flexible with your study techniques. Don't be afraid to mix it up. Eventually, you will find what's best for you.
Internet Archive is a nonprofit library with millions of free books, movies, music, and more.
Set a screenshot of your class schedule as your lock screen.
You'll always know where you're supposed to go (esp when you're running late!), and you won't have to wait impatiently for your schedule to load in the building with shoddy signal as you try to figure out which room number you need to be at.
Talk with your professors after class (especially if you really enjoy the subject) and go to office hours!
You could introduce yourself and ask questions. You don't have to need homework help — you could get to know your professors and a better understanding of the material. Plus, professors have to hold office hours, so even if nobody shows up, they'll be sitting there...waiting. It's an easy opportunity to network (your professors could help you land an internship or job!).
When using Wikipedia, replace the "en" in the URL with "simple", and you'll get a shorter, simpler version of the article that you can easily skim.
If you're not allowed to cite Wikipedia as a source, remember that all the citations and references live at the bottom of the entry.
If your roommate won't turn off their phone alarm, call their phone to stop the alarm.
They may have to be out of bed, but you sure don't. And it beats calling their name until they hit the alarm.
Need literature? Search Project Gutenberg for over 60,000 free eBooks. You don't need any app, and you can Ctrl+F when you zone out during class.
You can change the auto-save time to 1 minute in Microsoft Word & Excel. It might save you from losing a lot of progress.
Try a "Bible-safe" gel highlighter if your color coding is bleeding through your textbook pages!
Get enough sleep.
Seriously. I know it's hard. I know there's not enough hours in the day. But if you're gonna cut anything, it shouldn't be sleep.
Before exam make a copy of all the material you have to know, but change it in the way you would explain it. It helps A LOT to learn the subject.
If you don't know how to study, or have a hard time getting yourself to do homework: Get a friend to buddy with. My ADHD ass can't study to save my life, but if my friend is in the room concentrating on that sh**, I feel like I don't want to be left out, and I'll buckle down so we're on the same page. If you can't manufacture executive function, peer pressure is fine too
Use a text-to-speech online reader to help you proofread your papers — OR to read notes back to you as you study!
If you're editing your paper, you'll be able to catch mistakes or make improvements more easily when "someone" else is reading it out loud.
Use a scanning app on your phone if you're taking pictures to submit handwritten assignments online.
If your handwriting is questionable and the picture quality is bad, your grader will not be a happy camper. A $5 scanning app could make a big difference! Popular scanning apps include Scanner Pro (for iOS) and Scanner App (for Android).
Don't buy a textbook unless you know that you actually need it. And if you do, rent your textbooks instead of buying them. It's cheaper and you don't have to deal with storing or selling them off after you're done.
Export and submit your paper as a PDF (instead of a Word doc) so that you don't have to worry about the formatting or the file itself.
If you have lazy teachers, google a direct quote from a worksheet or assignment and you can sometimes find teaching resources and answers online
Browse the textbook before the lecture, or at least skim the introduction and the section headings. It's a lot easier to remember information if you walk into the classroom with a little bit of context.
Watch a Documentary on the Topic
Documentaries are an entertaining way of compacting an entire story into a short timeframe. This will help you remember key details from a story plus you may even get extra credit for mentioning that you took the initiative and watched a film about the topic!
Volunteer to answer your professor's questions and keep your camera on if you can during online classes.
Participation is always appreciated, but especially now when professors are lecturing into a camera. If you actively show your face and participate, your professor will more likely remember you, too.
Reward yourself when you complete assignments ahead of schedule.
Procrastinating is so, so tempting, but try to Pavlov yourself by getting a treat when you finish things ahead of time, so you can build healthy habits instead.
If your school has gone online due to COVID-19, consider completing your general requirements online through a local community college to save money.
Make sure the credits transfer, of course.
Download any material your professor sends through Google Classroom directly to your device, instead of just adding it to your Drive.
As someone who just graduated college, do yourself a favor and actually go to class. You’re paying for the chair (if you’re in the US) and there is research on a correlation between greater absences= greater likelihood to fail a course. I know you hate the class, but go. I might literally be begging.
Quizlet is pretty great
Google by file type. For example, if you're looking for a PDF, type "filetype:pdf" before the name of whatever book or document.
Schedule your classes back-to-back so you can get through them all in one go. You'll be less likely to skip if you don't have that two-hour block between O-Chem and that general elective you're taking this semester.
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