Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bec's Six (BS): Top 6 Study Apps

Ok, let's be real. Long gone are the days where we all spend countless hours writing up hundreds of revision flashcards and making fancy mind maps. Starting uni last year, I was like "I got this! I will type up all my lecture notes to OneNote every week and then transfer them to my notebook, and then I will also create flashcards of all the definitions every week!". This went well for the first four-ish weeks but then life got in the way. Honestly, (for myself at least) this was not sustainable in the long run!

For those of you who know me, you would know that I am great at organising revision (right at the end of the year). Last year during second semester though, I changed things up a bit and just created a massive book of notes that I printed out. $108.00 later and I thought I was ready for my exams! The biggest problem with this though, is if you are doing practice questions for subjects, say psychology, you will spend countless minutes (or hours in my case) trying to find the information. 

One thing I want to try to do this year is to make use of technology and is it a lot quicker and much more simpler! Although, I still think flashcards are one of the best ways of studying on the go, you can spend hours, or even days, writing them out and making them look 'pretty'. Below are my top 6 apps that I have been testing and think are great for studying, both throughout the year and before your exams!

Flashcards are one of the most popular ways of revising for uni students. The downside is that many people do not keep up with them throughout the year! The positive though, is that they offer on the go revisal of key terms in a shorter and more succinct way. Research also shows that the act of writing out information helps to transfer it to your long-term memory, making the retrieval process easier later on! Rather than overloading your brain with numerous paragraphs of information, you summarise and chunk pieces of information, meaning there is actually less to remember! This builds connections in your brain whereby, you can later expand on the information during exams and assignments.

1.Smart Study Cards

'Smart Study Cards' is really good as it does not only all of the above, but soooo much more! This app allows you to type in information and questions on lined cards that you can also import to other applications such as Quizlet and Google Docs. The really handy thing about this app is instead of carrying hundreds of flashcards around with you, you have them all right there on one device!

2. Quizlet

This app/website is great as it allows you to type in key terms and their definitions so as it revise them in a variety of ways. There is the option of turning them into flashcards, learning the key terms through their definitions and also matching the key terms with their definitions. This is a very effective app, especially for tablets and phones as it provides different ways of revising key pieces of information. The bonus to this app is that it is also very engaging and really user-friendly. You can also join classes on Quizlet and even create folders for different study sets!

3. Study

'Study' is quite similar to Smart Study Cards except for the fact that it is much more organised and you can also add images to your flashcards! This is really effective as you can import diagrams and visual representations of key information to aid in your consolidation and retrieval of key information. There are also visual ways of tracking your progress using the app that calculates your daily averages and total hours spent studying. Efficiency, correct responses and most studied topics are also calculated and recorded. On this app there is also a 'Study Timer' option that you can use which times the time spent studying specific topics. You can also preset an allocated amount of time you want to spend studying!

 4. Duolingo

'Duolingo' is great for those of you who want to keep up with languages you are learning! The app is made up of short courses in more than 25 languages that you can do anytime, anywhere. The amazing this about this app is that it involves, speech, writing, spelling, recognition and listening, all things that are extremely important when developing one's fluency! It is a really fun app that is made up of levels of categories where in which you repeat a few times to increase your proficiency and experience. There are cute cartoons that are engaging and imagery is used to symbolise different words! An exciting feature of 'Duolingo' is that you can invite friends to compete with and can compare your scores with them, and there is a store where you can purchase additional outfis, power-ups and bonus skills with money you earn through getting through the different levels.

5. Flashcards+

Similar to ‘Smart Study Cards’, ‘Flashcards+ allows you to create decks of flashcards made up of key information. You can type a question or key term on one side of the card and then on the other you can type in the answer or the definition. This is really effective as it provides on the go revisal of study material, without having to lug around hundreds of heavy flashcards that take up a lot of space! A voice also reads out the cards and you can set this to the pronunciation speed that you prefer.

6. OneNote

OneNote is by far my ‘go-to’ app when it comes to studying. It is a free application that you can download on just about any device! I used to be heavy Microsoft Word user but that was until I saw someone in one of my psych lectures using OneNote. The great thing about OneNote  is that you can create as many notebooks as you like that sync to your Microsoft account. This means you are able to access them from anywhere! You can also add images, different background styles, video links and different bullet points to help you in your revisal. I found this especially helpful as it is very customisable and it saves more time than hand-writing all your notes. There is also no need to worry about remembering to save documents as it automatically saves everything to your computer as you go!

I hope this has helped any of you who are stuck on different ways to study that also save time and that you will use consistently! Feel free to email me with any questions and to comment down below with any other apps or programs you find helpful!


No comments:

Post a Comment