Iglu Students Sydney and Brisbane

Study tools at your fingertips

That summer feeling is just around the corner, the end of term is winking at you in the distance, there’s only one hurdle between you and a diary-free day. Yep, exam season is looming once more.

If you’re feeling the pressure start to build, if your revision notes aren’t quite as slick as they should be, if you actually have no clue as to when any of your exams are even taking place… Relax. You are in exactly the right place to discover some tips that will change the way you study forever.

Gone are the days of slogging out Uni work at your desk for hours on end, trudging dutifully to the library nosing through dusty books until late into the night, endless rote learning that just doesn’t stick or even make sense. The smart kids are using the best of today’s tech to learn faster, and learn better – and still have time to tweet a thought for the day before zeds. But before you panic and head straight for the nearest device, take a read below for some of the best study apps we have selected especially for you that will make your exam season run-up a totally stress-free zone.

SCHEDULING

First up – there’s no getting away from this – you need to be fully across your schedule. And by schedule we’re not just about the bare minimum here. We’re talking lectures, tutes, assignments, exams, the full shebang. Are you someone who can picture exactly what your timetable looks like? How many tutes you have left before exams come around? When the next assignment is due? Or would it be super-handy to have a discreet reminder for attendance, a little personal prompt to hand in assignments, or a quiet alarm for revision sessions? The friend you seek is My Study Life. Keep track of timetabling, clashes, classes, tasks, revision and much more – and the best part, it’s all in one place. Syncing across your devices, available on IOS or Android, this is one paper-free dollar-free study aid that all students should have at their fingertips.

REVISION

Now your schedule is in place, it’s time for the real work to start. Whether you’re in languages, numbers, arts or science, there’s one thing you all have in common: exams. And that means revision. But where to begin? To make sure you have everything you need at hand, from lecture audio and tutorial notes, to ideas scribbled out on the bus, look no further than Soundnote and Evernote. Soundnote will record your lectures on your iPad in both visual and audio formats meaning that you will never miss another detail again – even if you catch a quick nap in the middle session. Outcomes can be shared directly with either your Mac or your PC, and it’s all yours for just $4.99. Evernote does exactly that: safeguards and organises all your note-taking for ever and ever, whether it’s neatly transcribed on to a screen or scrawled on the back of that crumpled receipt in your pocket. Text, images or documents alike, Evernote will house your work across all your devices and charge you not a cent for the privilege.

ON THE GO

Cloud-based tech means we’re no longer limited to studying in one designated zone. Any gap in your schedule is an opportunity to browse around the web for info. But there’s nothing more frustrating than when you just find that interesting article, and suddenly you’re in a wifi blackspot. Gone. Like you were never online. Instapaper is your next download. Completely free and available across IOS and Android it quickly downloads your unread articles as soon as you hit coverage again meaning that you won’t miss out just because the area hits a rough patch. Sweet.

And when you next get back online – whether you’re chilling at lunch or on a bus back to campus, what better time to flick through your personalised set of revision flashcards created by GoConqr. This clever cookie lets you decide how you best learn with a range of options that use all the information you have already collated and then converts them into revision opportunities – whether that’s a quick quiz on your coffee break, or tuning in to an audio session as you’re wandering around Uni. The possibilities are endless; collaborate with mindmaps, share your work with teachers, connect with fellow students – and all completely on the house.

LOOKING GOOD

Once your factual knowledge is on track, the most important part is how your work actually presents. Don’t fall victim to the blandly written essay, or the forgotten bibliography. There are some pretty good tools out there which are simply just worth having to hand, regardless of your discipline. Dictionary.com is a no-brainer. The leading dictionary app that also works offline, you’ll get thesaurus content, etymologies, pronunciations and facts as well as the unmissable ‘word of the day.’ Another one for the back pocket is EasyBib – the fast way to get your bibliographies sorted. Whether it’s APA or MLA you’re after, this little nugget will save you endless time in getting those citations just right, which means you get more time to focus on the content.

For the mathmos amongst you, do not leave yourself without the RealCalc app. Available on both IOS and Android this app looks exactly like your actual model, and best of all it behaves in exactly the same way. Solving complex calculations and creating foxing formulas, this is all you need to crunch those numbers.

STAY ON TRACK

Apps are all very well, but can they really force you into revision mode? Well, actually it seems like they really can. Having trouble motivating yourself to get up and study in the morning? How about a quick bit of mental arithmetic with Maths Alarm Clock to get the brain cells moving before you’ve even stepped into the shower? By the time you’ve scrubbed up, your brain is firing on all cylinders meaning you’re in the best possible frame of mind to start your working day. For the really hard core there’s always Freaky Alarm, this monster wake-up call will give you no rest until those logic problems are solved! Once your day is up and running, be sure to activate Self Control for a surefire way of staying away from those sneaky social media sites. This shrewd little app blocks access to a prescribed list of websites for a defined period – and there’s absolutely no way of changing your mind, even if you delete the app, or reboot. Harsh!

IN THE CLOUD

Last but not least, make sure you’re on top of your cloud storage with Google Drive and Dropbox. Google Drive will give you 15GB free across all your Google accounts, and Dropbox a further 2GB.

Fire up your devices and let the Apps take the pressure for you this exam season. Before you know it, the alarm clock will be off and you’ll be cruising straight into summer break!

By Jael Livingston

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