With the end of the fall semester around the corner, the pressure and anxiety of finals are beginning to sink in. This means a ton of cramming, caffeine and lack of sleep.
Political science junior Thulena Nguyen knows the erratic exam schedule all too well.
“Sleep is practically non-existent during finals week. There is just no time to rest or take breaks,” Nguyen said.
At times like these, students might begin to wish they had not procrastinated all semester — but truthfully, it happens. They must use the time they have left efficiently to maximize results and make it through finals.
This can be a difficult task with the distractions of technology — primarily social media. Even though some of the most vital resources available are technology and the Internet, students tend to force themselves to avoid them because they so often lead to distractions.
“Twitter and Facebook are my biggest enemies when I am trying to concentrate and study,” said management information systems sophomore Ryan Corns. “It is always difficult to stay off of them for long periods of time.”
Students can find ways around these distractions, though. Many useful apps and websites are available at little to no cost that help students control their studying environment.
A couple of apps have become popular among college students who struggle to maintain focus while studying, such as Cold Turkey and Self Control. Both apps allow users to block certain sites for a specified time period, limiting their ability to use social media during study sessions.
For students who can’t seem to focus without social interaction, there are websites like StudyBlue, which allows students to connect with other classmates and share flashcards as well as gain access to pre-made e-flash cards on hundreds of subjects. Similar to this is Quizlet, a website with more than 14 million sets of e-flash cards and the option to create new sets.
“Quizlet is very useful for my science courses,” said biology freshman Quyen Nguyen. “There are plenty of pre-made notes that I can use to prepare for exams. I mostly enjoy not having to create my own.”
Google Documents is another interactive tool which allows users in different locations to work on a single document simultaneously with real-time updates. This convenient tool can be used to complete group projects and reviews without having to meet in person.
Time management is also a big factor in study effectiveness. It is prudent to keep a planner at hand in which students can keep up with their daily schedule during exams. Numerous apps, like GTasks and iProcrastinate, can be downloaded on one’s cell phone to make staying on course simpler and more effective.
Another useful app is Study Buddy, which helps students track their efficiency by graphing their progress of actual study time versus study breaks.
By using these types of resources, students can study smarter and more effectively, making finals week a breeze.