Smash your study goals
After months of rain, snow, and everything in between, we are probably all happy to see spring come around. Although for those in education, this is also often the time of year where talk of exams and coursework deadlines really picks up, with these being the final hurdle between now and a hard-earned summer break. Whether you or someone you know are working towards GCSEs, A-Levels or a degree, here are our top suggestions for apps, resources, and websites to help keep studying manageable and engaging.
Stay off your phone
With it being so easy to pick up your phone and procrastinate, getting it out of sight and out of mind can be a solid first step to kickstart your studying. Put it on silent and activate do not disturb, which is available in the settings of both iPhones and Android phones.
If you want more motivation to stay away from your phone, the Forest app is great for this. Available on iOS and Android, you can plant a seed in timer or stopwatch mode and as time goes on, trees grow. If you leave the app while the clock is ongoing, your trees die. Revision is often said to be done most effectively in short bursts rather than long sessions, so consider using Forest to set a 30-minute timer and have a five-to-ten-minute break where you can check your phone, before planting another seed and getting back to it.
AppBlock is a great productivity app if you may need to use your phone for other apps while studying, allowing you to restrict certain apps. You can also set schedules, letting you easily get back to your favourite apps during your downtime. AppBlock is also available on iOS and Android.
Create a study plan
Having a plan of what you want to cover and achieve in a day can make it easier to stay focused and motivated when revising. Get Revising has a great free tool you can use to quickly generate a timetable that works around your schedule. You can edit the timetable with ease to move around sessions as you would like and to allocate your time to the subjects that need it the most. With an option available to receive schedule reminders by email, you can focus on the content and check as needed.
If you would prefer to use a mobile app, My Study Life (available on iOS and Android) is a useful app for an all round study schedule, with a calendar also suitable for tracking a regular class and homework schedule in addition to exams and revision. Allowing you to set up detailed tasks, you can keep track of your revision, assignment, and homework progress with ease, with reminder functionality also in place if needed.
Revise effectively in a way that suits your style
Anyone who has ever taken an exam before has probably at some point tried to revise by rereading every word they had written on the subject. While this can sometimes be helpful, it will more likely be an uninteresting and ineffective way of revising. You might think you have the content nailed down, only to find you could only recall it because you recognised the page and that you cannot actually remember it at all without that to help you!
It will be much more engaging to test yourself by reviewing the content and then seeing how much of it you can recall. Flashcards are a fantastic way of doing this, allowing you to break what you are studying down into various small chunks and checking your knowledge with quick fire questions. Chegg and Quizlet may be particularly good sites for this. With both sites having enormous amounts of flashcards already made by subject experts and other students, there is a good chance you will find some for the content you need to revise – and, if not, you can simply create your own! Both sites also have apps available iOS and Android, so you can use your phone for these if you would prefer.
Make a game of your revision
Those of us who have been to university in recent years will likely know how much lecturers love a Kahoot! quiz. The free platform could be a great way to study as a group, allowing you to create quizzes that could help test your knowledge of the content whilst also providing a healthy dose of competition, rewarding those who are able to give correct answers in the quickest times. Be sure to give yourself a silly nickname when playing for the most accurate university lecture experience!
If you are studying a language, Duolingo is always a solid option for practicing your understanding, speaking, and writing. With a wide selection of languages to choose from, you can start from scratch or do a quick test to jump in at a more advanced stage if that would be more beneficial. With comedic short stories mixed in with a wide variety of listening, reading, and writing exercises, there are many interesting ways to learn more about a language on Duolingo. Its weekly league tables will also provide you with plenty of incentive to keep coming back and improving your scores!
Watch and learn
Students at a large number of UK universities will have access to Box of Broadcasts. Accessible for free via the login credentials of students at eligible universities, the site has a vast collection of programmes from free-to-air television channels, stretching back years. While this is not necessarily a revision tool, it may be a brilliant source of information if you are looking to learn a bit more about a subject or find visual content to be a more engaging way of learning.
Got coursework? Get your grammar checked
Even if you have checked your coursework for what feels like the millionth time, provided you have not left it until five minutes before the deadline (and let’s face it, we all have at some point), it can be really beneficial to have it checked by an independent typing assistant. Services like Grammarly and Studiosity can provide writing suggestions you may not ever have considered that could give your work that bit more clarity and impact that get your grades over the boundary. These services do not provide feedback on the content of your work and their use is actually encouraged by some universities, so you should be able to use these with confidence - however, if you have any doubts of your university's stance on such apps, check with them to be on the safe side.
Good luck if you have exams or coursework coming up – if you can try to keep calm and do your best, you will have nothing to regret!
- SMARTY Team
- April 3rd, 2023