Exams are around the corner and it’s time to hit the books. As a psychology student, you have probably learned lots of theories on how to maximize your study success and are aware of the importance of distributed studying and taking breaks. While theories are nice, the following article will introduce some useful tried and proven study tools, to help you get through the coming weeks as smoothly as possible.
Quizlet is one of my favorite study tools. It is an App, that lets you create personalized flashcards. The free version gives you access to all of the basic functions, while the premium version lets you take your cards to the next level and add images and diagrams. One of my favorite features is that you can share and co-edit your sets with others. Depending on privacy settings you even have access to cards others have created in the past, which can save you lots of work. The software can be used on laptops or smartphones, making it easy to study on the go or even creating your cards during lectures.
Maybe you are not into flashcards and prefer mind maps in order to get a good overview of your classes. Mindjet offers the option to create mind maps digitally. Some create the basic structure before class so that they can add their notes during the lecture. I personally use OneNote for mind maps, because I like drawing them by hand. That, however, requires a laptop with a touch screen. So Mindjet is a good alternative. Mindjet isn’t free but in order to get it inexpensively, you can buy it from your university’s software store. (The same place where you can buy SPSS etc.)
This section is probably most important for new students. One of the greatest tools to use during your studies are summaries of literature and lectures. These can either be created in study groups or found on different student platforms (different at every Uni, if you do not know the platform used at your university, that’s a great reason to talk to fellow students and possibly make a new friend 😉). Uniboard is a general platform, that has some material on it. While that is one, the most commonly used platform differs between universities, so it is best to find out which one is used at your university.
After constantly seeing Grammarly adds on YouTube, I gave in and gave it a try. I was surprised by how useful it was. It is a program you can install and use as an add-on in tools like Word. It corrects grammar and spelling surprisingly accurately. So far, I have only used the free version, which has been enough. The premium version goes even further and gives you advice on your word choice and sentence structure. It is worth giving it a try if you ever need to write something in English.
Unfortunately, they are not available for all classes and all universities. Nonetheless, when available, the pre-made flashcards are a very useful tool to prepare for exams. They can be a lifesaver when you are low on time or have lots of exams in a short amount of time. The main drawback is the price (37.-) but by buying ones from older students or buying a set with a fellow student they can be made more affordable. Along with the physical cards you receive a code, that lets you use the digital version. The content is created by students and is based on the slides and literature. I usually complete them with my personal notes.
Link: https://ube.uniseminar.ch/ (They can also be bought at the universities book shop
6. Motiviert Studiert
This last tip is not as much a tool, as a platform with many useful tips. The founder creates useful YouTube videos where he focusses on studying effectively rather than constantly (Spoiler: LOTS of repetition and lots of breaks). I found one of his videos during my third year of studies and still learned new things on how to make my studying more efficient. On his website he also has various templates and resources to create study plans etc. If you are in a study crisis I would highly recommend checking out some of his content. (Unfortunately, his content is in German but under downloads there are templates you can adapt to your own language)
Link to website: https://motiviert-studiert.de/
Hopefully, you discovered some new useful tools; have a calm exam season (as calm as they get) and good luck on your exams!
- Cambridge Assessment International Education (2017). Tips for effective exam preparation. Retrieved April 02, 2020 from https://blog.cambridgeinternational.org/tips-for-effective-exam-preparation/
Author: Sabrina Sovilla