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Eight study tools to slay this year

December 12, 2019

By Fatima Bah 

Technological advancements have been a blessing. There is an application for almost everything and there is an abundance of information at our fingertips. These advancements have been especially helpful for education. I use a ton of different apps and resources to make studying more efficient and a little less painful. Here is a list of a few of them I use:

Tomato Timers 

Tomato Timer

I use the Tomato Timers website to utilize a time management technique called the Pomodoro Technique.  A time is set out to have an uninterrupted study session. Once the timer goes off, a short break is allotted. The cycle is repeated about four times before getting a longer break. Then the entire cycle is repeated. You can customize how long you want each session to be. I usually set out 45 minutes for my study session, five minutes for my short break, and 15 minutes for my longer break. Tomato Timers is very easy to use and the tomato character on the site is so cute. 

TL;DR: Tomato Timers is great for the Pomodoro Technique.

Google Calendar 

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I really like agendas, but I LOVE using Google Calendar. I colour code my different commitments and I am able to visualize my schedule. I have all my classes, labs, extracurriculars, assignments, and work all in the same place. It helps me stay on top of my work and plan my week. Google Calendar can also be used as a checklist. 

TL;DR: Google calendars = An amazing agenda

Microsoft Sticky Notes

Although Google Calendar can be used as a checklist, I prefer having a list separate from everything else, and for that, I use Microsoft Sticky Notes. Checklists are a very useful way to stay on top of your work and to be organized. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a checklist!

TL;DR: I use Microsoft Sticky Notes to make my checklist.

Anki

Cue cards are a great way to learn different concepts and terms. However, I did not like how much paper goes into making a stack of cue cards.  That is why I like to use Anki. You can download Anki on your computer for free. Anki focuses on spaced repetition, and you can even add voice notes and graphics to the cue cards.

TL;DR: Anki = Modern cue cards

YouTube

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YouTube is a perfect balance of work and play. Not only do I spend most of my study breaks on YouTube, but a good portion of my study time is also spent on this glorious website. In terms of studying, I use YouTube when I do not fully grasp a concept, when I want to reinforce a concept, or when I am getting tired of reading PowerPoint slides. My favourite YouTubers when it comes to working are Crash Course, Khan Academy, and Professor Dave Explains.

TL;DR: I use YouTube videos to help me study different concepts.

Nool

Nool is a great academic resource by our very own Student Learning Centre specifically for math, writing, and study skills. You can find useful videos and articles on Nool.

TL;DR: This was not too long…

Student Life Portal

Do you need to make an appointment with a tutor? Or perhaps you would like to register for a course-specific workshop? What about an equity workshop? If you said yes to any of these questions then the Student Life Portal is right for you! All of these resources are free and very useful. Personally, I usually attend midterm review workshops. A lot of the times the workshops help me figure out what I do not know so that I can spend less time studying concepts that I understand.

TL;DR: The Student Life Portal can be used to book tutoring appointments and to sign up for workshops.

Spotify

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Last but definitely not least, we have Spotify! Spotify is great for students who like to listen to jams as they study. I prepare several different playlists. I think it is important to create a good playlist in advance so that you spend less time searching for what song to listen to next and put more time into studying. 

TL;DR: I use Spotify to prepare various study playlists.