Study tips: apps, tools and tricks to help you prepare for finals

Once you have a comfortable seat and a cup of coffee from Books ‘n’ Bytes, it’s time to settle in to study. Here are some apps, tools and tricks to keep you focused and help you succeed on you final exams.

  1. Flashcard Machine – a free website (registration required) that allows you to create flashcards in any topic, including images. You can also browse the flashcard sets uploaded by other users (e.g. Mineral formulas or 19th century art). Flashcards can be printed or viewed online.
  2. gFlash+ Flashcards & Tests – a free iPhone app for flashcards. Use a Google Docs Spreadsheet to enter the flash card information then sync it with your iPhone.
  3. Schedule in study breaks: Take a walk, have a nap or read a novel. Brief breaks can help you focus better when you return to your studies.
  4. Create your works cited section – See our guide for information about citation styles, and download the Zotero add on for Firefox to help you keep track of your items and format your bibliography
  5. Get enough sleep! From the Zen College Life blog: “I cannot believe how many people walk around like zombies during finals week. It’s an epidemic, due to non-planning and all nighters, neither of which I advocate. Do yourself a favor. If you don’t function well on 3 hours of sleep, don’t try to. If you need your 8 hours regardless, factor that in and don’t push it. If your brain can’t take the lack of rest, your study time will be wasted anyways, make good plans for sleep as well as study.”
  6. Make a study to-do list. Lots of options exist for web based lists (Gmail tasks, Ta-Da lists), iPhone lists, and there are always old-fashioned paper lists.

Of course, this list could go on forever.

What tips and tools do you use to help you get through finals week?

About Bonnie J. M. Swoger
Science Librarian at SUNY Geneseo, a small, public liberal arts college. I am interested in scientific communication in general and how we teach students about how scientists share information.

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