Do you have a big exam coming up? Do you feel totally underprepared? Does it feel like you’ve slept through every lecture and haven’t retained the slightest amount of information?
Don’t fret! That’s how a lot of college students feel. When you’re in college, your brain is being injected with huge amounts of information from 4 to 5 different classes. But you can ace that exam if you use a few tech techniques to your advantage. You can do much better in your studies if you have the right tech at your fingertips.
Here are 5 tech tips and tricks you can use to prepare for your college exam.
- Make e-flashcards
Flash cards are a great way to memorize key terms. By committing the most important terms to memory, you can breeze through the multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank segments of your exam. Although flash cards are useful, they can be a real pain to make. First, you have to go and buy the flash cards (which might not be so affordable on your college budget), and then you have to tediously write each one.
A much faster way to make flash cards is to make e-flashcards. E-flashcards are flash cards that you can make online! There are several different websites that enable you to make them, but the most popular is Quizlet. What’s great about Quizlet is that you can easily share your flash cards with your classmates (but don’t share them if your professor is grading on a curve).
- Make Backups
The most devastating stories during exam time are those that feature the poor college student whose laptop got destroyed, or whose polished term paper got deleted. You don’t have to be that student! Make backups of absolutely everything you’ll need for your exam.
Most students nowadays take notes on their laptops. If all your precious notes are on your laptop, consider backing them up by uploading copies to Google Drive. If you don’t want to use cloud storage, back them up on an external hard drive. If you write your notes on paper, be sure to type them out on your computer so you’ll have digital copies in case the physical ones go missing in your messy dorm room.
You should also have backups of any tech you’re going to bring to the exam. If you’re taking a math exam and you’re able to bring a graphing calculator, you should have second graphing calculator on hand just in case your first one slips out of your backpack on exam day, or malfunctions just as the exam begins.
And, of course, save your term paper constantly while you’re typing it and back it up several times over!
- Share Notes Online
The Internet has revolutionized the way that students can study. If most of your classmates took notes on their laptops or tablets, create a shared doc on Google Docs and have everyone copy and paste their notes onto the document. By pooling all of your notes, you’ll be able to assemble the most comprehensive review document possible. If there’s a topic you need some help reviewing, you can ask one of your classmates online, and vice versa. Shared notes are a great way to communicate with the classmates your studying with when you’re unable to meet in person.
- Get a Dorm-Sized Printer
Printing is a blessing and a curse for college students. Nothing is more frustrating than when you’re up all night finishing a term paper, but it gets a late penalty because a malfunctioning printer made you five minutes late to class. Library printers can be a real hassle to deal with when you’re in a rush. Avoid the hassle and invest in a small printer for your dorm room or campus apartment. Having your own printer will save you a huge amount of time and stress during midterms or finals.
- Embrace the Cloud Calendar
During exam week, it feels as if all hell has broken loose, as if the pillars of society have collapsed and the college campus is world of madness with no rules. Don’t let the panic of finals week keep you from maintaining a set schedule. Use a calendar app to schedule your week so that you’ll make the most of every day and boost your productivity.
Ideally, you’ll be able to access your calendar on your cell phone, too, so that you’ll be able to check your schedule even when you’re away from your computer. Make sure you can sync your calendar over the cloud. Most calendar apps enable you to set reminders about study groups, professor office hours, and exam times so you’ll never forget.
It’s important that you don’t only schedule study sessions. You also need to schedule fun or relaxing things so you can de-stress and blow off steam. Research shows that students do the best on their exams when they’re able to mix in fun activities with their review sessions. Do whatever it takes to clear your head—go on walks, go to the gym, get coffee with friends, or even smoke weed, if you’re into that (and if you’re in a weed-legal state).
Don’t let technology hinder you! Use it to your advantage and you’ll make it through your exams with stellar grades.