How Technology can help you study better
1. Use Trello to get organised.
Sometimes studying so many subjects can become really daunting and the task ahead can seem impossibly large. The key is to break down big tasks into smaller and smaller tasks until they can’t be broken down any further. Then go through them one by one, feeling progressively happier as you feel you are finally getting somewhere.
Trello is a free website and app that makes it really easy to keep track of what you have to do and what you have done. Trello's beauty is it's simplicity and it works a bit like a giant wall (board) with loads of sticky notes (cards) stuck to the wall. Each card should be an individual task. You can attach text or files from Dropbox or Google Drive to any card. You can then drag cards from left to right as you progress through what you have to do. Check out this sample Trello board to get a feel for it and you can set up your own free account on Trello.com
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique
If you’ve ever had that feeling that no matter how much you study nothing will go in then the chances are you’re studying inefficiently. Research has shown that studying in short bursts makes it much more likely that you will retain information. This is where the Pomodoro technique comes in. Named after a kitchen timer, the technique involves you setting a timer for 25 minutes and studying as hard as you can on a chosen task for that time. When the time is up take a 5 minute break and every fourth break take a longer 20 minute break. Francesco Cirillo, the creator of the technique, suggested using an actual timer as the act of winding it and hearing it ticking helped you focus on the task at hand. Loads of free tech tools to help you time your Pomodoros have been developed. Here’s our favourites:
Pomdroido App (Android)
Pomodoro Timer App (iTunes)
3. Use Distraction Blockers
The biggest barrier that most students face to studying effectively is distraction. With text, tweets, instant messages and emails coming in on phones, laptops and tablets it’s easy to see where hours can get wasted. Luckily, there are loads of tech solutions out there to help you stay focussed. You can download website blockers that will keep you off all or certain websites for the amount of time you tell it. Here’s our favourites:
Focal Filter (Windows)
4. Use good quality learning content
It goes without saying that the key to effective study is to have high quality content to study in the first place. If you want to do well in exams it’s really important to keep testing yourself to find out where the gaps in your knowledge are. Studyclix makes this easier by giving you all the past exam questions by topic so you can try questions on whatever you are studying. We surveyed last year’s leaving cert students and 95% of PLUS+ users said that in their opinion using Studyclix PLUS+ had improved their grades.
Best of luck with the study and check out the Studyclix Blog, Twitter and Facebook to get more tips on how to study smarter.
David, Studyclix Team