Student Hacks: How to survive the semester

student hacks

As much as there are parties to attend, club events to participate in and lots of new friends to make, these are some of the things that make the student life difficult. They cause you to ignore, procrastinate and eventually flunk out of your classes due to bad grades. Luckily, there are ways that you can eat your cake and have it too. Below are 10 student hacks that will help you cruise through your semester.

student hacks

1. Listen to Lectures at Double Time

One of the biggest problems about recording lectures is that when you have to listen to them before an exam, they take just as long the original lecture. Luckily today we live in a digital age whereby you can listen to audio recordings at various speeds. Get software that will help you listen to your lecture at twice the speed so that you can save time and cover more material.

2. Plant a Presentation Buddy

There is nothing as bad as going through your presentation and then getting asked a question about it that you have no answer for. Instead of ending up in such a situation, bribe one of your buddies to ask you a question that you will be very well prepared for. This will not only impress the other students but it will show the teacher that you really know your stuff.

3. Backup Religiously

Collecting all your lectures onto your laptop or computer is a very good idea as you have where to read from for your exams. When your laptop or computer crashes however, you look just as bad as the kid who comes with the excuse of “the dog ate my homework”. Learn to constantly back-up your important courses onto an external hard disk or USB.

4. Know your Online Libraries

Physical libraries have so many disadvantages ranging from books being out on loans, having to pay late or membership fees and crowds. Instead of waiting for the next morning when the library opens so that you can study for your exam, make use of online libraries that carry the very same text books.

5. Drop the Quote Bombs

It always looks impressive when your work has a quote to back it up. The problem with using quotes however is that, it usually takes such a long time to research and find the relevant one. In actuality, all you have to do is pick any book that is relevant to your topic and quote any introductory line. Try it, it works.

6. Use Wikipedia without Getting Busted

One of the first things professors will always tell you about their assignments is that, they do not want you cite Wikipedia. This is hardly an issue, go to Wikipedia, find the information you need and then simply check for the source used by Wikipedia for the information.

7. Invest in a Smart Watch

Nowadays, a lot of us don’t bother with watches because we assume the phones will do just fine. But just as phones, smart watches have amazing features many students can benefit from. Getting notified about incoming messages, calls, e-mails and many more, without having to glance at your smart phone. Popular apps used on smart watches by students are Evernote, navigation, remote control and the most important one – the alarm clock. Some of the popular brands among students are this one and this watch.

8. Prepare Your Body For Studying

You might think that preparation for examinations comes naturally. However, your body responds to the way that you treat it, and if you’re living on binge meals consisting of frozen pizza and soda (or beer), you’re not doing yourself any favours. Once you get to the end of a semester, you are already under the gun in terms of stress, so get your body ready for final exams with a few simple changes. Eating smaller meals more frequently will keep your mind sharper. Downing a whole bag of chips or eating a huge burger will send your body into a food coma. Keep water on hand before and during your study session. Caffeine can jolt you awake but can also make you more anxious, so use it carefully.

9. Make One Place to Study

This might be the same table at the university library, or it might be your kitchen table. Either way, find one place where you do all of your studying, and when it’s time to start, remove all other distractions. This doesn’t mean it has to be totally quiet, but it does mean that all other papers, letters (and your Facebook page) need to take a break for a while. Every hour, give yourself a break to maintain concentration.

10. Learn The Difference Between a Topic and a Thesis Statement

One frustration that many college professors report is that their students still don’t know how to write a solid thesis statement that establishes a position. If your paper lacks a strong thesis, you can end up doing quite poorly on it, or even failing, depending on your professor. Your paper might be about the causes of World War II, but there are good and bad examples of solid thesis statements. Bad: The United States had many reasons to enter World War II, some more compelling than others. OK: The United States ended up entering World War II because of matters beyond its control. Better: The United States was willing to remain behind the scenes in World War II until the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor galvanized the nation into action.

So, that`s it. We hope some of our 10 tips will help you get trough the next semester and make your student days a little easier. Good luck!

By Romeo

Australia's Student Newspaper, trying to Improve Student Life. We publish articles written by students from across Australia and the world!

1 Comment

  1. textbooksonhecs

    27/10/2014 at 6:02 pm

    Great tips! Unfortunately the added stress of having to work while cramming before exams isn’t going to be great for so many of us – which is why a better system of managing student debt is needed! We blog about ideas to make getting through university more financially manageable for uni students. Might be some more helpful tips there to check out 🙂

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