5 apps to help you study better

There’s an app for almost everything, nowadays, isn’t there? So, have you ever thought about using an app to help you study? I mean, it is study week.

Below, we’ve listed some handy apps to help you with your study this exam period.

1. SelfControl
Developer: Charlie Stigler & Steve Lambert
Available: Online for Mac OSX
Cost: Free

Super skilled at procrastinating? Can’t resist the urge to check your social media news feed, or trying to avoid calculus by watching YouTube videos of kittens? SelfControl lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the internet.  Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click start. Until that timer expires, you’ll be unable to access those sites – even if you restart your computer or delete the app! A necessary evil, possibly?

2. Dragon Dictation
Developer: Nuance Communications
Available: App store 
Cost: Free

Fingers hurt from typing too much (It’s a real problem!)? No worries. Get Dragon Dictation and use your voice to dictate your study notes – simply speak and see your content appear on screen.

3. Flashcards+
Developer: Chegg
Available: App  store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Memorise info like a pro using this flashcards app, designed to help you learn.

4. The Oxford Dictionary of English
Developer: MobiSystems
Available: App store and Google Play
Cost: Free

Because everybody needs a good dictionary in their life.

5. Write or Die
Developer: Dr Wicked
Available: Online or App store
Cost: $9.99 – $20

Struggling to find the motivation to write your assignment, unless there’s a looming deadline no more than 24 hours away? Meet: Write or Die. Write or Die is an online app (which you can also download to your iPhone) that gives consequences for distraction and procrastination. As long as you keep writing, everything is fine, but if you become distracted there are customisable consequences.

6. The Hemingway App
Developer: Adam Long & Ben Long
Available: Online
Cost: $19.99

Ready to be judged? This app allows you to paste in content you have written and have it critiqued, to make your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors. It’s especially handy if you have a problem with verbosity (don’t know what that means? Refer to app #4).


Tips to improve your time management

What do Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Sigmund Freud have in common? Well, apart from being dead… They’re all great at time management.

Time management is a key factor to a balanced life – and, academic success.

For example, if you start your assignment the night before, chances are (a) you’re not gonna get a HD, and (b) you’re not great at time management. And, I’ll guess you probably spent the week beforehand stressing about the assignment a little? (#notfun) 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of time management tips to help you stay on top of things and avoid turning into a stress-head.

Plan things early
Have an assignment due in three weeks, or an exam coming up? Start two to three weeks beforehand. By working incrementally on the assignment, you’ll feel better knowing it’s started, and will surprise yourself with the progress you make! Stick the dates in your calendar, and maybe even include deadlines for progress.

Write a to-do list
Get your task list out of your brain and onto a piece of paper. But make sure it’s attainable. You’re not going to finish 10 separate readings and write the introduction, methodology, and discussion of an assignment piece all in one day. Be realistic, and space it out. This will help you achieve goals and stay on track, plus ticking off an item always feels good.

Prioritise your work
Complete the most pressing tasks first. Yes, you may need to buy a Fathers Day present eventually, but it can probably wait until after you’ve finished your class readings for the week.

Take a break
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (it’s a proverb, look it up). Don’t spend all your time studying, you’ll go mad. Take a break, got outside. Sunlight’s always good. Or check out our post on movies to take a break to. But don’t start watching 13 Reasons Why in your break, because trust us, you won’t stop.


How to improve your study skills

Photo of study station

Study skills are essential to academic success.

But there are oh so many facets: critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, effective note taking, assignment preparation, assignment writing, referencing, exam preparation…

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide to all this? With strategies and resources designed to help you succeed in your studies?

Oh, lucky – there is!

The library’s study skills page is full of self-help resources to help you achieve academic success.

To start off, you can take an interactive tutorial on preparing for university, and learn to maximise your study time through tips on critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, and effective note taking.

Now we’re getting to the gritty end of the trimester, you might find our tutorials on preparing for your assignment and writing your assignment super handy. Trust us, good preparation and planning will make writing your assignment so much easier (give it a shot!).

We’ve also got tips to help you become a referencing guru. Almost all assessment pieces have dedicated marks for referencing, so it’s worth taking the time to get good at referencing.

And with the exam block looming, we recommend you take a look at our information on exam preparation to help you ace exams.

There are even tips on improving your social media skills. I know, you’re a millennial, what can we teach you that you don’t already know, right? But check it out, you might learn a thing a two. Like how to use social media to help land a job.


The race that stops a nation (and your study!)

Hold your horses! It's Melbourne Cup.

Hold your horses! It’s Melbourne Cup.

Semester two is coming into the homestretch – exams are galloping towards us and it’s a race against time to get finals-ready.

But odds are, you’ll need a short study break to recharge, rejuvenate and refresh. And what better way then to watch the Melbourne Cup.

We got it straight from the horse’s mouth that you can watch the big race live on the library screens at 2pm this afternoon. So hold onto your hat, bet your bottom dollar, get on your high horse and join us in the library.

The annual Melbourne Cup is Australia’s biggest horse race and attracts over 100,000 punters to Flemington Racecourse. The greatest thoroughbreds from around the world gather at Flemington and battle it out for a stake of the $6.2-million prize money and to cement their names in history.

So enjoy your study break and if you’ve put a sneaky bet on, good luck!


How to learn a new skill in your study break

Study break learning

There are many ways to learn a new skill. You can attend a class, read a book or even take a webinar.

Or you can put that smartphone of yours to really good use and download one of the many educational apps available online. This means you can learn when you want, for as long as you want – even during one of your short study breaks!

Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, here is a selection of apps to help you learn to fold origami, speak a language or draw amazing art.

 

 

Duolingo – Learn Languages for Free

By Duolingo

Cost: Free

Available: iTunes and Google Play

Duolingo is Apple’s iPhone App of the Year! Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and English. Totally fun. Totally free. Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.

How to Draw – Free Drawing Lessons

By Pacific Spirit Media

Cost: Free

Available: iTunes and Google Play

Learn to draw faces, doodles, cartoon characters, the human body or street scenes.

It’s free and fun. There are simple instructions for kids as well as more advanced tips for teens and adults. Download and start drawing now!

How to Make Origami

By Sergey Burlakov

Cost: Free

Available: iTunes and Google Play

Remember making paper airplanes at school? And remember how someone, instead of an airplane, made a flower, a jumping frog, or a parrot? That was like magic. And they only had their two hands and a plain piece of paper. How did they do it? We’ll show you how.


Giddy-up!

Your study week might have just begun but study breaks are important, which is why we’ll be airing The Race That Stops a Nation across the library TVs this afternoon at 2pm.

Horse RaceThe annual Melbourne Cup is Australia’s biggest horse race and attracts over 100,000 punters to Flemington race course.

At 2pm QLD time thoroughbreds from around the world will battle it out for a stake of the $6.2-million prize money and the chance to cement their names in history.

So enjoy your study break and if you’ve put a sneaky bet on, good luck!