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.

What happened to the library website?


Quick, go have a look!

It’s official! It’s live and it’s whiz-bang wonderful! We are talking about the new library website you helped us design.

We are so gosh darn proud of our website that we’re beyond eager to show it off. So we’d like to take you on a tour. Well, at the very least, we’d like to point out some changes that we’re super chuffed about.

Let’s begin with the self-help resources. There is so much online self-help on our new library website, you will be a study ninja in no time. And it’s all contained in one handy location – all self-help can now be found in the Study section of the new library website.

There’s a mass of resources to help you prepare for university, prepare assignments, write assignments, reference, study for exams, and so much more.

Let’s say you were starting university soon (oh right, you are!), and wanted to make sure you knew everything you needed to know. You could visit the new library website, click Study, scroll down a fraction, and bam! There’s everything you need to know about preparing for uni. From effective note making and critical thinking to time management and reading effectively, it’s all there.

Now, you may not have any assignments due right this minute. But trust me, they are going to start piling up once trimester one kicks off in two weeks (OMG, is it really that soon?).

Once they start rolling in, check out the self-help resources for Preparing for your assignment and Writing your assignment on the brand-spanking new library website.

Oh, and we also have a new service that you may find useful. We’ve partnered with Pearson to give you 24/7 assignment help through Smarthinking. Available via Learning@Griffith, Smarthinking is a 24/7 online tutoring service where you can get feedback on your assignment.

Simply submit your paper to Smarthinking and receive helpful advice and comments from tutors, at any time of the day (or night!). You can find Smarthinking in the Study section of the new library website (have we mentioned the new library website enough?).

Reflections on another year of university


— Written by Hayley Payne. Originally published on The Griffith Collective

In just a few days, the majority of us will have finished our studies for the year. Some will have just survived their first year, others sit somewhere in the middle, and there are those who are about to enter the ‘real-world’.

So let’s reflect on the lessons learnt…

1. It’s okay to say no sometimes
You’re better to do a few things well than to do many things adequately.

I thought the best way to get ahead was to take on absolutely everything: volunteer opportunity, job posting, five subjects, internships and more. This can leave you incredibly overwhelmed and overloaded.

Eventually, I realised it was better to cut down on my activities and devote my time to doing just a few things well.

So take some time to consider if there are some commitments in your life you can let go. If you continue working hard towards your goals, there is always going to be something else around the corner.

2. Attend lectures and take notes
Sitting through a two-hour lecture every single week can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes you simply don’t have the attention span; you may not enjoy the subject or you have work commitments.

But, as I am sure many of you are now realising, not going to lectures and tutorials can put you in a tricky place.

As we move closer to end-of-semester exams, it’s time to start studying. This can be difficult if you have no notes and no memory of the course content.

If only I had gone along each week and made even just a few notes, I wouldn’t be experiencing the panic and stress of last minute cramming.

3. Pick your tutors brains while you can
Tutors are our greatest information source. Whilst cramming for exams, I have realised I should have asked my tutors more questions during the semester.

It is important to use that one or two hours a week wisely. Come to class prepared with questions about the content and assignments.

Thanks for reading and good luck with exams!

5 Gold Coast study spaces you need to know this exam season!

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— Written by Mindy Davies. Originally published on The Griffith Collective

Looking for the perfect study spot? The Griffith Collective, Social Media reporter, Mindy Davies shares her top five study spaces on the Gold Coast campus.

1. The Student Lounge in G42
G42, the newest business building, offers a quiet space where you can study on your own or meet your study group. Another plus is the delicious coffee served just downstairs, to keep you going through the day!

2. Study kiosk under G31
This is the perfect location to get some extra study done if you like fresh air and open spaces. It’s kind of a hideaway and stays shady, so the sun won’t be too much of a distraction. You can keep your laptop charged, eat your lunch, and enjoy the environment around you.

3. Student Lounge G40
The Student Lounge in the G40 Health Centre at the north end of campus provides another unique study space. The Student Lounge can be found by heading up the elevators to level 4. Here, you will find a bank of computers on one side and a wall of whiteboards on the other. Perfect for group or solo study, there is a great view to give your eyes a break when you need it!

4. Art & Education Building G30
G30 is resource-rich offering computers and accompanying printers. This space offers group study pods, a large number of PCs and printing and scanning facilities, allowing you to work productively.

5. The Cafes
The Gold Coast has an abundance of cafes located across the campus. Cafes offer a change of scenery plus some sociability and who doesn’t love a coffee while they study? With numerous cafes around, break up your day and find a new study space.

Happy studying and good luck with your final exams!

5 study spaces you need to take advantage of at Nathan

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— Written by Hannah Sbeghen. Originally published on The Griffith Collective

Fret no more Brisbane students, we have the solutions to your study space woes before the exams. With final exams around the corner, it is time to bunker down and study. To help you through the next few weeks here are some great study spaces at Nathan campus.

1. The Environment Building
This space is a ‘go to’ study spot, offering peace and serenity. Soak up some rays while you study and enjoy spending hours sitting among the green awnings.

2. The Learning Centre #1
Learning Centre’s are resource-rich when it comes to computers and accompanying printers. When the library is overcrowded, this unique space provides study, printing and scanning facilities. This place just might be your study saviour.

3. The library hidey-hole
You know when you’ve tried to study but your brain still refuses to cooperate? Even if coffee has no effect, there’s a space on the second floor of the library, that might do the trick. The room lets in a lot of sunlight and it’s usually quite empty. This sunny and open space might provide the perfect balance of focus and tranquillity. (Note: The Library Social Media Team advises that this room is no longer available to students – 15/11/2016).

4. The Learning Centre #2
This Learning Centre is the same as the first with regard to computers and printing stations, but it’s a little more ‘chic’ and suits the student who appreciates a good couch when he or she sees one.

5. Goanna Lounge
You’ve walked past it dozens of times and the name sounds like a cool bar in West End. The Goanna Lounge has ample space in a more relaxed setting. For those of you who like to spread out your notes, the Goanna Lounge is where you need to be, but you might have to fight the strong physical desire to sleep, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.

Happy studying and good luck with your final exams!

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!