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20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier

It’s a wonderful time to be a student. There are thousands of awesome resources, tools, and websites that can make the studying process easier and more effective. Unfortunately, because there are so many, it can be hard to determine which sites are worth your time and which aren’t. These 20 websites aren’t very popular (yet), but they can offer you and your grades a lot of support.

To Improve Your Writing

1. AskPetersen Writing Blog

AskPetersen

    Ask Petersen offers a terrific collection of tools and advice to help improve your writing. The website is divided into sections like Essay Samples, Resources and a helpful Blog. The blog topics vary from writing a proper essay introduction to choosing the best time to study. Even if you just spend a few minutes on the website between classes, you’re likely to find useful information that can help you become a stronger writer. Besides, check essay writing services review section, where you will find helpful overviews (for example, EssayOnTime.com Review, Ultius.com Review, CustomWritings.com Review, etc.) of writing assistance services.

    2. Writer’s Digest University

    2

      Writer’s Digest University provides self-guided writing workshops. Topics include Advanced Novel Writing, 12 Weeks to a First Draft, Grammar and Mechanics, and How to Craft a Book that will sell, among others. Most classes are between $250-$400.

      3. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

      3

        If you want to become a better writer, you’ll want to bookmark Grammar Girl on your computer’s desktop. The site answers every grammar question you could possibly have. From comma usage to compound words, Grammar Girl has all the answers. You can browse through the selection of questions and answers, or you can pose a question of your own.

        4. Essays Capital

        EssayCapital

          Are you having a hard time writing your essay? Are you overwhelmed and considering hiring a writing service to help? Essay Capital provides well-researched, high quality essays that take your opinions into account, and convey what you want to say in the paper. They also get to know your writing style, so your paper sounds like you wrote it.

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          5. Thesaurus.com

          5

            A strong vocabulary makes you a better writer. When you find the exact word you want to use, your sentence will make more sense, and your writing will flow more smoothly. Thesaurus.com lets you find better words for your writing. Just type in the word you want to swap out and Thesaurus will give you a new selection of words to choose from.

            6. No Red Ink

            6

              No Red Ink is an innovative online interface that lets students improve their grammar and writing skills. Quizzes and questions are based on things students care about like pop culture, their friends, and sports. If a student gets a question wrong, they get immediate feedback instead of a bunch of confusing red ink that they’ll just ignore. Incredibly, No Red Ink learns as the student progresses, so the program can suggest topics that need additional practice.

              7. Grammar Book

              7

                Similar to Grammar Girl, Grammar Book provides a heap of grammar and punctuation help. But rather than formatting all the information in question and answer format, Grammar Book is easily divided by category.

                To Help Prepare for Tests

                8. College Confidential

                8

                  College Confidential helps you prepare for the SAT and the ACT, as well as generic preparation for AP tests. Through a series of forums, students get to communicate with one another and learn what they’ll need to study in order to be successful.

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                  9. 4 Tests

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                    4 Tests provides a big selection of practice exams for the SAT and the ACT. The best part? They’re free! You can also find helpful study information on the 4Tests Blog and various study guides.

                    10. Meet The New SAT

                    10

                      This website prepares students for the SAT, PSAT10, and PSAT 8/9. The site includes the official SAT practice test from Khan Academy. Learn what to expect inside the new SAT and get to know the new scoring system.

                      11. Kaplan Test Prep

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                        From this website, you can create a registration with Kaplan University and gain access to the official Kaplan practice tests for the SAT and ACT.

                        12. Shmoop

                        12

                          Shmoop connects 13 million students and teachers with study guides, practice tests, an essay lab, informational videos, and career advice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive learning and studying website, search no more.

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                          To Collaborate with Other Students and Teachers

                          13. Collaborize Classroom

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                            Collaborative Classroom provides a platform for students and teachers to communicate with one another. Students can get one-on-one assistance with assignments and helpful resources for improving your test prep strategy, studying habits, and reading skills.

                            14. Padlet

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                              Padlet gives you a blank template where you can create a design, upload a document, or collaborate with others. Use the space as a white board to help with your study plan. Or use it to build a presentation. In any case, you can work remotely with other students and teachers.

                              15. Edmodo

                              15

                                One of the best-known collaborative websites for students and teachers, Edmodo provides a place for teachers, students, and parents to connect. Access homework assignments, email your teacher, and get feedback on your assignments all in one place.

                                16. Mind Meister

                                16

                                  Mind Meister lets you create mind maps that you can then share with fellow students or your teachers. This tool makes brainstorming in a group a lot more effective.

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                                  Students’ and Educators’ Blogs

                                  17. Simply Charly

                                  17

                                    Simply Charly is a blog that discusses the most important and influential people throughout history. Depending on how you learn best, you can choose to watch videos, listen to podcasts, or read articles.

                                    18. Mostly Morgan

                                    18

                                      Mostly Morgan is a fashion and lifestyle blog. However, the author (Morgan Timm) is a junior in college and writes a lot about college admissions, studying, test preparation, and other academic topics.

                                      19. Explore.Dream.Discover

                                      19

                                        The subheader of Explore.Dream.Discover is “Reflections of a world wandering college kid.” It is written by Andrew Liu, a college student and aspiring entrepreneur at Harvard. The blog follows his academic career and the lessons he learns at school and while traveling.

                                        20. Dan Shipper

                                        20

                                          In his blog, Dan Tripper discusses entrepreneurship, startups, and the importance of hard work and ingenuity. It’s a great read for anyone looking for some inspiration and entertainment.

                                          There you have it! These 20 websites can help make it easier to study, write, and prepare for tests. School can be a challenge, but at least now you’ll get the support and resources you need to be as successful as possible.

                                          Featured photo credit: rhodesj via flickr.com

                                          More by this author

                                          Jessica Millis

                                          An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

                                          10 Effective Ways To Make You a Fast Learner universities in europe 25 Best Universities in Europe You’ll Be Interested in Studying In How to Prepare For College Final Exams Using the Internet 20 Not-So-Popular Websites Students Should Visit to Make Studying Easier An Incredibly Helpful List of 71 Free Online Courses and Tutorials

                                          Trending in Productivity

                                          1 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 2 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 3 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 4 14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress 5 11 Things You Can Do to Increase Employee Productivity

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                                          Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                                          14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                          14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                          Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                                          In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                                          For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                                          For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                                          Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                                          Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                                          Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                                          How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                                          Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                                          1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                                          Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                                          For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                                          2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                                          Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                                          Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                                          Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                                          3. Create a System

                                          Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                                          This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                                          You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                                          Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                                          Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                                          4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                                          We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                                          If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                                          Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                                          Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                                          5. Use a Ratings Scale

                                          Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                                          Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                                          It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                                          6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                                          This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                                          You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                                          You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                                          7. Offer Feedback Forms

                                          Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                                          First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                                          Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                                          You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                          8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                                          This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                                          Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                                          Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                                          9. Use Self-Evaluations

                                          Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                                          Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                                          10. Monitor Time Management

                                          This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                                          Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                                            The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                                            While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                            11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                                            We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                                            Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                                            For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                                            Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                                            Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                                            From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                                            12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                                            This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                                            Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                                            Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                                            It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                                            13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                                            When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                                            Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                                            Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                                            14. Use an External Evaluator

                                            Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                                            They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                                            While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                                            The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                                            The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

                                            More Productivity Tips

                                            Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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