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30 College Tools Which Make College Life as Easy as ABC

30 College Tools Which Make College Life as Easy as ABC

College isn’t that difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the experience a whole lot easier. Don’t struggle through your time, get through it like a boss with these 30 college tools that will make college easier than ever.

1. BenchPrep

Personalize and direct your own learning. Test yourself and improve yourself with this tool. It puts the responsibility for learning back in the hands of the student. You may be passing your mock exams in college while failing your own grade system if you decide to be strict with yourself. It is a very good and serviceable exam-preparation tool.

2. OpenStudy

With this tool, you may make the world of your study group. You may get instant help from a stranger who you find online. You may volunteer, or you may simply take from the community, it is up to you. You may earn volunteer credentials, which you may add to your CV.

3. Assignment Masters

assignment writing service

    Need help to completing your assignment because you have been ill, or because you have forgotten about the deadline, then do what so many others do and have another person write it. The assignment writing service is able to write essays and academic work within a very short space of time, which gives students a little breathing room.

    4. College Tips

    Is it just a big website full of written tips for students? Yes, but why would you need more? There are thousands of online articles that give tips for students, so instead of searching the Internet for a few here and a few there, you may read comprehensive tip lists in one place. Some of the tips are not what you want to hear, and some may upset your parents, but they are mostly true and will save you a lot of trouble and heartache if you take them on board.

    5. Flvto

    This is simply a YouTube converter. Most students want a YouTube converter because you can download any song you like with it without having to pay. However, many students are tired of using converters that tag malware onto the download, or that you use third-party advertising that redirects to malicious sites. Therefore, Flvto has become popular amongst students because of the things it doesn’t do.

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    6. Rate My Professor

    There is no direct benefit to using this website. It is often described by students as the Yelp of the professor-rating world. You are supposed to rate your professors and see other professor ratings. Rate your professors so that other students may see your ratings and pick their classes and institutions a little more wisely.

    7. iStudiez Pro

    As student planners go, this is probably one of the best. It is certainly one of the highest rated. It has quite a few functions, which means that using it is not as simple as many other planning tools. However, its complexity makes it far more useful than its nearest competitors. The color-coding system is also very convenient.

    8. TED

    The TED conferences are as useful as you make them. After all, even some of the most esteemed speakers are able to give terrible presentations. Sadly, it is often filled with people that seem to consider themselves experts and use the TED to validate their high ego. Nevertheless, if you are willing to give it a try, you may find a few lectures that are worth your time.

    9. Mint
    Mint

      Mint is rather well known in the student community for helping people manage their budgets and their money a little better. There is a section on the website that offers you a series of savings, or you may jump right in and start using the online system that allows you to set up budgets and then manage them in real time.

      10. InstaGrok

      This is a learning tool that helps you remember your course content by showing you basic facts and key concepts. The idea is that you will always get a passing score if you learn the very basics, and then anything you learn after that point is simply increasing your overall score. You may add notes, journal excerpts, and mind maps.

      11. SugarSync

      Students that are used to backing up their files will love this tool. Sadly, you have to pay for it, and the website is annoying with its live chat popping up, but if you have the money and you backup a lot, you should consider this tool. It allows you to backup your files with the same file structure that you have on your computer and/or phone right now. It makes backing up a little easier and far more convenient.

      12. Quizlet

      Create your own study set with this tool and learn whichever way you see fit. Use other people’s flashcards and quizzes, or make your own along with making your own learning games. It makes learning a little easier and a little less tedious.

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      13. Sworkit

      Sworkit

        In essence, this game is trying to be your personal trainer. It gives you customized workout routines that you may try while you are out and about. It gives you workouts for cardio, for strength and for yoga. It will also take you through your stretches too.

        14. Dictionary.com Mobile

        The downloadable version is rather goods because it gives you over 2 million word definitions that you may research offline. It also has an offline thesaurus you may use, and if you are online, you may also use the translation software. It is easy to use and it has a word-of-the-day function to help increase your vocabulary.

        15. Koofers

        The Koofers website is good for students that can afford to use it. The website allows students to rate their professors, to revise, and to practice by using Koofer’s mock tests. It is mainly a study website that was created as an alternative to other teaching mediums. It gives students another way of revising, but you will need to pay for their best studying services.

        16. Study Blue

        The Study Blue is great because it offers students a variety of digital tools that they can use to revise and learn. Most students use thing such as their Flashcards to learn, and some use their testing tools to hone their skills. The website is free to use at first, but you do need to start paying if you want their best features like access to their flashcards library.

        17. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

        Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

          This is an iOS app that tries to get you out of bed by forcing you to go to another room. The way it does it is to have you take a target location image. This is a location that is not to close to your bed, but is not too far for you to get to. When your alarm goes off, the only way you may turn it off is to go to the target location and take a photo. It also has countermeasures in case you try to fool it.

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          18. Half
          Half

            Half is eBay’s answer to Amazon, where you may sell your books, movies, games and music without paying any fees upfront. Instead, you pay your fees at the end of the month if your items sell. One of the great things about this website is that it is directed and aimed at younger people, and the rental section is good for students that are too worried to download pirates.

            19. Wolfram Alpha

            The reason why the marketing for Wolfram Alpha is so vague is because they are very much like Wikipedia, but they are trying to pass themselves off as some sort of supercomputer app. Nevertheless, if you are doing research, then you may find content you can reference if you use Wolfram Alpha rather than Wikipedia.

            20. Ice Cream Apps

            A great many students use Ice Cream Apps as their personal toolbox of apps. There is a PDF converter, an e-book reader, a slideshow maker, an e-book reader, an image resizer, and so forth. Most students are able to live with the free versions and do not need to download the pro versions.

            21. IFTTT

            This is a rather odd website because it was created to help people automate their lives in one way of another. The more research and learning you do with regards to how to automate, then the more you get out of the website. The main idea is that you connect your devices and apps, and link them with “if this, then that” statements.

            22. Dragon Dictation

            You are able to dictate onto your phone with this tool. Instead of writing on your phone, you are able to speak the words and it types them for you. The only problem is that many times you are not in the position to give yourself little voice notes. For example, you cannot take dictated notes in class, and people may complain if you start writing your essays in the night by talking them out. Nevertheless, if you are sick of typing into your mobile device, then Dragon Dictation may be just what you need.

            23. StudentRate

            This website offers a series of deals for students. It is mostly centered on fashion, money products and technology, but you will also find travel options and entertainment deals. The quality of the deals is rarely worth shouting about, but the sheer volume of offers the website has means it is worth trawling through the terrible deals to find the diamonds in the rough.

            24. Slack

            If you are working as a group for a college and/or university project, you may need to stay in touch with your coworkers. Using Facebook messenger is one way, but it is not very user-friendly and efficient within an academic setting, that is why the Slack tool was invented. It helps you stay in touch, and it helps correctly archive your messages because you will probably need to keep returning to a minority of them in order to continue your project.

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            25. RealCalc

            RealCalc

              Have you forgotten your scientific calculator? If so, you may quickly download this app and start your calculations. It does all the things a regular scientific calculator does with the only exception being that you are not allowed to take your phone (and calculator app) into your exams.

              26. Audible

              This is a library full of audio books, and audio books are fantastic for students. You are able to learn while you ride on busses, drive, cycle and walk. All the time as you listen to the audio book – you are learning. If you listen to music on a regular basis, then replace your song tracks with audio book tracks and learn as you travel. It’s a great way of absorbing larger chunks of information without really having to put a lot of effort in.

              27. Any.do
              Any Do

                There are many to-do list apps out there and this is one of the more popular ones. Students are spoilt for choice when it comes to to-do apps. Is this the best? Some students think so, and some disagree, but few would say it is a bad or useless to-do list app.

                28. Freedom

                If you find yourself being repeatedly distracted by apps and websites, then there is the Freedom app. You will have to pay for the software, but it allows you to install it on tablets and phones, which makes it rather more useful for mobile-obsessed youths. It may help students improve their focus if they use it correctly.

                29. Studious

                Studious

                  Silence your phone in class with the touch of a button, save your notes, or have your phone remind you when your tests and homework are due. Most students use it as an organizer that is specifically built for college life.

                  30. SelfControl

                  This is a Mac app that you have to download onto your PC or laptop. You set a time and/or date and it helps you avoid distracting websites by stopping you from using/seeing them. It has a few safeguards to stop you abusing the system by trying to switch it off whenever you seek out distraction.

                  Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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                  Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                  The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                  The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                  What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                  Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                  Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                  According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                  Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                  Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                  Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                  The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                  Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                  So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                  Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                  One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                  Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                  Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                  The Neurology of Ownership

                  Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                  In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                  But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                  This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                  Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                  The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                  So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                  On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                  It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                  On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                  But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                  More About Goals Setting

                  Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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