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25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

Many people say that today’s college students have it easy. All information they need is at their fingertips, so they can easily complete all academic projects after browsing the Internet for a few hours. However, that’s not what happens in reality. The curriculums have become more rigorous than ever, so college students have to think of different ways of increasing their productivity and motivation.

Luckily, there are many apps and websites that will improve their skills of time management, planning, brainstorming, writing, socializing, and many other aspects of student life. In this article you will find a list of 25 websites, apps and tools that will immediately turn you into a smarter student.

1. StudentRate

Student Rate

    Among all the new responsibilities as a college student, budgeting may be the toughest one. StudentRate.com is a website where you can find great discounts and steal deals that range from textbooks, to travel, to technology.

    2. NinjaEssays

    NinjaEssays

      With the help of this website, you can always get your papers and assignments ready for submission. The company will assign your projects to real experts, so you can be sure that the results will be excellent.

      3. Koofers

      Koofers

        Koofers enables you to access flashcards and prepare for exams more easily. In addition, students use Koofers to get information about job and internship openings and to get hired in adequate positions.

        4. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

        Alarmy

          Missing important classes is out of the question if you want to be a successful college student. Let’s see if you can sleep through this alarm! It’s annoying, but will get you out of bed for sure.

          5. OpenStudy

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          OpenStudy

            When you need to study hard for exams, you can access OpenStudy and become part of study groups for history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other courses you take.

            6. Sworkit

            Sworkit

              When you forget about the importance of exercising, this app will remind you that there is always time for investing in your health and fitness.

              7. Help.PlagTracker

              Help.Plagtracker

                When you write a paper, you have to make sure it’s perfect in all aspects before turning it in. At this website, you can easily hire a professional editor to smooth out the content and start getting better grades on your academic assignments.

                8. Audible

                Audible

                  When you’re too tired to read the book for your literature class, listening to an audiobook will help a lot. Now you can spend your time productively when waiting in line or taking long walks.

                  9. Half

                  Half

                    You can save a small fortune by buying and selling your textbooks online. There are other websites with a similar purpose, but Half is the easiest one to use.

                    10. Mint

                    Mint

                      Gaining budgeting wisdom takes time and effort, but everything will go much more smoothly with the help of Mint – a free app that will categorize and organize the expenses for you.

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                      11. InstaGrok

                      InstaGrok

                        At this website, you can research the topic of your interest and get a customizable concept map that will help you make the studying materials cooler. You will easily remember important information thanks to the interactive visual interface.

                        12. Studious

                        Studious

                          Sometimes you forget to turn your phone off during classes, and that’s exactly when your parents decide to call you. This Android app will help you avoid interrupting the class and getting on the professor’s nerves.

                          13. StudyBlue

                          StudyBlue

                            No matter how much you dislike taking notes and making flashcards, those learning strategies are important if you want to make your studying easier. StudyBlue enables you to make fun flashcards and take notes anywhere, anytime.

                            14. SelfControl

                            SelfControl

                              It is very important to stay away from distractions during studying time. This free Mac app will help you avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other distracting websites.

                              15. Rate My Professor

                              Ratemyprof

                                When you are about to create your class schedule, you can check the reputation of different professors at this website.

                                16. iStudiez Pro

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                                Istudies

                                  This awesome planner will help you organize your life throughout college. You can use it on your iPhone, Mac or iPad to enter a smart summary of all planned events for the day.

                                  17. TED

                                  Ted

                                    The speeches featured at this website are not only motivational, but informative as well. TED is a reliable resource you can use to get ideas and resources for your projects.

                                    18. Dragon Dictation

                                    Dragon

                                      Instead of typing like a maniac, you can become more productive by dictating. Dragon Dictation will instantly transform your words into text.

                                      19. SugarSync

                                      SugarSync

                                        Your files and folders hold important information that needs to be protected from loss. SugarSync will make you feel safe, but will also make your work easier because it will sync the files on multiple devices.

                                        20. Quizlet

                                        Quizlet

                                          Quizlet enables you to study vocabulary, languages, and many other things for free. It supports effective study tools that will help you see learning as a fun activity.

                                          21. Dictionary.com Mobile

                                          Dictionary

                                            When you don’t understand what your eloquent professor is saying, you can access this smartphone app and translate his expressions into simple words.

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                                            22. Wolfram Alpha

                                            Wolf

                                              Wikipedia is really overestimated, and your professors don’t appreciate it. Thanks to this app, you can access expert knowledge and trustworthy information whenever you need it and wherever you are.

                                              23. Notella

                                              Notells

                                                When your professors drop important information unexpectedly, this app will prevent you from missing it. This is a super fast note-taker that will save you when you least expect it.

                                                24. RealCalc

                                                Realcalc

                                                  With the help of this scientific calculator, you may actually start enjoying calculating. You don’t have to invest in an expensive calculator to use in class when you have this brilliant software at your disposal.

                                                  25. BenchPrep

                                                  BenchPrep

                                                    This extensive library of interactive test prep courses will help locate all exam study material you need. BenchPrep also provides an impressive base of flashcards, practice questions and study lessons.

                                                    Featured photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via flickr.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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