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Do You Want to Get Higher Grades? These Tools Will Help!

Do You Want to Get Higher Grades? These Tools Will Help!

Is there are student who doesn’t want to improve their grades with minimum effort? Even those who don’t take their studies seriously would like to see a higher GPA at the end of a term. Needless to say, everyone can improve their academic record with lots of studying and writing an endless number of papers, but you are surely not interested in getting more cliché advice.

By implementing the tools listed below into your daily schedule, you will achieve greater academic success with less effort. All websites and tools in the list are easy to use, and they have been proven effective for students who tried them out.

1. Evernote

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    Of course our list had to start with Evernote. With the help of this tool, you will never forget an important piece of information again. You can take notes in different forms, such as audio clips or typed notes that you take while your professors are providing important instructions, snapshots of the whiteboard (think of all that mechanical writing you will spare yourself from), online clips, and more.

    You can easily organize your notes and search through them whenever you need to find an answer to a question your professor asks during a lecture. You can use Evernote on your desktop, laptop, or smartphone.

    2. Google+ Hangouts

      The conventional concept of a study group may cause yawning, but online study groups are much cooler and more effective than you would expect. You can organize an online meeting with a group of students and use that time to synchronize your notes and join forces to study. Google+ Hangouts are also a great tool for team projects. Instead of meeting at the library or a cafe, you can feel relaxed in your home while collaborating with your teammates online.

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      3. Livemocha

        This is the best destination for learning languages online. If you are taking classes in French, Spanish, or any other language, you would surely like to test your skills by communicating with a native speaker. Instead of organizing a frantic endeavor to find a native speaker around campus, you can expand your connections through Livemocha and get feedback by natives within minutes.

        In addition, the website also offers language learning exercises that will help you improve your writing and listening skills.

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        4. Studyblue

          Flashcards are so underestimated by the cool kids. They are not only for nerds who want to spend their entire days creating studying materials. With the help of flashcards, you can remember important facts from your lectures much more easily, since your memory will be enhanced by visual stimuli. Don’t worry; you won’t have to spend too much time preparing them, since Studyblue enables you to create flashcards easily and access them on your mobile device.

          You want to get things served to you? No problem; you can access flashcards prepared by other users and get the information you need ready to be memorized.

          5. Zotero

            When you are working on research papers, case studies, term papers, or any other academic project, one of the most difficult parts is to keep track of all sources you gathered through the research phase. Zotero will help you stay on top of all that information and organize it in a clear manner.

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            All you need to do is use the tool to save the details related to the citation, and use them to add references when you finish the paper.

            6. Essay Eagles

              Now that we’ve tackled the painful issue of writing academic papers, it is time to tell you about a great tool that can relieve you from that stress. By using the professional assistance of Essay Eagles, you can rely on the help you need and get all your papers ready for submission. The company has hired graduates from all academic areas, and they are ready to help students complete impressive papers regardless of the assignment’s urgency or complexity.

              Getting higher grades is easy when you rely on the right educational tools!

              There’s no denial about the fact that the Internet is full of distractions that can make you wonder how your day went away, but there is another side to the coin that students rarely explore. With the right set of educational tools, you will be able to study more and complete better papers in less time. The results will be obvious when your GPA improves.

              Featured photo credit: Education is… via flickr.com

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              Melissa Burns

              Entrepreneur

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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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