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Phoenix 101: How To Study for Online Midterms

Sasha Shapsis | The PhoenixMany websites, including Khan Academy, provide useful tools for students studying remotely.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students around the world have traded in classrooms for computers, forcing them to make the most out of studying for midterms online. 

Whether it’s a first-year’s first time taking midterms or a well-experienced senior, there’s a variety of information online to help students succeed in these upcoming weeks. 

The Phoenix shares some helpful tools, programs and tips to best prepare online for midterms. 

What are some websites that can help with studying?  

Quizlet, likely well-known to many students, is a free study tool that allows students to create flashcards, quizzes and play games based on their own content. Students have the option to either create their own study set or choose from many others that help them retain the information.

Another helpful option is Khan Academy, which produces thousands of mini video lectures on a number of subjects including math, science and history. If a student is struggling with a certain topic, the website helps explain it by breaking down the subject in its videos and supplementary practice exercises.

GoConqr is another helpful and free website that offers a number of different studying devices within the program. The site allows for students to map out all their lecture notes into categories, and from there, make mind maps, notecards and quizzes off the subject. 

Students can also connect with their peers or random students across the globe in subject groups to study and quiz each other. 

What are helpful time-management and organizational tools?

As classes progress and midterms arrive, many students find they have a lot to balance. By utilizing online tools and apps, students can better keep track of daily activities. 

Google Calendar is easily one of the most used calendars in the world. The app allows students to map out their classes, appointments and other events. The app also lets users set reminders, add people to tasks, color code and set locations. 

The next app is called Todoist, a personal to-do list and planner app. The app allows students to organize their days by creating lists of what assignments need to get done and by setting daily goals. Todoist can be downloaded to personal devices or accessed through the Todoist website. 

The final app, Evernote, is a note-taking app that allows users to store and organize their to-do lists, documents and notes. The app includes a scanning feature, where students can upload documents through pictures. The app is available for download on personal devices and on the Evernote website. 

What are some tools and tips to help students stay focused?

Learning digitally can be tough on motivation. However, there are a number of helpful apps and tips that can help students bounce right back.

One app, Forest, has a creative way of helping people stay on task. The app starts users off with a little seed, and as long as the user stays focused on their task with the app open, the seed grows into a tree. When a user breaks their concentration and leaves the app, the tree dies. The app is available on the app store for download on a personal device or as an extension on Chrome. 

Another tool that helps students focus is called SelfControl. The website allows students to set their own restrictions by blocking distracting websites. To start, users set a time limit that can go up to 24 hours, plug in the names of the websites and then study. An alarm goes off when the time is up, and cannot be stopped even if the user restarts their computer. 

One helpful tip is practicing the Pomodoro technique. This timing study technique includes setting a timer and working for 25 minutes and taking a break for five minutes when the timer goes off. Once a person completes four rounds of this, they can take a longer break up to 20-25 minutes. 

“A 25-minute Pomodoro session is long enough to get a little work done but not so long that it feels painful or overwhelming,” according to Forbes. “Unlike trying to work without a break for hours, it’s relatively easy to stack small sessions on top of each other.”

What are some ways to take a break?

One simple way to take a study break includes adding movement into a routine.

“Studies have shown that sitting motionless reduces blood flow to the legs, increasing the risk for atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaques in the arteries,” The New York Times reported.

Another useful study break is taking a short nap. Naps can help offer a variety of benefits such as relaxation, improved mood and better performance, and people should “Aim to nap for only 10 to 20 minutes. The longer you nap, the more likely you are to feel groggy afterward,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Another practice students can use to recharge is meditation. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” Additionally, this activity can be as easy as sitting down, closing your eyes, and just focusing on your breath for 30 seconds. 

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