Category Archives: College

How to Make Studying More Interesting

a girl among sunflowers

Academic writing and studying, in general, might not be as exciting as we would like it to be. Let’s be honest, academic papers give us hard times, and it affects our passion for studying. So, is there any way to make it more fun? We believe there’s nothing impossible. Let’s find out how to do it.

Study with a Buddy

Creating or joining a study group might drastically change your approach to studying. Not only it helps you to understand the material better as there is always someone with who you can discuss another topic, but it also helps you spend your time without regretting as you would normally do when studying. Studying with friends doesn’t seem like studying at all as it is more about spending time together and searching for new ways to memorize the material better.

But you don’t have to have friends to study in a group because you can always find a group that you can join. There are multiple ways you can do it:

  • Search online
  • Check the info on your college website
  • Look through the forums for students
  • Ask your groupmates

There are always great options for you on how you can spend time during the study group meetings. You can create a presentation or watch informative and educational videos, spend time playing a game or a quiz – not only it’s just fun, but it also helps you understand the subject and memorize some important facts and details.

Change the Location

Sometimes all you need to get inspiration for studying is to change the location. When the weather is fine, you can go studying in a park or your favorite location under the sky. It will instantly body your creativity and will break the circle of routine that you are bored with. Some other locations like your local library, a coffee shop, or a museum will also help you get rid of the feeling that you do all the same things every day.

But you might also find that less drastic changes are as effective. For example, you can change the layout of the furniture in your room, and it will be like a fresh new start for your desire to study.

Use Technology

Nowadays, it’s much easier to keep up with all of your studies, daily tasks, and motivation because we all can use our phones or computers to do that. There are multiple apps that are great for practicing and learning in an exciting and entertaining manner. For example, you can use software that reminds you about your classes and assignment, which will take much of the stress away. You can also learn online a lot of new things and practice your skills with apps that provide you with engaging tasks and questions.

 Break Tasks and Make it a Quest

When you need to start working on a challenging and hard task, you tend to procrastinate a lot. This is completely normal because we are afraid to start working on a project that requires a lot of time and effort.

However, when you break tasks down into smaller pieces that can be easily managed and completed, you feel less stress and pressure, which affects your willingness to study and overall mood. Working on a task or assignment step by step is always a great way to complete it faster and avoid feeling overwhelmed because of how complicated the task seems to be. The main step you need to take is to start. Once you do it, everything else seems less challenging to you.

You can also try to think of your tasks as quests if you are one of the people who enjoy playing games and solving puzzles. For example, your thesis is a royal quest that consists of smaller tasks that you get from imaginary NPCs and get a reward each time you complete one. Reward yourself with a thing you enjoy, like a snack, an episode of your favorite show, or a walk. This little pretending game helps a lot to stop treating studying like a boring and exhausting thing.

Wrapping Up

Studying can be exciting and fun if you want it to be. Once you look at it from a different angle, you see that you are the person who can change the whole process and turn it into something that you enjoy. Good luck!

How to Create the Best College Class Schedule

a person is finning in a weekly schedule

College classes are not that easy to manage, especially if you are a freshman and don’t know anything about time management and schedule options at all. One of the most important things about your class schedule that you need to know is that it might take a while for you to understand what fits your lifestyle. So, don’t be upset if this semester is not the perfect one schedule-wise. Follow our easy tips and take your time to create a class schedule of your own.

Don’t Overload

It’s easy to face burnout when you have too many classes scheduled each week. Many first-year students make this mistake when entering college – they think they can manage as many classes as they used to in high school. However, it doesn’t work the same way because college students have much more homework to do and much more complicated assignments to complete.

There is a golden rule for freshmen to take no more than four or five classes during the first semester in college. Depending on your major, you might keep up with this number of classes for the rest of your college years.

Choose Classes Wisely

Another hard decision that you need to take is to choose the classes. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are making a choice:

  • Look up your classes as early as possible, preferably before the registration starts. You don’t want to rush when you need to make a choice.
  • Research your professors. The difficulty of the class often depends on the professor and not the difficulty of the material itself. When choosing the classes, make sure you check out the websites that can provide you with information on what it is like to have classes with this or that professor. For example, you might find it useful to simply google professors’ names or visit ratemyprofessors.com.
  • Balance hard and easy classes. Pick a few classes that demand less to make it a little easier for you to finish the semester instead of pulling out all the hard classes.
  • Base your choice on your interest. There is nothing less motivating than to struggle with the subject that you find incredibly boring. 

So, before you choose which classes you want to take the next semester, conduct research to make the right choice without just guessing by the name of the course. Sometimes, you might find very interesting information about your professors that might really change your mind. If professors’ rating is not that good or you find their methods don’t resonate with you, you might want to take this class later when another professor is available.

Avoid Very Longs Breaks

Not everyone is a fan of early morning classes. However, finishing your classes late in the evening is not good as well. Consider creating a schedule that will balance your day to have some time in the evening to work on your assignments and have some sleep in the morning.

It’s great if you can finish your classes early in the day. You might need to avoid long breaks in your schedule. Let’s face it – chances are you won’t spend these breaks very productively. Though, you also should avoid scheduling your classes back-to-back as you will need some time to have your meals and get a little rest.

Avoid Late and Early Classes

As it was already said, early classes are not everyone’s cup of tea. Getting up every day might be not that hard for you if you have a daily routine that allows you to go to bed at the same time each night. However, as a college student, you will likely face the need to stay up late to finish some assignments before they are due. It means that the next morning you will be tired and sleepy. If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule at least 1-2 days a week the way so that you can have a few extra hours before the classes start.

Late evening classes are also not that good. After finishing a late class, you will probably go straight to bed because you are tired. But if you have some extra hours in the evening, you can spend them working on your assignments or meeting with friends. You should also keep in mind that late-night classes sometimes last for two or three hours.

Find Out What Works for You

There is not such a thing that a schedule that would fit everyone. Each person is different, so you need to find out how you want your day to go. You might want to schedule your classes so that you can take longer shifts or vice versa – you need to study in between the classes.

Showing up to your classes is a big deal when it comes to college, and it might give you great results, alongside doing your homework and passing tests. So, make sure your schedule is oriented towards the ability of yours to make it to the classroom.

Wrapping Up

Some students find it hard to balance their daily routine because of their classes schedule. Making a big mistake while scheduling might not be that obvious at first but will eventually affect your productivity. So, make sure you take your time to work on your research and your schedule. 

5 Effective Study Techniques to Try

a girl is sitting in front of her computer screen

You might think that there is nothing more to add to your study routine. How can studying be different from what you are used to? However, this is not really true. There are multiple study techniques that you should definitely try to achieve maximum effectiveness when spending less time. Let’s find out more about the coolest study techniques.

Studying Before Sleep

A simple technique that you might be using all the time without even knowing is studying right before you go to sleep. The trick is simple, just study for a few hours in the evening and then review your notes when you wake up. While you are asleep, your brain analyzes the information you received during the day and organizes it to make it easier for you to use later when you need it. Sleep also helps to structure the information and understand it better.

So, that’s why it’s much better for your memory and routine to avoid pulling all-nighters. Get the rest that you need at night and save your time by studying in the evening. 

The PQ4R Technique

This study technique’s name is an abbreviation to “Preview – Question – Read – Reflect – Recite – Review.” Let’s find out what that means.

The first step is to preview the material. What you do is skimming the information, how long the text is and what it is about. At this step, you read only headers and introduction without getting into details of the text; look through the footers and illustration if there are any.

The next step is to question yourself if you understand what this topic is about and if there is anything that you already know regarding the subject. After that, you read information for the first time without rushing through it. Reflect on what you have just read – think of what you have learned and take some notes to structure the main points. After that, you should be able to recite the information – summarize it using your own words. And, finally, review the material and your notes one more time.

When using this method, students usually are much more likely to understand the material and remember it.

Spaced Practice

The trick with the spaced practice method is all about our memory and the time needed to remember information for a long time or even forever. It basically provides you with a scheme of study sessions that you need to take in order to remember information.

The scheme according to the spaced practice method is the following:

  • Step 1: You learn new material in class;
  • Step 2: You review your notes and reread material on the next day;
  • Step 3: You repeat step 2 on the third day, after one week, and after two weeks.

This scheme allows you to avoid cramming before an important test or exam. Instead, you spend around an hour through the larger period of time revisiting your notes and material. This gives you a better understanding of information and better memorizing. 

Try this method when you start your new semester, and you will find that it works great – you spend way less time studying and feel much more confident about your memory. Though this method requires you to plan your studies ahead and work on your study schedule more, it’s one of the best ways to get ready for the test.

The Feynman Method

If you find it hard to comprehend the material that you need to memorize because of the complexity of the concept or terminology, the Feynman method is just for you. What you can try when learning new material is to try to summarize it with your own words.

Basically, this technique is all about trying to explain complex material in your own words. You might also find it useful to try to find some examples that will help understand theory in practical cases. For example, it’s way easier to understand various economic definitions by breaking them down into smaller pieces and finding some simpler words or everyday examples to project the material onto.

If you find it hard to use this method, try to imagine that you need to explain the material to someone who is not that much acknowledged with the topic or subject as you are. So, you will have to start with basic knowledge of the topic and less specific terminology. This is what the Feynman technique is about. 

Later, you will be able to use this technique more frequently, and it will be no problem for you to break complex concepts into smaller parts, explaining them with your own words.

This method works great for everyone, though it requires you to understand that sometimes during tests or exams, you will have to face the need to use not your own explanation but the official terms, which might cause some difficulties.

Studying After Exercising

Noy only studying before sleep makes you retain information better. You can also increase your productivity if you study right after you exercise. Exercising can boost your creativity and brain activity by increasing your energy and hormone serotonin levels, improving your mood and well-being.

So, basically, you feel happier and more productive right after your workout. This is the perfect timing for studying and gives you a lot of various benefits such as:

  • Better focus
  • Less stress
  • Good memory
  • Faster thinking process

Make sure you spend an hour or two after each workout on your homework, and you will see that your studying routine has significantly improved. And if you need some extra help, you should definitely turn to our team of writers. Don’t let homework knock you down!

How to Find Inner Confidence and Stay Calm as a Freshman

a girl in a car window

Being new to the college might be stressful and frustrating. When you need to get used to many new things in your life as well as find new friends and learn how to take care of yourself on your own – everything seems to be even harder to manage than usual. Don’t be afraid or worried. This is the situation that many students face as freshmen. What you really need to do is to stay calm and find inner comfort. It’s not that easy, especially because of the pandemic. But we have some useful tips for you. So, let’s get started.

Introduce Yourself to as Many People as Possible

Yes, it might be frightful at first, but you should really motivate yourself to learn more about new people around you and introduce yourself to as many of them as possible. Never be afraid to approach a person and start a conversation; later you will thank yourself for coping with your shyness.

When you are a freshman, everything seems so hard and even impossible to remember, manage, and avoid being lonely. But believe us, everything is manageable when you have some people you cat trust and ask for help. This is why you really need to find some good friends as soon as possible.

Not all of the people you meet as a freshman are going to become your friends for the rest of the college or even your life, but you will definitely benefit from having a lot of contacts. Some of them might be great listeners; others can help socialize and get used to college party life. Don’t waste your time – meet new people as they are your chance to start enjoying your college life more even if now it seems impossible.

Spend Quality Time with Yourself

Self-care is an important piece of our life that makes us happy and productive, energizes us, and helps us cope with stress. What you really need as a freshman is a little bit of time for yourself and an understanding that you are the priority for yourself.

Having a lot of tasks on your to-do list might badly affect your concentration and your mental health. Make sure you sleep well and take regular breaks. Also, make sure you do more of what you love. For example, going to the cinema with friends or by yourself, working out, enjoying walks in the fresh air, spending time on your hobby. These simple things really help you manage all the stress that college causes.

We know that sometimes there is actually no time to spend all day on what you would like to do instead of studying for another test. However, what you can really do is at least enjoy your meals, relax when listening to music or just walk around the campus for half an hour before going to bed. It doesn’t take much time but helps you keep carrying on with a healthy and optimistic approach.

Don’t Be Afraid or Shy to Ask for Help

Sometimes we all need just a little help from a friend, family, or a professional. You might also need it for yourself. Don’t ever be shy to tell people that you need some help from them. It might be even a little dialogue, but this support will help you immensely.

Turning to a counselor at your learning institution is also a good idea. They are trained specialists and are there to help you deal with changes that you are going through and various difficulties that surely occur on your way.

Work on Developing Your Time-Management Skills

Time management is one of the most important skills that you will need as a college student and later in your life. It’s not only about how to manage your study hours but also about finding time for everything that you need to do as a student and as a healthy person. For example, finding time for yourself, working out, meeting with friends and family. Not every freshman can do that because of the heavy workload.

In order to be disciplined and ready for everything that you will have to face as a freshman, improving your time-management skills is crucial. For example, you might need to create a study schedule to help you manage all of your classes and be ready for important tests and assignment due dates.

If you can structure your day and your schedule right, you will find that you can do more in less time, handling difficult projects and assignments. It really helps freshmen to feel less anxious about their studies. The less you worry about the number of tasks you need to complete on time, the less stressed you feel about college in general.

Stay Healthy

In order to have a healthy spirit, you need to think more about your physical health as well. It’s only about taking proper care of yourself, though it’s also crucial. But staying healthy means being aware of what you eat, drink, and how you spend your free time.

For example, college parties are fun and great to attend. But be wise when it comes to alcohol and junk food that every party is full of. Drink less while paying attention to your daily diet. Eating healthy as a student is not always easy or even possible, but you should try your best if you want to avoid additional stress and anxiety.

5 Financial Tips for Freshmen

a hand putting a coin into a piggy bank

Entering college is exciting but stressful – new rules, new routines, and lots of new things you need to be in charge of. One of the biggest challenges for the majority of freshman students is the need to manage their finances and learn how to save money and how to plan their budget. Here are a few tips for everyone who would like to more about finances as a college student. By the way, check out our awesome article on the most crucial skills that a college student should master.

Be Careful with Credit Cards

It’s easy to spend a lot of money when you have a credit card on your hands. It seems like the time to return this money back to the bank will never come. Having a credit card (or a few of them) results in overspending and crossing your limits. It’s almost impossible to be a college student and completely debt-free because of student loans. However, you can avoid increasing your debt even more if you avoid credit card debt.

Credit interests are high and can be very painful to deal with even years after you made that purchase. The longer it takes for you to pay off your credit card bills, the more you pay in the end.

Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid using credit cards at all. However, you should know that paying your credit card bills should be your priority in order to pay off your debt as quickly as possible.

What does it take to avoid credit cards? Well, you need to learn how to earn more than you spend and avoid unnecessary purchases. Sometimes it’s all about saving. Sometimes it’s about finding another job. However, sometimes it’s both.

Plan Your Expenses

You can’t be successful financially as a student if you don’t plan and justify each purchase you make. It all depends on your earnings, of course. But usually, students need to be very thoughtful when buying any stuff.

You need to create a list of everything that you will need to pay for this month, starting with the most necessary things, like rent, food, etc. Then you can list the things that you would like to buy, like clothes or new shoes, devices, etc. You might need to save for a few months to buy something pricy, so you better plan this expense beforehand.

If you would like to avoid using credit cards, you really need to learn how to plan how much money you can spend without crossing the monthly limit. By the way, drafting a financial limit is crucial, especially if you can do it right – setting it pretty low but leaving some money for extra spending if there is some unexpected occasion.

Use Student Discounts

Not every student knows that their student ID can help them a lot in saving some money. There are multiple different offers for students, starting with discounts in grocery or clothing stores, ending with offers when buying electronics, software, etc.

Be sure to check out if the shop that you want to buy something at offers any deals for college students. Usually, you can find such information on their website. You will only need to show your student ID (or enter its number when shopping online) to get a great product price. Extra money is always needed, so even a few saved bucks can really help you at the end of the month when you are short of cash.

Save on Everything

Sometimes when you need to save some money, all you need to do is to spend some time searching for the best deal. Don’t rush to buy an item at the first store you find. Always double-check if there are any other options available on the Internet. Usually, you can find an item slightly cheaper or sold by a previous owner.

This is how you can save a lot when looking through the ads of graduate college students – they sell a lot of their stuff, like textbooks, furniture, devices, décor, etc. Look through the local forums to find what you can find there to buy cheaper than in the stores.

You can also save on textbooks. As many students know, this is one of the most expensive items you need to buy for the learning process. But there are some options available for you. You can buy textbooks from former students or even rent them – there are a lot of rental shops and services online that let you save money and don’t pay for new textbooks each semester.

Have ”Emergency Fund”

Sometimes we all go through situations when a financial emergency suddenly occurs and require acting fast. You should always have a little fund for situations like this when you need to deal with unexpected expenses.

For example, if your car suddenly breaks or if you need to pay for a doctor’s appointment. You feel much safer when you know that you have some extra money in your bank account and you don’t need to take a credit or ask your relatives to lend you a needs sum.

These were all of our financial tips for college students, especially freshmen, who might need to learn all of the budgeting basics. We hope you find these tips useful.

Handling Loneliness During the Pandemic

a girl sitting next to a window reading a bookThere are a lot of reasons why many college students face the problem of feeling lonely and depressed. The year 2020, with its pandemic, brought a new perspective on this problem, making it even worse than before. A lot of college students, especially freshmen, admit that they feel down and lonely with all their expectations of the college experience being ruined by reality. So, here is an article that will help you to get through the loneliness as a college student.

Don’t Panic

Whenever you feel depressed about lack of social interaction, you should remember – you are not alone in this. A lot of (and we mean it) students are in the same boat with you with all the pressure that you are experiencing now. 

Stats tell us that the pandemic affected the economic and health systems of the majority of countries and also the social life and mental state of the population worldwide. When it comes to students, it’s obvious that living the same life as you are used to is not possible considering the circumstances. That is what makes a student’s life so hard – lots of homework and a minimum of joyful time with friends.

You might feel miserable as a freshman in 2020 because you’ve expected this time to be the most exciting period of your life with all the parties and new people around you. Staying at home with assignments piling up is pretty bad, we know.

However, what should make you feel a little better about this situation is that there are many people out there behind their blue screens who feel the same as you do and are willing to communicate through the Internet. 

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the Internet these days. It gives us so many opportunities that it would be a crime to avoid it. 

Be Proactive

Spending time at home doesn’t mean that you should be passive and just wait for the pandemic to stop. Being active and getting involved is the way to beat loneliness and add more excitement to your life. 

So, when you need to fight loneliness, you need to fight your laziness too. That is just how you can break out of the circle and add movement and energy to your everyday routine. But how can you do it in practice? Here are a few tips for you:

  • Start doing sports. Even a quick workout will definitely help you feel more energized. Sports also positively affect your mood and brain activity, so there are many benefits for your mental and physical health.
  • Find a hobby or keep up. Hobbies are a source of joy and fun for everyone. It’s hard to think of something else that would be better for your mental state than time spent on your hobby. Playing an instrument or videogames, painting, singing, dancing, or trying some new exciting hobbies is the best way to get rid of stress quickly.
  • Change your scene. Sometimes you just need some changes in your life to feel alive. It’s hard to do with a corona outbreak, but still possible. Find a new location for an everyday walk, change something in your room, and you will instantly notice that you feel better.

It’s not always easy to find that inner energy to change something around you, especially when you feel depressed and overloaded with homework. However, it’s an important step that you need to take in order to feel better.

Find New People

Pandemic affects each one of us, but at least we still can communicate with each other. Take advantage of the Internet and various social media, forums, and chats that are available for you anytime. Of course, it’s not the same as speaking offline in a group of friends, but it’s definitely better than no social communication at all.

There are multiple various ways to find new friends online if you really want to. You can start with asking on a forum or place like Reddit for some basic chatting or online group studying. Finding a study buddy will benefit not only your mental health but also your study routine and procrastination.

Social media is also a great way to find someone nearby (or even overseas) to talk to about your interests, share some cool stories, and laugh together over some memes. You can find people who enjoy the same music, literature, or video games as you do, which will help you start a conversation without much worry.

Seek for Help if You Need To

A lot of students are afraid of turning to a specialist whenever they feel down and depressed. You might think that there is nothing a psychologist can do for you if you feel lonely. However, this is not true. A psychologist can give you some great advice on how to fight depression and the feeling of loneliness and help you find the reasons you might feel so. It’s not always as obvious as you might think.

For example, a lot of freshmen feel lonely because they find it hard to adjust to the fast pace of college life and blend in with other students. Others are fighting with their social anxiety and frights. It’s always great when someone can clarify some things about you and your personality so that you can start working on improving your life.

Anyway, don’t be scared to turn to an expert and tell about how you feel. You might have such a specialist available on campus or find someone nearby for consultations. You might also need some assistance with your homework to relieve stress and pressure – this is what we are here for. Place your order today to get professional help.

Tips on Attending Your Zoom Classes

Attending your zoom classes might seem to be the same as attending your live ones, but it is, in fact, completely different. Have you ever noticed that it’s harder for you to focus on the topic when the class is online? It is the first difficulty that most of the students face now with the changes in a learning format. Keep reading this article to learn more about how you can make the most out of your zoom classes and improve your productivity as an online student.

Learn More about Zoom Etiquette

Yes, there are some basic rules for attending online classes that are quite similar to the rules of attending your live classes. You probably are familiar with all or at least with the majority of them. Here are a few:

  • Be polite, and don’t speak without reason. Imagine everybody speaking during the call. That would be impossible to hear your professor talking. That’s why you should speak only when you are asked or when you need to ask a question.
  • Mute your microphone. Muting your microphone is necessary so that you don’t disturb other conference members with random noises like your phone ringing or a car driving next to your window. Everyone should have an opportunity to focus on what your professor is saying.
  • Stick to the instructions provided by your professor. It might be required for you to join a zoom call with your camera on or don’t speak throughout the conference and use the specific button to “raise your hand.” Always follow these instructions and make sure you check your syllabus before the class starts.
  • Don’t make fun of your professors and group mates. It’s an obvious rule but the one which is often omitted. Students pull various pranks on their teachers and each other, and it’s definitely a no-no.

The rules above are just the basic instruction on how you should behave during your classes. In any case, be free to ask your professor about specific requirements regarding your online classes.

Find a Perfect Spot 

The place where you study is one of the key factors that affect your concentration and productivity. There are a lot of things that you should pay attention to when organizing your study space, such as:

  • Enough lighting. Good lighting is highly important when you are studying or working. Make sure you study next to a window to get the most out of the daylight and pay attention when picking light bulbs for your lamps or ceiling lights as they differ depending on the color temperature. Make sure you pay attention to the marking on them: 3,500 to 4,500 K means that the bulb will produce natural light, which is the best solution to avoid eye strain. Bulbs with warm light (1,500 to 3,000 K) allow you to relax and rest, which is good for your bedroom but not for your studying. On the other hand, bulbs with cooler light (around 6,000 K) are great for workspaces and help you focus but might not be appropriate for a bedroom. 
  • No distracting noises. It’s crucial to create a place free from outer noises for you to focus on the class and show respect to other members of a group call. Close the door when your class starts and asks your family or roommates to avoid walking into your room while you are studying. You should also mute your phone and turn off your TV.
  • Comfortable seat. The chair that you are sitting on while on your zoom classes should be comfortable and appropriate for work on your computer. It’s not the best choice to sit on your bed during zoom calls, as it might negatively affect your focus and also will be spotted by other members if your camera is on.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect place for studying that would satisfy all of the criteria above. It would be excellent if everyone would have a separate room for classes at home, but it’s not that easy to make it real. So, just try to pick as a quiet and comfortable place as possible.

Use All the Features

When talking about computer software, we always should understand that we all don’t use popular programs the same way. Why? Because there are more experienced users who know how they can ease their lives with hotkeys, settings, etc.

Here are a few pro tips that you will definitely find useful when using Zoom:

  1. Record your classes. It’s great when you have an opportunity to go back to the class that you had last week and freshen up the material in your mind or edit your notes if you have missed something. Recoding your classes is also useful when you just can’t focus during the class itself and would like to rewatch it later. Zoom allows you to record your conference calls with just one button hit.
  2. Change default settings. If you are afraid that someone might see or hear more than you would like them to by accident, be sure to make your camera and microphone turned off as a default setting. This way, you will have more control over these instruments when joining a call.
  3. Use hotkeys: spacebar – push to talk; Command + Shift + F to enter or exit full-screen mode; Options + Y to raise a hand. This is way faster and easier than clicking Zoom buttons.
  4. Take advantage of the “share the screen” button whenever you need to ask something that is easier to show on your screen.
  5. Change your background so no one can see how messy your room is.

These were the best tips from us on how you can improve your online studying with Zoom. We hope that you will find our tips useful. Good luck with your studies!

Tips on Handling Group Projects

a group of students work together

If working on a study project in a group isn’t your cup of coffee, it’s totally fine. The majority of students prefer working by themselves as they are afraid of getting a low grade because of someone’s irresponsibility and mistakes. However, working in a group is a great way to boost your communication and delegation skills as well as teach you teamwork and organization. That’s why schools over the world implement group projects into their study programs and always will.

So, are there any ways you can make this project really work? We believe there are. And this article will provide you with the most effective tips on how to handle your group projects. By the way, these tips will definitely come in handy in the future, as you will likely face group projects throughout your career. So, let’s get started.

Establish Great Communication

Nothing can work in a group if there is not enough communication between its members. When you work on a project together, it’s essential to communicate at every step, give your feedback, and cooperate.

For example, before you even start, you should clarify and discuss the goals of your group, the part that each one of you will take and the requirements or rules that you will follow throughout the project. Every person in the group should know what is expected from them and when. Some people are less responsible and are easily distracted, so discussing the deadlines is one of the most important things, so that you can avoid missing the project deadline because of one of the members of your group.

If you feel that there is a need to make one of you a team leader who will control the process, you should definitely do so. Not many students like that approach, but when it comes to teamwork, a leader can make a difference in the process of organization and communication. This person might be responsible for the revision of the work, assistance in the research or writing process, keeping the group organized, and delegating the duties.

Share Everything You Find

When discussing the rules that you are going to stick to in the process with your teammates, talk about the rule of sharing. That means that everything that you find, e.g., sources, materials, useful links, diagrams, and data, should be shared with everyone in the group.

If you work in some kind of a team chat, or a shared file or folder, you can just put everything that you find in there, so everyone can use the same sources and save their time and effort. This way, your work will be much more effective. This will also help you avoid misunderstanding or conflicts in the group as every person will have access to the same materials as everyone else.

Set the Timeline

As mentioned earlier, discussing your deadlines is essential. But when you work on a longer project, it’s much more effective to break the project into smaller steps and tasks and set the deadlines for each of them.

This is how you establish a timeline, where you can see the progress of the project as a whole and each of the members in particular. Your team leader can track the tasks that are already finished so that they can be revised and polished if needed. You can also easily track if some of the members of your group miss their deadlines and put the team down. It’s better to know about while the work is still in the process than just right before the due date.

Brainstorm Ideas in a Team

What is the main advantage of working in a group compared to working on a project by yourself? The opportunity to produce more ideas and solutions. Brainstorming ideas in a team is much more effective, and there is a higher possibility that someone will come up with just a great idea on how to approach a problem. In this case, you will be able to take the right approach and get a higher grade.

Additional Tips

Here are a few other quick tips that you might find useful:

  1. Schedule regular meetups. Even if you can’t meet in person to discuss all the details, you can regularly meet in a group chat, have conference calls, etc. This way, you can make sure that everything goes according to schedule, and everyone knows what they need to do and how they should do it. By the way, check out our tips on how to handle your online classes better.
  2. Respect the opinions of each of the team members. Every member should feel free to voice their ideas and problems.
  3. Stay firm when it comes to deadlines but avoid starting conflicts. When the work needs to be done on time, there should be a maximum effort in a team and minimum excuses. However, starting an argument isn’t the way to make it work. If you need some help with your group project or any of your assignments, you can turn to our team at any time.

These were the best tips from us on how to organize group study projects, and how to make them work. We hope that you found these tips useful. Good luck with your studies and your teamwork!

5 Best Memory Techniques for Your Study Sessions

a guy looking at his notes

Many students face difficulties with their studies due to a lack of good memory. It’s still an open question if the education system itself is perfect in terms of judging every student equally, based on their knowledge and, thus, often good memorization skills. As all we know, intellect can’t always help during your test if you just can’t remember what that paragraph you were reading yesterday was about. Of course, it’s not an excuse, but it’s still a pretty bad situation to be in.

You might spend a lot of time reading your notes and textbooks like a real hard-working student but end up sitting on the exam with no good thought in your head. Does it sound familiar? Are you tired of rereading the notes after the exam and thinking, “I’ve read this, why couldn’t I remember it?” over and over again? That is a pretty common problem, actually. There are, of course, some students who have kind of photographic memory, but if you are reading this post, chances are you are not one of them.

Though our professional team can help you manage your assignments, studying for the finals is still on you. So, if you want to improve your memory and try out some hacks on how to memorize the material better, keep reading this article.

Read Aloud

Reading aloud is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about memory techniques. It might seem banal, but it is, in fact, pretty useful. Try to read a paragraph or two aloud. It will definitely take more time than usual, but it is worth it. Be sure to focus on the content of the text. You will see that it is much easier to understand and memorize. Take your time while reading – give your brain some time to perceive, understand, and organize information rather than racing through your text.

Repeat

It’s easier to learn when you have an opportunity to repeat the material either by reading or listening to it more than once. Read the material multiple times or, if you don’t have much time, reread the key points. By the way, we have some awesome tips for you on how to spend less time on homework.

Read Again in the Morning

The majority of students have their study sessions in the evening, many even pulling all-nighters. If you study in the evening (especially late in the evening) too, go to bed when you’re finished but look through the material one more time in the morning.

Make Notes or Doodle

It’s scientifically proved that writing down the key points or quick summaries of what you have just read makes it much easier and effective for your brain to understand and remember information. So, take this as a rule – write a little summary after reading a chapter or two.

Doodling is also very effective when it comes to remembering information. Once you need to remember something, draw a little doodle in your notebook. Associate the drawing with the material, maybe draw a little illustration of the phenomena or the fact that you need to remember. Reading or listening to the information isn’t enough, especially for the visual learners, so try these techniques the next time during your study session or even during your class.

Build Your Palace

A memory palace is a concept that implies organizing your memories using visualization and imagination. It is a pretty cool and useful technique that, if mastered, can provide you with amazing results. So, how do you do it?

Close your eyes and think about the place that you visited and remember vividly. It might be your room or your favorite café. The important thing is to be able to visualize the interior in detail. This is your mind palace. Then give the information that you need to remember a visual form. It might be anything that you would like, from a piece of paper with written information to a big apple that you associate with the info. Place this item in your palace – put it in the drawer or on the table, or even hang it on the wall.

Now, you will be able to come back to your palace when you need it and find the information that you are seeking.

Use Mnemonics

Mnemonics are used when a person needs to remember some core concepts, lists, or sequences. You have probably learned a few in the elementary school, like “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November…” or “ROY G. BIV.” Now, you can create your mnemonics whenever you need to remember, for example, a list of bacterial endocarditis signs:

FROM JANE: Fever – Roth’s spots – Osler’s nodes – Murmur – Janeway lesions – Anemia – Nail hemorrhages – Emboli

You can use mnemonics for almost anything that you need to remember. Create ones that will stick on your mind for a long time – something funny will do the best. Also, check out our article on how to make your writing fun.

Use the Power of Your Senses

When it comes to remembering something, your five senses are there to help you. You might have already been in a situation when a smell brings some old memories back, and they become very real and vivid. You can use this for your studies as well.

For example, many articles and studies confirm that if chewing the gum during your study sessions and then chewing it during the exam, it will make remembering the information much easier.

You might also try it with different scents – for example, the smell of your favorite perfume or some kind of specific smell – some particular flower you smell while studying, fruit, or even such scents as a brand-new paper or an eraser.

Wrapping Up

It’s always frustrating when you can’t remember the particular chemical formula or a historical date when writing an exam. Develop your skills, keep your mind sharp, and use the techniques from our article to get prepared for your next exam. Good luck!

A Full Guide to Qualitative Research

two women talking

Every student faces two types of research through their study years. If you haven’t checked our guide to quantitative research yet, you definitely should as we cover a lot of important points there. Now, let’s find out what qualitative research is, how it differs from quantitative research, and how to implement one to use the results for your academic work.

Definition

Qualitative research is the process of collection descriptive data through conversing, questioning, and observing. While quantitative research aims to get numerical data, qualitative research focuses on the data that characterizes particular phenomena, behavior, objects, and events. It can’t be measured but can provide useful insights and a foundation for quantitative research.

Qualitative research is often used in various sociology and psychology studies as it can help understand the behavior and preferences of particular groups of people. It’s also commonly used in marketing management to determine what marketing strategies a business should implement to draw the attention of their target audience.

Characteristics

Qualitative research has particular specifics that one should consider when deciding on what type of research to use for their study:

  1. Qualitative research requires gathering lots of data from various sources in order to get the most reliable results. That’s why it might be time-consuming. However, if you need to conduct research for your paper, you can surely turn to a professional team that will nail it.
  2. The data needed for research should often be collected at sight. For example, if researchers want to learn more about the nature of nightmares, they should work with people who are experiencing them at the moment and not used to in the past. That means that sometimes searching for the right group of participants might be challenging.
  3. The complex problems that a researcher wants to solve should be broken into smaller segments in order to make it possible to explore the problem, its cause, and its effects.

Data Gathering Methods

There are a few types of qualitative research methods that one can use for their studies.

Interviews

Interviews (often one-on-one type) are one of the most common methods of qualitative research that are used for various studies. Interviews are usually held in order to get an opinion from a group of participants but without their communication with each other. Such interviews are preferred in psychology studies as they allow to avoid biases and gather precise data that is not affected by the answers of other participants.

Interviews can be conducted not only face-to-face but also by phone or video calls. This method has a particular advantage: a researcher can control the process and choose the questions to ask according to the previous answer. This is what differs this method from written questionnaires or surveys with a specific set of questions where a personalized approach can’t be applied.

Observation

If the researchers want to collect information from the participants without changing their natural setting, the method of observation is applied. It is a process of collecting data by observing and through involvement in the activities led by the participants themselves. In other words, when observing, researchers can make conclusions about the setting and behavior of the participants without intruding in their lives.

Observations are important as they allow gathering the data that wouldn’t be that reliable if asked in an interview. Many people might not give the answer to a particular question, but their behavior in their natural setting will provide such an answer to the researchers.

Focus groups

The group of participants that is used to explore and study a phenomenon is called a focus group. Research that uses such a method aims to collect information from a particular group of people that might (or might not) share some common qualities.

Often, focus groups are gathered to have group discussions and therefore determine similarities and correlations. It’s important to create the right environment for such discussions in order to gather truthful and reliable data.

Criticism

Though qualitative research methods are frequently used in various studies and researches, there are particular characteristics that should be paid attention to.

Reliability

As qualitative data is commonly collected from the information that participants give themselves, it’s hard to call it totally reliable. Such research should always consider possible biases and deviations as it’s hard to sort and test this information.

Some participants might not give honest answers or try to give the answers that are expected or requested. Other participants might be not aware of their biases due to various circumstances and even the presence of researchers themselves. So, it’s one of the main issues that one might face when conducting qualitative research.

Analysis

Another difficulty that many researchers face is the step after the collection of the data – the data analysis. Unlike the quantitative research that deals with raw numbers, the qualitative data is much more diverse, thus it is hard to analyze it and interpret it appropriately and stay unbiased.

The same data can be interpreted differently depending on the aims of the research, experience of the researcher, instruments used, etc. That’s why it’s so important to combine various methods of research in order to collect as much data as possible and use different methods of analysis.

Wrapping Up

So, this was our guide to qualitative research. We hope you find it useful for your studies. Remember that the combination of various research types and methods usually get the most reliable results. It requires time and effort, but if done right, such researches can give very useful insights and even provide a fresh look at the problem.