Study websites to ace those finals

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As finals draw nearer, the time for studying and extreme focus has arrived. With the stress of final grades and materials to memorize before test day on students’ shoulders, figuring out how best to study and cram should be the least of all concerns. Fortunately, there are several study websites available online to help with that process.

Here are some of the top picks:

StudyBlue– Free use of StudyBlue allows a user to connect with classmates, create quizzes customized to specific study material, track progress, set reminders and make study aids. StudyBlue also provides space to upload notes and make study cards from a computer, smartphone or tablet after downloading the application from the Apple App Store or Google Play. StudyBlue Pro costs $4 a month, includes all the same features of the free version, advanced study features, more materials and is advertisement free.

To start with StudyBlue, a user is required to sign up by Facebook, Google+ or email, identify if they are a student, teacher or lifelong learner, their school and courses they are interested in studying. This will create a virtual backpack – the user’s hub of operations and where their tools and files are stored.

Khan Academy– Khan Academy is unique in how it is structured compared with some of the other websites. This nonprofit site hosts a library of content, which includes interactive challenges, assessments and videos, for free. It is geared more towards learning about specific topics rather than reviewing them, so if a student needs to completely relearn a topic, this would be more appropriate than some of the other options listed here.

From the homepage, users may choose to delve right into a subject of their choice, including all of the core topics (English, math, science, etc.), as well as talks and interviews, test prep and more. After signing in with the standard Facebook, Google+ or email accounts, users choose an avatar to represent them on the website. Clicking on a subject will take you to another page where subtopics can be sorted through, self-assessments can be taken to help determine what level of learning you’re at. Progress is measured in a variety of forms and is displayed with graphics and percentages.

OpenStudy– With OpenStudy, students have a variety of study options. They may ask questions and receive answers from other students in a live chat or connect with other students studying and learning about the same subjects and topics, to form an online study group.

To get started, a student need only to select a subject, which range from health sciences to computer science, physics to writing. Doing so allows the user to see how many members belong to that subject, how many are online and how many questions have been asked. This provides a sense of how active that subject or particular topic is and whether it is worth accessing. From there, open and closed questions can be viewed and other members are made available to contact.

Quizlet– Another site that requires a login, Quizlet takes you right into the action after sign-up. Users are directed to a personal page where they can create their own flashcards online and join or create a class to study with peers. They may also download the corresponding application in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The functions of the site are pretty basic, but sometimes simple is best. At the very least, students won’t have to walk around with crumpled up flashcards in their backpacks. Those who really want to invest can upgrade their account for $15 per year for additional features such as image uploading, voice recording and the exclusion of advertisements.

Whether you’re in need of simple note memorization tools or an overhaul of a subject, these resources are bound to help in one way or another. Invest a little time (or money) now to help reap finals week rewards.

Lindsey Staab is a senior in journalism and mass communication

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