Want to Study Smart? Here Are 5 Ways to Ace Your Exams Using Technology
You don’t have to ban technology when you’re revising for exams! Find out how you can use technology to help with your studies.
Updated 05 Mar 2019
Most of us can understand the difficulty of fighting the urge to put our devices aside when studying for our exams. Often, we’d find ourselves unconsciously reaching out for our phones to check what our friends are up to on their Instagram Stories and Snapchat, longing to be out with them and having fun.
However, studying shouldn't feel like a chore every time you crack open a book. Instead, why not include your smart devices as part of your learning regime?
In this article, we highlight 5 suggestions on how you can make studying fun yet effective while using technology.
#1. Please don’t stop the music
Have you ever noticed that you could magically remember the lyrics to a song you heard when you were 10 but struggle to recall the chemical bonds you learnt barely a week ago?
That’s the power of music! Research suggests that listening to music while studying could be beneficial for you, potentially helping you to concentrate and improve certain cognitive skills, or your ability to learn and process knowledge.
However, it’s important to note that this isn’t for everyone. To some, studying while listening to classical music or electronic dance music (EDM) can help them absorb information quickly. Others need absolute silence, especially when studying tough subjects like chemistry and economics. Test the waters and see what works for you.
: Check out Studytracks, an app that records information from various syllabuses over songs. While the curriculum is primarily geared to the British (GCSE and AS Level) and American (Grade 6 to 12) syllabus, Malaysian students can consider using the app as some of its content is similar to our curriculum. You can download it on the App Store and Google Play Store.
#2. Binge on educational videos
Do you love watching videos instead of glossing over books? Here’s some good news — research suggests that videos can be a great learning tool, which is useful for students who prefer learning visually instead of reading.
This is nothing to be ashamed of — some people are more responsive to audio-visual learning tools than words on a page.
Similar to how you can learn guitar chords through YouTube tutorials, the same can be applied to your studies. You can watch documentaries relating to topics in your history class or learn to solve theorems and algebra in maths using online videos if your textbook is too boring.
#3. Tap on an app
Apps aren’t all fun and games. They can act as a powerful learning tool to help you recall information or reference your study materials with ease.
Whether you’re looking for an app that can help you improve your vocabulary and command of the English language or one that can help you revise core subjects, such as maths, with ease, using apps as a study aid can transform the way you learn thanks to their accessibility.
They can also improve your productivity as you can easily study while commuting on the bus or train without lugging books around.
#4. Take digital notes
Effective note-taking skills are crucial for any student to have! However, we admit, it can be a hassle to keep track of them, especially if you’re not organised and are guilty of frequently misplacing and losing them (trust us, we’ve been there).
Instead of using handwritten notes, try taking digital notes whenever possible. This allows you to keep track of things in the palm of your hand, eliminating the age-old problem of spilling Milo or coffee on your notes, tearing the page or smearing the ink.
There’s a plethora of free mobile apps and software that can help you get organised and take digital notes, so you’ll never have to lose a single note again (unless you forget your login password... well then)!
: Apps such as Evernote act as a digital binder where you can save anything you’ve collected over the school term, from notes to voice recordings of your teachers and lecturers, in an organised manner. With over 100 million downloads, they’re clearly onto something awesome.
#5. Make e-books your friend
Whether you’re in secondary school or college, we know buying textbooks and revision books for all your subjects is not only expensive but heavy to carry! However, if your school permits the use of e-books, consider using them instead.
While you may not be able to find all your textbooks available in an e-book format, you can still consider purchasing revision e-books and study off pixels instead of printed pages.
College students can also consider using e-textbooks, despite the availability of services that loan textbooks as they can still burn a hole in your wallet. E-textbooks tend to be cheaper and lighter than their print counterparts.
Additionally, e-books are useful as they allow you to search for your materials quickly through a search icon without having to flip through hundreds of pages, like a physical textbook. You’ll also never have to worry about forgetting to bring your textbook to school or college anymore!
: If you’re a college student, consider renting e-textbooks through VitalSource to save some money and space in your backpack!
We have definitely come a long way from the traditional methods of studying in classrooms. After all, education doesn’t stop at the end of the school day as we have access to a world of information at any given time.
Now that you know how technology can help with your studies, go forth and do the best for that upcoming exam!