Finding it difficult to maintain your concentration when revising or don’t know if your studying is efficient enough? Next thing you know you’re taking an extended break that was meant to only last 5 minutes. Trust me, we’ve all been there. With exams being around the corner though, it’s important to study smarter, not harder. Try out some of these apps and hopefully watch your concentration and work output improve!
Hold works by ensuring you can’t use your phone for anything other than revising. On the app, once you press the Hold button, you essentially start ‘holding’. A timer starts, with each Hold session lasting 20 minutes. During these 20 minutes, you’re not able to use your phone for anything else, and if you leave the app to, for example, text or use social media, the timer automatically stops and you’re back to square one! So, what’s the incentive to keep holding? Each 20-minute session you complete is converted into 10 points. These points can be used to buy real items, such as cinema tickets, or even get discounts on shopping or food! The more time you spend holding, the more points you collect. What’s even better, if you’re studying in a group, everyone can hold together via Bluetooth, and gives you an extra 5 points per session!
There’s also a university league table to see who’s been holding the longest each day, week and month. If you’re feeling extra competitive, you can hold for longer to get that number 1 spot!
My personal rating: 5/5
The Forest app is similar to Hold, in the sense that it is also a Pomodoro-style timer app (the Pomodoro technique involves breaking down tasks into 25-minute chunks with breaks in between). However, the difference is that every time you start a new revision session, you ‘plant’ a seed. As you stay on the app, the seed grows into a tree. However, if you leave the app halfway, the tree will die. Doing daily sessions means that you can plant multiple trees and create a forest. The difference with the Forest app, is that for each tree you plant on the app, the developers plant a real tree in association with organisation, Trees for the Future. As of now, 693, 112 trees have been planted in real life by the Forest app. So not only are you staying focused when revising, but you’re also doing a good deed by helping the environment!
My personal rating: 3/5
Quizlet is a flashcard app that allows you to create your own personalised flashcards without having to use real paper! Flashcards can be sorted into different categories, which makes it easier to sort your flashcards by lectures or modules. Quizlet has different study modes that can help make revision much more dynamic. Besides the traditional feature of having a question on one side and the answer on the other, you can also play a matching game where you match the questions to the answers, or write the answer out before a timer runs out. Quizlet is an excellent app for both individual and group study, and the tab feature allows you to mark the questions you found difficult so that these are revisited later until you are confident with your understanding.
My personal rating: 4/5
Okay, so this one technically isn’t an app. However, research has shown that certain types of music, for example jazz or classical, can actually help in recalling facts or getting focused to study. Some have even said that listening to movie soundtracks have helped them study more easily. Study playlists have become so popular that most music streaming services, including Apple, Spotify and Tidal, all have dedicated study/focus playlists to help boost your concentration! My personal favourite is actually a playlist video on YouTube called Lofi Hip Hop Radio. The video itself is a live video, which means that it doesn’t stop and therefore there isn’t the need to have to keep replaying it! The video itself has become a bit of a cult classic with students, so check it out and see for yourself!
My personal rating: 4/5
I hope these apps/playlists have been useful! I’m curious to know if you’ve tried any of them, and if you have, what did you think? Leave a comment below and maybe even suggest an app I haven’t listed!
Do you have any study apps that you use and think are better? Let us know by tweeting us at @warwicklibrary or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I am very interested in the Hold app. Not only is it a time management and discipline app, but it can also be a good motivator. Thanks for the tip!
I have been using Quizlet for quite some time. I can’t say it’s super effective, but it does help me memorize better sometimes.
I also found out about Hold when I was editing this text to go live, such a great find 🙂