9 hacks to make your school year easier

A student downloads an app on her computer

Sophomore Lily Hinden using MyNoise.net (school hack #7) to block out any distracting background noises. She is using MyNoise.net so she can focus on her school work and complete it during Mustang Block. (Photo by Melissa Boyle)

Schoolwork can become difficult and frustrating, and finding a way to keep it all organized can be a challenge at the beginning of the school year. Here are nine simple, yet efficient hacks that will keep you on task, improve your writing, and overall make you into a better student.

  1. After you finish an essay, copy and paste it into the English setting in Google Translate, and then listen to it play back to you.

Listening to your writing aloud will allow you to hear any grammatical errors that may have missed the first time you read through it.

  1. When delivering a speech, print it, and change the text color every four lines.

Changing the text color every four lines will help you keep your place when reading it and it will help you memorize it visually.

  1. Use Word Hippo to find words you can’t think of at the top of your head, but can describe.

Word Hippo is a site that has numerous functions. It works as a dictionary by defining any word you look up and it also has the option to provide sentences using the word you want. Word Hippo is also a thesaurus. It can find words that contain certain words or letters within it and it can find different forms and tenses of that word. It can translate to and from English and pronounce any word from any language. This site is a great tool for writing poetry because it finds words that rhyme and it also finds words that start or end with any letters you are looking for.

  1. If you are struggling to remember a word, clench your fist.

Clenching your fist, according to BBC News, has been proven to increase brain activity and improve memory.

  1. Read upside down to absorb what you’re reading/studying faster and more efficiently.

Turning your study guides and notes upside down while studying forces your brain to focus, and actually think about what you’re reading. Cramming is not an efficient form of studying and should be a last resort, however, when cramming, reading upside down is especially beneficial.

  1. Eat dark chocolate to help you retain information.

Dark chocolate surprisingly has many benefits relating to retaining information and improving cognitive function. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, which improves the ability to take in information; it boosts attention span; and improves problem solving skills. Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine which is known to improve memory, mood, and concentration.

  1. White Noise is a free, scientifically developed website that blocks out background noises and helps you focus.

This site provides a variety of different color frequencies to chose from, each serving a slightly different purpose. White noise is used to camouflage any background noises, help you relax, and to aid in falling asleep.

  1. Use Hemingway App to edit your essays before turning them in.

This website is a writing tool that lets you paste your text onto it, and you’ll receive suggestions for editing and improving your writing. This site highlights sentences that are hard to understand, alerts you of phrases written in passive voice, keeps count of your adverbs, and tells you the grade reading level of your writing.

  1. Download the PhotoMath app for step by step guidance

PhotoMath is a free app that doesn’t just solve the problem for you, but it takes you through each step using simple and clear instructions. All you have to do is take a photo of your math problem and submit it.


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