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All I want for Christmas is an ‘A’

With December around the corner, it may be the time for holiday cheer and excitement, but for university students, it means final exams. Exams are the peak of stress of the semester, offering a chance to either make or break your marks, which inevitably has everyone going a bit crazy on campus. Students often find themselves gulping down their fifth cup of coffee of the day by 3pm, eating pizza for eight straight days, and hiding out in the library with minimal contact to the outside world. exam-tree

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that has been neglected all semester in the name of going out every Friday and Saturday (and Thursday… and Wednesday…).  The core of the issue is a lack of time, which leaves students looking for ways to study a lot of information in the fastest way possible. So, what can students do to ease the burden of exams?

The key to tackling exams is studying efficiently and making every minute count – a task that seemingly becomes easier with each passing day thanks to technology. Microsoft has always lead the way in educational resources, with the Microsoft Office suite being the standard for school assignments; whether for writing essays, presentations, or statistical calculations.

In recent years, Microsoft has expanded past the commonly known Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to offer even greater utility to students. OneNote allows students to create an entirely virtual binder that can be easily organized for each course and keeps everything in one place. Studying becomes hectic when there are lecture slides, readings, and handwritten notes all in different places. OneNote allows students to:

        import files from their professors and incorporate them into their notes to create the ultimate study guide for final exams.

        Automatically upload OneNote files to OneDrive, ensuring that students never lose their notes.

        Combining OneNote with the increasing popularity of e-textbooks, students may never have to carry anything but their laptop ever again.

In addition, a Windows 10 feature that plays really well off of OneNote is Snap – this allows students to split their screen in half or into quadrants to allow them to look at multiple pages at once. Being able to view multiple programs at a time allows for studying, note taking and online reading simultaneously. Snap minimizes the frustrations of switching between tabs.

Virtual Desktop can also enable organization when studying for more than one exam by allowing multiple groupings of open programs or webpages that students can easily switch between. Even small changes like customizing the Windows 10 start menu with all of the best apps for school can save a few seconds here and there, amounting to substantial time savings in the long run. 

There are so many applications and features that are now available to students, often times it comes down to not being aware of what’s out there. Whether it be a flashcard app or an e-textbook that can read out loud, there is definitely something useful for everyone – it may just be a matter of exploring those options to refine exam strategies and save a few headaches.

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