Finals are right around the corner, so that means it’s time for the inevitable drag of all-nighters (not if you make yourself a nifty little schedule though) and caffeine-fueled revision. While reading the textbook or reviewing the lecture slides may be enough to commit the info to memory for some of you, many Barnumbians need an extra boost to cement the information. One of the most useful alternative studying methods comes in the form of online resources.
While you’re probably used to Googling your problem set questions or Sparknoteing the Literature Humanities reading, there are tons of other options for people looking to study and share knowledge. Here are some of the best.
There’s a reason Khan Academy is so well-known. Not only does it offer free in-depth videos with loads of examples for a ton of subjects, it also provides practice questions and review activities. Check them out on their website or on YouTube.
Best for: math, science and engineering, computing, arts and humanities, economics and finance
This is the best site for visual learners. Create your own mind maps, flowcharts, and other study guides to map out your entire thinking process. You can even share your creations with others and collaborate online, which is particularly helpful if you have a lot of chapters to review. Divide up the reading between classmates and make a map for your assignments, then share them with one another. That way, you still get most of the info you need without having to do thousands of pages of reading.
Best for: any subject
Though MIT may be an academic rival, there’s no denying that its online database for studying resources is helpful and comprehensive. Browse classnotes (broken down according to individual topics covered in the class) and videos of lectures, as well as other supplemental resources. Even though MIT offers different classes, the info for a couple of common college classes (think bio, calculus, econ, etc.) stays the same no matter where you are.
Best for: Engineering, science, arts, humanities
If you’re realizing that you skipped more classes than you thought this semester and want a step-by-step breakdown of the course from the beginning, check out the abundance of free courses on Alison. Again, these are applicable because the material for introductory courses is relatively uniform, but it’ll be hard to use this resource for upper-level classes. For intro classes, though, this site should help prepare you.
Best for: intro courses
The material you’ll have to learn for your exam is difficult enough, but figuring out how to actually study for the exam is another can of worms. If you’re stuck right now and don’t know how to get started, head to Studygs, which provides hundreds of guides on how to study, research, and write reports for different academic disciplines.
Best for: Any subject
While HippoCampus only offers study videos for 13 different subject areas, they are all quite comprehensive and are usually broken down into small, very specific sections. This is ideal if you really only want to spend three minutes or so on a topic.
Best for: math and science classes
If Sparknotes isn’t giving you what you want, head to another one of the internet’s many literary guides. Schmoop is pretty helpful (especially with quote and chapter-by-chapter analyses), while CliffsNotes has been around forever (seriously—your parents probably used it in college).
Best for: English/literature classes
If you’re in a vocab- or concept-heavy class and need to do a ton of memorization ASAP, make yourself a stack of (virtual) flashcards. If you’re not a fan of Quizlet (though honestly, who isn’t?), head over to a similar site, where you can browse and study the sets of other students and teachers worldwide.
Best for: any class that requires a ton of memorization—language, intro, science classes, etc.
Studying doesn’t always have to be a bore. If you find yourself struggling, change things up and turn to the World Wide Web—it should be able to help you learn all the info you need to get the best grade possible.
Mariella Evangelista is a Spectrum staff writer and a Barnard first-year. She is probably Sparknotes’ most active user. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.