This month in The Learning Hub we’ve been collecting various “student hacks” or tips and tricks to help you be successful in your classes this semester. Today, we’re bringing you our next three – read on to check them out!
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
Do you spend a ton of time using your mouse to click the various buttons in Word or your browser, like cut, copy, and paste? Do you struggle to create hanging indents and other formatting features in your papers because you have to navigate through several menus of options?
Hey – here’s a trick for you. There’s totally keyboard shortcuts for pretty much everything you can do in Word, and there are lots of keyboard shortcuts for other stuff, too, like your browser, Adobe software, and lots more. Try them on for size to make your time more productive, effective, and efficient!
For quick reference, here’s a few keyboard shortcuts that you’ll likely use for every homework or writing assignment you tackle:
- Control+C (Cmd+C for Mac) is Copy
- Control+V (Cmd+V for Mac) is Cut
- Control+P (Cmd+P for Mac) is Paste
And my very favorite, magical keyboard shortcut is for the pesky hanging indent (the formatting for citations where the first line is “flush” with the left margin and the subsequent lines are indented in half an inch). Just click into your fully-formed citation or click and drag to highlight it, then hit “Control+T” (Cmd+T for Mac) to automatically format citations into a hanging indent. Amazing!
2. Color Coding
If you aren’t already taking advantage of many study techniques out there to make your reading, studying, and test-taking easier, you should really consider it! There’s a ton of research out there, and lots and lots of tactics. Try out a few and see which ones you like best.
One that seems to never fail, though, is definitely color coding. Create a color code system for your note-taking and studying that is the same for every class. It will help you to, at a glance, know what you already know, what you need to look up, and what you should spend the most time on.
Create that color code system, then actually use it. You’ll be so much happier (and more studious) for it!
3. Test Tactics
Do you have test anxiety? Do you get to class, feeling prepared, and then the second the professor lays the test down in front of you you freeze and forget everything you know? Try this on for size for any tests where you will need to memorize information, like formulas for math tests or dates and other factoids for a history test.
When you are studying, do your best to memorize those things. Just before your test, do everything you can to have them in your head. Then, when your professor drops the test down in front of you, quickly turn it over or find a blank spot to regurgitate all of that information for future reference. Dump it down so that you can refer back to it as you then begin taking the actual test.
There’s no shame in putting those formulas or factoids there for yourself, just in case you’ll need them. Then you won’t have to spend so much brain power keeping the formulas or factoids in your head – you’ll be able to spend it instead on how to actually answer the specific questions of the test.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this second group of three Student Hacks! Please let us know what you think, and if you need additional help, don’t be afraid to make an appointment in The Learning Hub! Our contact information is below:
The Learning Hub
Brookens Suite 460