Use these apps to achieve that A during finals


Photo Courtesy of iStock

An illustration depicts several adults working and being productive.

By Shalini Atluri, Staff Writer

With finals kicking into high gear, productivity may dwindle. This can come in the form of a text message or someone posting a picture of a puppy on Facebook. On the bright side, there are some apps to make sure students can stay on task and achieve the grades they want. Below are some useful apps that will aid you in achieving that A this final’s week.

Tomato Timer:

The tomato timer is a useful way to take advantage of the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a study tool where someone studies for 25 minutes and takes a break for 5 minutes. The purpose of the Pomodoro technique is to use the 25 minutes to have dedicated, focused and disciplined work. During the 25 minutes, there should be no distractions. This will allow productive work to get done within that set timeframe.

The Pomodoro technique is advantageous because it can be repeated over and over again. One cycle of 25 minutes is all it takes to get the 5 minutes of free time; 25 on, 5 off. Rinse and repeat. Since the Pomodoro Technique is only a suggestion, one can also modify the technique to fit the desired schedule such as 50 minutes of work with 10 minutes of studying or taking more frequent breaks when needed.

Forest App:

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    A brilliant productivity app, Forest, allows someone to maximize their productivity by building a forest. The goal of the app is to keep the cute, cartoon tree alive and build a forest. When someone doesn’t use their phone, the app grows one virtual tree which will eventually lead to a forest if the user stays off their phone.

    To use it, the user sets a timer for however long they want to be productive. During the timed productivity period, the goal is to stay on the app by not checking/using other applications on the phone. As the timer is ticking, the tree will begin to grow. If the user tries to exit the app, the app will send a warning that the tree will die. If the user leaves the app, the tree will die and the process to create a new tree/forest starts all over again. The app is predicated on the fact that no one wants to be a tree killer. 

    SelfControl App:

    The SelfControl app is a great tool to use especially when Facebook is the site you are on, but Quizlet is the site you should be on. This is a free app for Mac users that allows users to prevent themselves from getting on any and all distracting sites. Its purpose of blacklisting certain sites increases productivity, because the user is banned from accessing the tempting, almost irresistible yet time-draining sites. Once you approach the midday slump of any given day of finals week, it may feel tempting to spend hours on Facebook drooling over tasty recipes you know want to make. The SelfControl App keeps people disciplined to study for their exams.

    Exam Countdown App:

    One of the reasons why finals exam week is stressful is because they often seem like they are never going to end. With a week of tests, projects and essays all due or happening at the same time, it is easy to lose sight that grass is greener on the other side. Apps such as Exam Countdown can elevate one’s mood by counting down the days until an exam. More importantly, by allowing Exam Countdown to keep track of when that final exam is, it can help allocate time to which exams should take priority. The daily countdown for each exam will be sure to keep motivation high. 

    While it seems like there is never enough time during finals week, these apps can make sure that the hours you have go to good use.

    Happy studying, Illini.

    Shalini is a junior in AHS.

    [email protected]