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Five apps for dealing with exam stress

Exams coming up? For most of us the pressure of exams and final assessment submissions cause some level of stress. Stress is your response to pressure and while a small amount can be useful to keep you focused if it becomes too much exam revision can seem impossible.

The good news is that there are so many apps out there to help deal with this intense time:

Exam Countdown is a free app to keep track of exam and assessment dates. It provides a handy visual reminder of all your important upcoming dates. You can keep focused by easily checking how much time you’ve got to revise before you sit each exam. We love the fact that you can colour code all your exams and tests and use icons as a quick visual reference for each unit. You can also add notes to remind yourself of anything you need to bring on the day. Available on both Android and iOS.

Mind mapping is a great study method as it helps organise your thoughts, spark your memory and come up with new ideas. With SimpleMind you can create your own mind maps, or choose one of the auto layouts and fill it in. If you like finding creative ways to revise for exams then this app is for you. The free version does plenty but the full version is reasonably priced too. Available on all platforms.

Studies show that meditation can help you stay on task longer, switch between things less frequently and enjoy your tasks more. Headspace is a popular app, with meditations to help you through all phases of your life. The Focus pack can help you de-clutter your thoughts and sharpen your concentration, even under pressure. Try the free version or access hundreds of hours of extra content when you subscribe.

Take a deep breath. Calm is both a call to action and a defining feature of the app’s approach to mindfulness and meditation. It’s message is simply “you’re going to get through this, and all you need to start is a moment”. There are so many new apps for meditation and mindfulness, but Calm stands out for its ease of use and attention to (soothing) detail. Try the free version on Android or iOS.

PAUSE is based on the ancient principles of Tai Chi and mindfulness practice. When you want to shake off your stress and start relaxing, this app can work wonders. Against a backdrop of soothing music, you move your finger slowly across your screen, being careful not to speed up your pace. This triggers the body’s ‘rest and digest’ response which helps you regain focus and release stress within minutes. Check it out on Android or iOS!

Don’t forget that QUT also provides free, confidential counselling services for current students!

Top apps for being organised

We all know that one of the keys to student success is being organised but it’s not always easy to achieve. Most of us are trying to balance study with work, family, sport, socialising and other commitments so it often feels like a juggling act. Luckily there’s a range of free online tools to help you feel organised in all areas of your life.

We’ve chosen a few of our favourite apps to get you started:

In the second half of semester assessments can take priority but it’s also important to plan for exams. Exam Countdown helps you organise and prioritise your time in the lead up to exams.

Todoist links with the apps you already use so that you have one central, organised hub for getting things done.

Take your notes everywhere and access them across all of your devices with Evernote. You can also add photos and audio recordings to help revise for each of your units.

Use Brainscape to create your own flashcards of terminology or key theories and test yourself. You can also share your lists and browse existing cards. This is great for medical terminology in particular.

Music makes the world go round and it has also been proven to help you focus. Find your own study playlist on Spotify to help you get in the zone.

And remember to look after your wellbeing with some stress busters. Calm is an amazing app for wellbeing and mindfulness with 100+ guided meditations.

Don’t forget, if you feel that you have too much to cope with it’s ok to ask for help. QUT has a range of support resources and confidential counseling.