Tag Archives: Tips & Tricks

25 Favorite Five Minute Study Breaks

Filed under: College Life, Digital Interns, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Study breaks keep the gray matter in your head fresh after long periods of thinking. With that in mind, the BookRenter “Digiterns” (aka Digital Interns) compiled their favorite five minute study breaks (in no particular order). So when you’re feeling the mental burn, take five and be ready to cram even more knowledge into that noggin.


Real Life

  • 5 Minutes of Exercise


Online Games and Activities

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Everyone Loves a Sing-a-Long – Now in Study Flavor!

Filed under: College Life, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Making the perfect playlist for any situation is an art, and a playlist to study by is no exception. However, there are all kinds of conflicting data and studies out there telling us what the best kind of music is to improve focus, productivity, and retention. With all of that in mind, we’re testing our own theory; we built a playlist on Spotify of instrumental versions of popular modern songs that are either playing on the radio as we speak or you heard (read: sang) them at karaoke last weekend. No pesky lyrics will distract you when you’re in the zone, but the minute your mind starts to wander, you might really appreciate having a sing-a-long for a line or two.

Picture this: there you are, toiling away, studying for the GRE or the LSAT or the MCAT or…etc. Your mind starts to wander when all of a sudden…BOOM! You realize Sweet Home Alabama is playing in your ears. You start to sing along just to clear your mind for a moment, and then you’re ready to get back to the grind.

Give our list a listen here on Spotify and tell us if our theory worked for you!

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Getting Into a School State of Mind…

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

by Guest Blogger Tiana Bouma

Summer is a welcome and necessary reprieve for college students – a time to leave behind the homework and the late-night cram sessions and get back in touch with the rest of your life. The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

And while leaving friends and family is hard – and giving up the luxury of long, unstructured days even harder – to me the most difficult thing about going back to school is transitioning out of that Summer State of Mind and summoning the motivation that will carry you through the next year.

One of my own secrets? Instead of procrastinating – oh, so tempting – I start the process during the last few weeks of summer. My strategies are simple, but they work for me and you might find they work for you, too:

Don't feel like this guy! by Alexandre Normand

  • Start incorporating a School State of Mind into your daily routine. Study and review old (or new) course materials or read for fun two hours every afternoon, for example.
  • Set your alarm clock for the same time that you’ll need to wake up for your first class.
  • Make a list of the things you need to do before – and after – you get back to campus. I know that this is a no-brainer, but keeping track of your most important tasks and their results will direct your energy forward. (Without a constant reminder, it’s way-y-y-y too easy to spend endless hours on Facebook.)
  • Go back-to-school shopping! Buy all the essential binders, notebooks, pens, and course materials. It’ll help your brain and body transition back to school mode when you have the materials in front of you. (Check out Kelsey’s tips for adding a touch of fall to your wardrobe.)

by Mollusa

  • Set up a study station where you’ll have no distractions. Quiet, secluded library desks are usually a good choice if you can’t study at home. Make sure you have the supplies you’ll need, including note cards, highlighters, and sticky notes for marking important information.
  • During the first weeks of school, reward yourself for your hard-won motivation by reading a new magazine or grabbing fro-yo with a friend.
  • On Thursdays, remind yourself that it’s almost the weekend and that you’re only a few hours away from that mini-vacation.
  • And if you still can’t quite get your mojo back and need help with making the most of your study time, talk to a guidance counselor or find a tutor through your college’s resource center – that’s what they’re there for.

What are your personal tips and techniques for getting yourself into a School State of Mind?

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Acing Midterms 1-2-3

Filed under: College Life, Contests and Promotions - BookRenter Team
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BookRenter Mike

by craigfinlay

I’m looking at my school schedule for this upcoming week, and I honestly don’t think I’m going to survive. I have two midterms on Tuesday (back to back of course), a 15 page paper due Wednesday, and then a lab report due Thursday afternoon. The length of the lab report? In the words of my professor, “whatever you deem appropriate.” I’m all for hands-off learning but come on, some direction would be nice.

How do I get by you ask.

Here are my top 3 tips to make sure you ace your midterms:

1) Make a study guide outlining important themes in the class.

Memorizing dates, places, and people may seem important but having a good understanding of the major themes of the class is incredibly important to doing well on midterms. This is especially true for classes that are essay based or emphasize a lot of readings, since important themes or concepts are often spread out over multiple readings. Linking themes with evidence shows the professor that you understand the material.

2) Eat breakfast and get a full night of sleep.

It’s especially important when you have early morning exams to eat breakfast and get plenty of rest so the you are alert and fully awake by test time. Just think it’s so much easier to concentrate when I don’t have to worry about other students giving me the death stare because my stomach is growling loudly.

3) Re-write old lectures notes or say them out loud as you read over them

I’ve found that repetition is extremely important when I’m studying for a test that deals with a lot of memorization. I always think about muscle memory in sports; by doing the same thing over and over, I’m cementing that action into stone. It’s the same with tests. Re-writing old lecture notes into a more organized fashion will also help you better understand important concepts of the test.

So here you have it, my top 3 tips for getting an A on your upcoming midterm or assignment. Have another tip? I can use all the advice I can get to make sure I survive the upcoming week.

Good luck on your tests.

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Eric’s Top 4 Tips on Surviving College

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Eric

by BLW Photography

Dealing with Stress – The Little Things Make a Huge Difference!
A recent New York Times article shows the average college freshman’s mental health is at its lowest level in 25 years.  When I discovered this information I started thinking back on my freshman year of college and how difficult a transition it was for me.  This inspired me to think of some creative ways to help cope with the long grind that is college.

  1. Stay active – go to the school’s fitness center, play inter-mural sports, go on a walk, have a snowball fight… Do anything to get out and get your mind off school.  Exercise and stress: Get moving to combat stress
  2. Eat Healthy – If you’re sitting around eating pizza and cheeseburgers every day you might want to change it up and quick.  Eating healthy meals can have a positive effect on your academic performance.  You don’t have to go crazy and become a vegan, but simply adding more fresh fruit and veggies to your diet is a great start. 5 Stress-Reducing Foods You Should Be Eating
  3. Set Goals– You probably hear this all the time, but let me tell you a little secret, it seriously works!  If you want to avoid cramming and all-nighters set up a calendar with detailed descriptions of what you need to get done each day to keep you on track.  It might seem tedious, but it’s a great way to make sure you get everything done on time without going crazy.  Top 5 Tips On Second Semester Goal Setting
  4. Sleep, Sleep, and um more sleep –Socializing in college, especially living in the dorms, can be distracting.  If you find yourself slipping up in classes because you’re up playing video games with your roommate at 4 am, stop!  The video games will be waiting for you tomorrow.  Stress and Sleep Disorders

What do you to relieve stress?

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