How to Deal with Exam Stress

We love The Student Room (the United Kingdom’s largest online student community) website.

They have a cool wiki project with students posting tips and advice on a variety of subjects—everything from anthropology to veterinary medicine. The wiki project just launched, and were excited to already see students submitting helpful content.

Anyway, they have a great collection of tips on how to deal with test stress.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • If your mind goes blank, don’t panic. If you worry and panic, it will make it harder to recall the information. Focus on some deep breathing for a few minutes. The information is there, you just have to get to it. If after relaxing for a few minutes, you still can’t remember the answer, move onto the next question and come back to this one later.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. We all want the best possible grades that we can get, but sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. If you think that ‘anything less than an A means I’ve failed’, then you are just creating unnecessary mountains of stress for yourself. Try to do your best, but remember that we can’t be perfect all the time.
  • The night before your exam, make sure you have a relaxing evening, doing as little revision as possible. Get a good night’s sleep, and try your best not to worry; you have already done all your revision anyway! On the day, make sure you have plenty of time to get ready, have a good breakfast and arrive at college or school in plenty of time.

Check out the rest of the test taking strategies to reduce stress.

Free Online File Conversion Websites

There are tons of free online file conversion websites out there, but some act a bit buggy at times. Check out these sites the next time you need to convert a file—and let us know how it works for you.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite online file conversion sites:

Zamzar.com
Zamzar.com allows you to convert almost any type of format—from documents and images to music and videos. This site is great if you want to download YouTube videos and convert them to mp4s so you can watch them on your iPod.

Vixy.net
Okay, this site is mainly for converting online videos so that you can play theem on your PC, iPod or PSP. It converts files pretty quickly. All you need to do is paste the URL of the YouTube video, and then select what type of file you want.

We’ll keep adding to this post as we receive more recommendations . . .

Social Networking Hacks

So Ive been spending a lot of time researching online social networks for my grad project – and I stumbled across a variety of websites that aggregate online social profiles.

These sites allow you to manage multiple social network accounts and keep tabs on what youre friends are doing online.

Digsby
Digsby helps you organize all your email, instant messaging, and social networking accounts. This is only available for Windows right now.

Fidgt
Fidgt aggregates friends in your email address book all into one spot. One of the nifty features about this site is the Network Visualizer that allows you to create tag magnets to see who in your network is posting items about that subject youre interested in.

FriendFeed
Keep tabs on what all your friends are doing online with FriendFeed. You simply import your email address book and then FriendFeed scans the web looking for Amazon wish lists, diggs, flickr accounts, linkedIn profiles, blogs, social bookmarks, etc. This should be called SpyFeed.

Fuser
Fuser allows you to manage multiple email/inmail accounts (even within your online social networks). Theres even a social network leaderboard that shows you which of your friends on MySpace and Facebook communicate with you most (for whatever thats worth).

HelloTxt
HelloTxt allows you to simply – and very easily – update your Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Facebook, and MySpace pages with the click of a mouse. You simply type in your message into a text box, and then submit it off to whatever networks you choose. Pretty simple.

Iminta
Iminta is a website that allows you to create unique feeds for your various online activities. For example, you can create a specific feed for your best friend that only aggregates info from your Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace page, but it wont pull in the articles/websites that your digging, bookmarking, or voting on.

MyLifeBrand
MyLifeBrand allows you to manage up to 8 of your online social networks – like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn – without needing to log into each one. You can also easily gather all email/inmail messages from across all the social networks you belong to. This can save you a lot of time.

Ping.fm
If youre an online social butterfly and like to post the same information in your Facebook account, Twitter, Tumblr, and/or WordPress blog – then Ping.fm is for you. You simply add your content once – and Ping.fm will add the same content for you across all those networks.

Socialthing!
Socialthing! is in private beta right now, but it aggregates all the activity from your friends once you import your email contact list. It will grab their flickr accounts, twitter updates, blogs, pownce info, and give it all to you in one nifty looking news feed.

Soup.io
Soup.io helps you keep updated on what all your friends are doing online (sort of like a Facebook news stream), and easily allows you to import all your activities from del.ioio.us, digg, youtube, flickr, tumblr, etc. You can also upload videos and images into your Soup.io page.

Spokeo
This is another spy website that allows you to track everything your friends are doing online. It aggregates their StumbleUpon data, digg votes, flickr account, facebook profile, myspace updates, etc.

Where to Buy Cheap College Textbooks – 29 Nifty Websites

Classes are starting up for me this week, so that means I need to start ordering my textbooks.

Buying textbooks is always a pain because of the inflated costs involved.

Last semester, I had to buy a 150-page textbook written by my professor that cost $97 used. And Im sure that cost doesnt surprise you.

Textbook prices are out of control – especially after reading on Digg.com that textbook prices have risen almost 186% since 1986.

However, there are plenty of places online to buy textbooks on the cheap.

Here are 29 places to buy cheap textbooks:

Abebooks.com
Free shipping and a way to shop 13,500 online booksellers at once.

Addall.com
Addall.com compares textbook prices across the web. It provides you with all the fine details – like taxes and shipping involved for each store.

Affordabook.com
Find discounted textbooks and novels.

Alibris.com
Alibris will connect you to independent booksellers across the United States. You can find some great deals here.

Allbookstores.com
Compare prices across hundreds of bookstores affiliated with Allbookstores.com – which looks a bit like Amazon.com.

Amazon.com
Ive bought and sold my textbooks through Amazon.com many times. You can get connected to some independent sellers who offer great rates on used textbooks.

BetterWorld.com
Fund literacy, care for the environment, and save money on textbooks with BetterWorld.com. They even offer free shipping. Check out their prices.

Bigwords.com
This website is a book search engine that aggregates prices of textbooks across the web.

Bookbyte.com
Another website that allows you to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookCloseouts.com
Cross your fingers and pray that you can find a discounted textbook here. You can find some amazing deals.

BookFinder.com
Lifehacker.com recommends this book search engine to find cheap textbooks.

Books-A-Million.com
A site similar to half.com – which allows you to buy discounted textbooks and novels.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com
Buy and sell used textbooks

CampusBooks.com
CampusBooks.com claims to save students 58% on average on textbooks. Prices include tax, shipping and coupons.

CampusBooks4Less.com
Another bookstore search engine to find cheap books.

Campusi.com
This search engine compares textbook prices on over 200 online bookstores.

CollegeSwapShop.com
This nifty website allows you to buy, sell, or swap used textbooks.

CompareTextbooks.com
A cool spot to get price comparisons on your textbooks at different websites.

Chegg.com
Chegg.com allows students to rent college textbooks – instead of paying the high cost of buying them at your campus bookstore.

DirectTextBook.com
This websites compares textbook prices across a bunch of popular online stores like Ebay.com, Half.com, and Amazon.com.

Ebay.com
You might be surprised to find your textbooks on sale at Ebay.

eCampus.com
eCampus.com provides a place to buy and sell discounted textbooks. Youve probably seen their ads in your campus newspaper.

FreeloadPress.com
Ive never used this service, but they offer free textbooks in return for completed surveys. These textbooks have ads in them – which help pay the cost. Leave a comment if this service is legit or not.

Half.com
Ive found some great discounted textbooks here.

Halfvalue.com
This is a typical buy & sell used textbook website.

iChapters.com
Save the environment and your money by purchasing only the book chapters you need to read as an eBook.

Textbookrevolution.org
A website thats beginning to archive links to free textbooks across the web. A very cool project!

TextbookX.com
You may have heard of TextBookX.com because they have a handy Facebook app that allows students to buy and sell directly through your profile. Ive never used this service, but leave a comment if you have. Im curious if it worked for you.

ValoreBooks.com
ValoreBooks.com promises cheap textbooks for students.

And dont forget about these free online textbook resources:

Any other websites you recommend should get added to this list?

Organize Your Life with Google Calendar

If you haven’t started using Google calendar, we highly recommend it. Not only can you keep track of all your weekly activities online, but you can have the event reminders emailed directly to you. Pretty cool, huh? And you can also import concert calendars, sporting event calendars, and your friend’s calendars into yours so you don’t miss anything. This is definitely worth checking out.

Have You Heard of Desktop Two?

Desktop Two is a cool web application that lets you have your own personal desktop (or webtop) on whatever computer you’re using.

This webtop allows you to store files, use open office applications, play games, read your email, chat, and whatever else you like to do. It’s essentially your own remote desktop that you can access whenever you want.

And the best part is that it’s totally free. Check it out.

How to Choose a Professor

I cant believe its already time to register for Spring 2008 classes.

I dont know about you, but I usually have a three day window to lock in my classes. And that doesnt give me much time to research professors and find out what classes fit best into my schedule.

One thing Ive learned about being motivated and excited about a class is to find a good professor. It doesnt really matter if the class title seems really boring – its all about who is teaching it.

You see, a great professor can make even the most trivial subject seem interesting. They can make subjects come alive and cause you to think about the topic in a whole new way. And its those types of professors that you should gravitate toward. Those are the ones that will help you think better and thats what college is all about.

When I was an undergraduate student, I tended to choose instructors who I heard were difficult. Yep, the professors that students warned me about were the ones that I actually really liked. I think its because I loved the challenge of a difficult instructor. And I loved being mentally-pushed by an instructor who really loved teaching.

Now, let me tell you that I didnt just choose difficult professors willy-nilly. There are two types of difficult instructors: those who really love to teach; and those that dont teach in an organized fashion (and dont clearly articulate what they are looking for in assignments). You obviously want to choose the professors who love teaching and want to help you succeed.

Its so important to think more about who is teaching your classes, rather than what classes look the most interesting to you. It can make all the difference in the world in terms of your motivations, interest-level, and ultimate class grade.

So how do you find out who the good teacher are?

Well, aside from asking your classmates for recommendations, check out these online resources:

I Heart Buzzword: A Nifty Online Word Processor

Even though I’m a big fan of Google Docs, I have to admit that Buzzword (an online word processor) is pretty slick. It doesn’t have all the cool Microsoft-esque features that Google Docs has, but it has enough to let you create and share your web documents with ease. The cool Web 2.0 interface is also a big plus.

Heres a screen shot:

The only disappointing part about Buzzword is that you need to have Adobe Flash Player 9 to play with the Beta version. This is a problem if you’re trying to access it from a school library. Most campus libraries that I’ve spent time in are really behind in technology. And they (obviously) won’t allow you to install anything.

Despite the technology issues of trying to use Buzzword on school computers, this is a very cool web application. Check out the video preview to see how it all works.

Where to Find Online Tutors

Summer is a great opportunity to get some extra tutoring in subjects that you might need a little help in.

Here are a variety of places you can visit online to get tutoring without leaving your computer:

  • Smart Thinking
    Topics: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Medical Assisting, Neuroscience, Nursing, Medical Surgery, Pharmacology, Online Writing Lab, Spanish
  • Tutor.com
    Topics: English, Math, Science, Social Studies
  • Tutor Vista
    Topics: Math, English, Language Arts, Physics, Chemistry, Biology
  • Class of 1
    Topics: Math, Physics, English, Chemistry, Economics, Statistics, Accounts, Finance, Human Resources Management, Corporate Strategy and Marketing Management
  • Tutorzilla
    Topics: Math & Science
  • Tutor Nation

Please let me know of any others you think should get added to this list.

Recommended Reading:

15 Online Notepads You Should Check Out

There must be over 100 different websites out there offering web-based notepads to students.

Some of these websites are pretty cool, but most of them need a major design overhaul.

Well, were going to review each one eventually, but well provide you links to each one so that you can check them out for yourself. Check them out:

Feel free to leave a comment below about which online notepad you enjoy using. And please let us know if theres a particular online notepad that you think should be reviewed here.