New Study Shows Students’ Sleep Significantly Suffers before Exams

Students across the world are about to begin (or are currently in) their exam season and one big variable this time of year is their sleep before exams.

The exam season is a time where students frantically prepare themselves to get the best grade they can get which can sometimes even be worth 100% of their grade.

Since it’s a peak stressful time for students, one must wonder how much it can actually impact students’ sleep and attitude.

Since this kept us up at night, much like exam-prep for students, we decided to run a survey with 159 students (and counting) to see how exactly exams and exam stress affects students during this stressful season. And as a bonus, we have 10 Ways on How to Reduce Stress During Exam Season from students themselves at the end of this article!

Here are some of our key survey findings:

-During exams, NO respondent sleeps 10 hours or more BUT when students finish their last exam, 46% of them sleep 10-12 hours that same night.

-40% of respondents sleep 6 hours or less on a typical night but this percentage almost doubles to 69% during exam season. 

-78% of students feel nervous/stressed immediately before an exam

The survey we used is actually still ongoing and collecting responses and will be consistently updated with new data so we invite you to fill it out so we can present more incredibly interesting findings for you! Take the 3-minute Exams-Effect Survey

When we first looked at the data, we looked at the total average sleep of all respondents between average sleep on a typical night vs. average sleep during exam season. The amount was 6.7 hours and 5.7 hours, respectively.

Although at first glance, the difference may not seem that significant, one thing to note is that sleep becomes considerably more variable during finals – students will cycle between extreme sleep restriction and sleep rebound more than normal, which could explain why the averages are somewhat similar. Regardless, we dug a little deeper and found some very interesting insights.

Sleep: During & Immediately after Exams

Student asleep in the library with book on his face at the university

Regarding students’ sleep during and immediately after exams, as we mentioned, we found that the average amount of sleep during exam season is 5.7 hours. We then asked how much sleep they get immediately after their last exam and we found that the average was 9.2 hours. Meaning that on average, students sleep 3.5 hours less during exam season than immediately after they finish their last exam.

How many hours of sleep do you get IMMEDIATELY AFTER your Last Exam? Pie Chart
How many hours of sleep do you get per night (on average) DURING Exam Season? Bar graph

Diving a little deeper into sleep during exams vs. immediately after their last exam, we found that 46% of respondents slept for 10-12 hours immediately after their last exam while 0% (NO ONE) slept even 10 hours during exam season.

This just goes to show how long and hard students study during this incredibly busy season and how much sleep they need to catch up on once it’s finished.

Sleep: Typical Night and During Exams

Young man finding it difficult to wake up in the morning

When it comes to sleep on a typical night and during exam season, we found some significant differences as well.

How many hours of sleep do you get per night (on average)? Bar graph
How many hours of sleep do you get per night (on average) DURING Exam Season? Bar graph

Firstly, 40% of respondents sleep 6 hours or less on a typical night but this percentage almost doubles to 69% during exam season. This shows that a significantly larger number of students are getting less sleep when exam season hits.

What time do you usually sleep? Pie chart
What time do you usually sleep DURING Exam Season? Pie chart

Secondly, the most common time to sleep on a regular night was found to be 12AM among respondents but it extends to 2AM during exam season. Since 8AM was found to be the most common time to wake up on a regular night AND during exam season, most students are sleeping 2 hours less during exam season.

It’s clear that exams are causing a significant drop in sleep hours most likely due to students cramming and frantically preparing for exams in such a short period of time.

Stress: During Exams

Worried student. Young handsome student guy looking stressed and nervous rubbing his temples during university exam tired headache session education thinking hardworking deadline annoyed concept

When it comes to how exams affect students’ attitude, we’ve found a couple of very interesting initial insights.

How do you feel immediately BEFORE an exam? Pie chart

78% of students feel nervous/stressed immediately before an exam. This means that in a room of 100 students about to take an exam, 78 of them will be feeling very nervous/stressed which can have a serious negative impact on their mental health if they’re experiencing this 10 times a year every single year (assuming the average student takes has 5 exams per semester).

On the other side of the coin, we found that 20% of respondents actually feel calm and excited before their exams. Of course, it’s expected that exams will cause stress and nervousness to the strong majority of students but seeing a number as big as 20% shows that there are more students like this than one would assume. Maybe the 78% can get some tips from this 20%.

How do you feel immediately after an exam? Pie chart

When students finish their exams, 69% feel relieved/calm immediately after, which is expected, but 22% still feel nervous/stressed. One common reason why they still feel nervous/stressed is because they then become worried about how they did and nervous about what grade they’ll receive. Another reason why they feel this way is because they likely still have more exams to write shortly after finishing their first one.

This shows that the exams itself is not the only stressor; worrying about their grade and how they performed, and worrying about their next exam are two significant factors that can pile on even more stress for students around the globe.

10 Ways on How to Reduce Stress During Exam Season

Selfie time! Four international students with beaming smiles are posing for selfie shot, caucasian attractive lady is taking, in school library building. Gathered, cheerful, smart and successful youth

We also asked students what tips or advice they’d give to other students on how to reduce stress during exam season. Here are 10 recommendations from students for students:

“Meditating, deep breaths, drinking a warm drink”

Bio Sci Student

“Eat enough healthy food and drink lots of water”

Psychology Student

(just like we mentioned in our 7 tips on how to stay healthy during exams!)

“Take good notes during the year and go to lectures so you’re more confident in what you know. Attend the last class of the semester where exam review occurs and ask your prof any questions you may have”

Architectural Science Student

“Be around people who support you and find friends to hang out with in between studying”

Business Administration Student

“While studying I organize my things and make a schedule of what I am going to study and when. It keeps me on track and it helps me to stay focused and calm. Before an exam I try not to think of anything and I don’t talk about the exam before the exam because that makes me really nervous.”

Science Student

“During exam season, exercise and keep active to reduce stress and fight before some self-talk & deep breaths”

Humanities Student

“During Exams: Study further in advance, eat consistent meals, study with friends (only after studying by yourself). 
After Exams: sleep, know you did the best you could and you can’t change the outcome now, hang out with friends, eat a home cooked meal”

Life Sciences Student

“When the pressure/stress is too high, go for a walk/fresh air”

Accounting Student

“Study in small increments leading up to your exam to avoid cramming. As hard as it is, carve out time (it can be as small as 10-15 minutes) to take a break, go for a walk, etc.”

Communications Student

“Instead of thinking of the grades you’ll get, think of the incentive as simply learning the content and how it can be applied to your life and others’ lives.”

Psychology Student

Exams: What Next?

Without research, it can be reasonably expected that students will sleep less during exams and they’ll be stressed going into their exams. But, with research, we can see exactly how much students’ sleep suffers during exam season and exactly how many students feel nervous/stressed going into their exams; and even see how many students are the opposite and feel excited going into their exams.

So a question arises: if students are losing so much valuable sleep during this hectic time, should taking exams be reconsidered altogether? Michael Scullin, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University and Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory says that exams should be kept but they should be cumulative.

“That’s best for learning because it distributes practice and capitalizes on the “testing effect.” For the last couple years, I’ve made all my tests cumulative and the feedback is always the same: students are more intimidated by Test 2, but they feel better and are better prepared by the final exam.”

Michael Scullin, Assistant Professor, Baylor University

student juggling jobs and school and sports and multiple responsibilities

Of course, it can be argued that students do this to themselves by leaving their preparation and studying to the last minute. However, it’s rare to find students who are on top of their school work week by week due to other commitments they have such as work, family, extra-curriculars, and even their social life; because at the end of the day, students are young and growing and want to experience new things during school.

Maybe our next research topic will be on how many students stay on top of their school work during the semester, and how they balance all of their commitments, you’ll only know if you stay tuned to follow along and gain some valuable insights for your learning!

Also, for any students out there, we invite you to fill out our survey below, it’ll only take 3 minutes and since this article will be consistently updated with new data, it’ll allow us to present some really cool findings for you that you can tell all your friends about.

Remember to keep the mentioned tips in mind to do your best in your exams! To prepare you for final exams we got you covered here too, check out these 25 tips on how to write any type of exam! Best of luck, you can do this!

Here are some additional articles we recommend: 

Final Exam Stress Makes you Sick: 7 Tips on How to Stay Healthy

How to Write Exams: 25 Successful Exam Techniques for Multiple Choice, Essay, and Mathematics Questions

57.5% of College Graduates Don’t Work in Their Field of Study


57.5% of College Graduates Don’t Work in Their Field of Study

Five years ago, it was only 27% according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. 

Given the short time for such a drastic shift to occur, that’s a startling jump. Should this be concerning?

It doesn’t seem to be for the majority of recent college graduates. When asked if they would pursue a different degree if they could repeat their undergrad, 76.6% of the surveyed said they wouldn’t.

This suggests for most college graduates the skills, knowledge, and experience they gained in college serves well enough to participate in the job market, though not necessarily a job related to their field of study.

Strangely, they’re OK with this.

So why do they detour from their degree?

The answer isn’t obvious.

But with the job market as competitive as it is, coupled with looming student loans, being picky out the gates isn’t a financially sound plan in the short-term. It’s common, then, for college graduates to settle into an industry unrelated to their field of study.

How about the other 23.4% who said they would change degrees?

Maybe they were misled, or they made poor choices, or the job market has changed. In any event, when more than half don’t end up working in a field related to their degree after graduating college, and nearly a quarter of them wish they had pursued a different undergraduate degree, this suggests their degree just isn’t cutting it.

One respondent said, “if you have a social science degree like [me], it’s near impossible to get a job right out of college. Most employers want people with master’s degrees or bachelor’s with 2-5 years of work experience. And that’s for entry-level positions in a relevant field … I just wish someone would have told me I needed a Masters degree to pursue anything in the field.”

Who or what is to blame?

Could it be the job opportunities, or lack thereof, in the field related to their study, the false promises of open opportunities from their former professors, or themselves for not forecasting the market before beginning their degree?

For some, exiting the college bubble forces many to sober up and see the reality of how expensive it is to live. What they’re able to earn with the degree they graduated with just isn’t cutting it.

That’s when the decision to go back to school to pursue a technical skill or a graduate program would help them appear more desirable for employers.

Yet, more funds placed into additional schooling could’ve been avoided from the beginning if the academic direction wasn’t chosen initially.

What to make of all this?

When 1 in 4 college graduates regret the degree they went to school for, it’s a problem.

It’s not easy to look back at four years of life and to think it was all for naught. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars painfully pulled out of pocket in pursuit of a degree that didn’t see a return in investment when it mattered most. 

According to a survey by Emolument, by and far, respondents regretted a degree in psychology the most with only 33% saying it was worth it. Fine arts, history, geography, politics and marketing trailed behind at 53% to 54%.

A degree is only worth its weight if it makes the recipient attractive to potential employers in the field they were intended for when it’s all said and done. If it can’t even do this, a job unrelated to the degree is plan b. 


If you’re a college graduate, spare a moment and take our survey below (3 minutes, I promise!). 

5 Ways to Study Better, According to Cognitive Scientists

Brain researchers have found 5 study methods that can produce better grades. Can your learning be improved by science? Try these study hacks to find out.

The science of learning uses cross-disciplinary research to identify the hows and whys behind learning. Much of the brain remains mysterious. However, the research of neuroscientists, biologists, and psychologists has identified habits and behaviors that can lead to improved memory retention and more efficient learning.

These five recommendations from cognitive scientists can help you optimize your study habits and get better grades.

1. Space Out Your Studying

Studying at frequent intervals is more than just a good habit, it’s a scientifically proven way to improve your learning.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the process of learning, forgetting a little bit, and then re-learning during your next study session actually improves your memory. It’s known as the spacing effect, and researchers found a positive correlation between these cycles of learning and final test results. It’s a way you can leverage the brain’s neuroplasticity as it creates new neural connections.

There’s even science behind the optimal study intervals. “If your test is a week away, you should plan two study periods at least one to two days apart. For a Friday test, study on Monday and review on Thursday. If your test is a month away, begin studying in one-week intervals,” revealed the research.

2. Practice Memory Retrieval

Re-reading can be a way to refresh your memory about the material that was covered in class. However, the problem with re-reading as a study method is that when the material is right in front of you, then you don’t build the necessary recall tools that you’ll need during an exam.

Instead of refreshing your memory with re-reading, repeating a memory retrieval process similar to exams is a scientifically better way to study. This can be done with flashcards, with practice tests in your textbook, or by building mock exams using OneClass Study Guides.

Even one session of practiced memory retrieval resulted in students of language studies achieving a 25 percent increase in scores when compared to students who study without practicing recall.

The students who scored the best, at 80 percent correct, were those who practiced memory retrieval at spaced out intervals, combining two study hacks. Therefore, the best way to study isn’t late-night cramming; it’s repeated practice testing over time.

3. Don’t Multitask

Multitasking can be a way to increase productivity by accomplishing more in less time. Even though multitasking can help you be more productive when you’re cleaning your dorm room or during your commute to UC-Irvine, you shouldn’t multitask when studying.

Cognitive scientists found that multitasking increases cognitive load, burdens the working memory, and slows cognitive function. In turn, this creates suboptimal conditions for studying.

Interestingly, this multitasking effect applies to mental tasks as well as to combinations of mental and physical tasks. For example, researchers found that subjects who were walking while simultaneously learning a list of words had 17 percent less word recall when tested. As the physical task intensified from an oval walkway to a more complex pathway, performance deteriorated even further with resulting word recall at 32 percent less than that of seated subjects.

4. Switch Between Subtopics

Interleaving, the practice of switching between related skills or parallel concepts, can result in dramatically improved grades.

Scientific American explains it this way: “Whereas blocking involves practicing one skill at a time before the next (for example, skill A before skill B and so on, forming the pattern AAABBBCCC); in interleaving, one mixes, or interleaves, practice on several related skills together (forming the pattern ABCABCABC).”

In one example of using interleaving while studying, students at the University of California – Berkeley would start preparing for their Biology 1B midterm by selecting three concepts to study, such as bacteria, carbon-based lifeforms, and inorganic substances. In the first cycle, the student would learn a little bit about each topic. The student would then cycle through the topics two or more times, learning a little bit more during each cycle. After gaining an understanding of the material, the student would move on to another set of three topics, cycling through this new set three or more times.

Notably, this learning method may feel harder, but results can make it worth it. In one learning experiment, students who used the interleaving method performed 25 percent better than the control group when tested the following day. That’s significant enough on its own, but there were even more gains over time. The interleaving group performed 76 percent better than the control group when re-tested a month later.

5. Explain It

When you use the information that you’re learning, you activate it in your brain in a different way than if you were just passively thinking about it. That’s why teaching the concepts you’re studying to someone else is such an effective way to learn it yourself.

The theory that teaching helps people learn dates back to the Romans. More recently, it’s been discovered that this teaching effect also applies when explaining the material to oneself. Researchers found that people who use this self-explaining method have three times higher learning rates than the control groups.

With results that strong, you may want to pull out your class notes to recreate mini-lectures where you explain the material to a class of one.

Find out how online study guides on OneClass can help you improve by one letter grade.

image attribution: Jacob Lund –

Final Exam Stress Makes you Sick: 7 Tips on How to Stay Healthy

Many students get sick during exams, but why? There are a few theories out there explaining this, but more importantly, we have some effective ways to stay healthy and help you fight off any sickness during this stressful time!

Picture this: after weeks of intense studying, cramming as much information you can into your brain, and wishing you kept up with your readings throughout the semester, you approach your first exam and feel a sense of relief after finishing it. But that’s just the start. You’re back to the library right away without even having the chance to pat yourself on the back to study for your next exam.

After rinsing and repeating, you finally finish your last exam of the semester and you’re FINALLY ready to celebrate and treat yourself.

BUT, you suddenly feel some soreness, a cough or two, and now you’re incredibly tired. Then it hits you and you realize that you’re very sick.

If this has ever happened to you, you’re not alone. Thousands of students get sick right after exam season and are left wondering why? Although there isn’t a definitive explanation for this, there has been a few theories that could explain why exactly you get sick right after exams.

*OR if you just want to know how to stay healthy during exams, click the link below!*

7 Tips on How to Stay Healthy During Exams

3 Theories: Why you Get Sick after Exams

Theory #1: Stress: The Let-Down Effect

picture of young caucasian male putting his hand on his palm due to stress

According to Marc Shoen, a psychologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCLA, the Let-Down Effect is when an illness or flare-ups of a chronic condition occurs after a stressful period ends.

Shoen says that after stress dies down, there’s “a down-regulation of the immune system, a suppression of the immune response, [as a reaction] to the easing of stress.” Meaning that when the immune response lowers its guard, the chance of getting sick increases.

One study actually found that panic attacks occur more frequently on the weekends than the weekdays; suggesting that people can get stressed and overwhelmed at work/school during the weekdays and then feels the after-effects of this stress right after the stressful period (the week) ends.

Theory #2: Lack of Sleep

Whether you prepared well in advance for your exam or not, it is likely that the amount of sleep you get before your exams will decrease; especially so if you left everything to the last minute (which is very common).

A study was done where 153 people volunteered to receive a dose of rhinovirus (one of the main causes of the common cold). The result was that people with less than 7 hours of sleep were 3x more likely to get a cold than people with more than 8 hours of sleep.

If you’re only sleeping a few hours a night the days leading up to your exams, this could very well explain why you get sick so much easier.

Theory #3: Travel

Since many students live away from home and therefore visits home during the holidays (ie. after exams), they’re put in situations where they’re surrounded by other students who are also at a higher risk of getting sick.

When congregating many individuals who are at high risk of getting sick due to lack of sleep and stress, it makes sense that traveling and coming into contact with others is a likely reason why you can get sick easily after exams.

One thing all of these theories have in common is a drastic change in circumstances; a drastic change in stress levels, amount of sleep, and contact with other people. According to ScienceLine, this drastic change is the main cause of sickness as the immune system “relies on the coordination of many different types of cells…and physiological conditions that alter the balance between the immune branches or the function of individual immune cells may have detrimental health effects”.

But, don’t worry too much! There are a lot of ways to stay healthy during exam season so that you don’t get sick right after. We got you covered.

7 Tips: How to Stay Healthy During Exam Season

#1: Avoid Excess Caffeine

man dumping out caffeine pills

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that pounding back numerous cups of coffee will help you but in the long run, you increase the chances of you crashing, making you more tired, and increasing your chances of getting sick! You can see how this is counter-intuitive.

#2: Take Breaks

One of the most inefficient things you can do while studying is forcing yourself to study 10 hours straight with no breaks. Not only does your health suffer, but it is also much harder to soak in the information you’re reading (which is the most important. Don’t forget!).

#3: Catch Plenty of Z’s

Although it’s easier said than done, make sure you’re giving yourself a good amount of sleep every night, even if it’s the night before your exam. The less sleep you get, the more likely it is that you’ll get sick during and even after your exams!

#4 Eat your Greens!

While junk food can be incredibly tempting as a quick snack during exams, it really doesn’t help to keep you focused and alert while studying. It’s tough (we know), but even substituting one junk snack for fruits and vegetables can really help with your concentration and energy.

A study by Marcos et al found that immune suppression (lowered defense of the immune system) did not occur in students that ate food containing lactobacillus bacteria (found in yogurt). So be sure to stock up on yogurt for this upcoming exam season!

#5 Stay Hydrated

It’s shocking how many health benefits water can bring you. This is definitely a necessity during exam season, especially if you’re looking to alternatives like caffeine or pop. Staying hydrated can prevent headaches, reduce soreness, and a multitude of other things so make sure you have a water bottle beside you at all times!

#6 Exercise!

It’s easy to make the excuse that you have no time to exercise during this hectic time but it’s one of the most impactful things you can do for your health. If you don’t believe us, some scientists actually suggest that if you’re going to do only one thing to reduce your chances of getting dementia, it’s exercise.

Exercising whether it’s going to the gym or even taking a brisk walk will help your brain’s blood flow and re-energize you if you’re struggling to concentrate.

#7 Pace Yourself

animation of cat and girl taking a deep breath

If you control the amount of stress that you experience by taking breaks, exercising, eating healthy, and sleeping, it will be much harder for you to get sick due to the regularity and healthiness of your habits. Ensuring that your body is not revved up 24/7 by taking even the smallest breaks or getting that extra 30 minutes of sleep can go a very long way.

Without a doubt, exam season is an incredibly stressful time for most students. But sometimes you just need to take a step back and realize that it’s not the end of the world and you can make it through this!

One thing to add is that this isn’t limited to just students. These tips can apply to many people that are involved in exam season, ESPECIALLY teachers and professors. From creating the exam material to making sure all processes are in place to even marking the exams, teachers are at risk of getting sick from all of the stress exam season can bring. So to all the teachers out there, keep these tips in mind!

To minimize the stress and negative health impacts that exams can bring to you, make sure you keep these tips in mind and you’ll minimize the chances of you getting sick and missing out on treating yourself!

Since you know now how to stay healthy during exams, all you need to know is how to ACE your exams. You’re in luck because here are 25 Effective Exam Writing Techniques to help you get through exam season!

Course Code Date & Time Location
ACAM250 001 DEC 10 2018 12:00 PM BUCH A201
AFST250A001 DEC 12 2018 08:30 AM SWNG 122
AFST351A001 DEC 18 2018 08:30 AM BUCH B213
ANTH100A003 DEC 17 2018 07:00 PM OSBO A
ANTH203 001 DEC 10 2018 08:30 AM BUCH A101
ANTH206 001 DEC 04 2018 03:30 PM BUCH A101
ANTH210 001 DEC 15 2018 08:30 AM BUCH A101

Hacking College Debt: 4 Steps to Save Years of Financial Problems

College debt can have a crippling effect on life for many years after graduation. However, this can be avoided by making smart decisions during school. Our blueprint to graduating debt-free explains how to cut costs, find extra funding, get paid for things you’re already doing, and balance side jobs with studying.

The choices you make in college could have a dramatic effect on your life for years to come. We’re not talking about your academic choices or your career; we’re talking about college debt.

College debt is a growing problem, and it’s shaping the lives of recent grads by limiting opportunities, increasing financial pressure, and restricting personal milestones. However, college students aren’t without choices. By making smart decisions during the college years, it’s possible to avoid college debt altogether.

In this blueprint to graduating college with zero debt, you’ll find out how to lower tuition payments, reduce personal expenses, and earn extra cash. We’ll also explain the tipping point between working and studying, so you can keep your grades up.

Find out how you can graduate debt-free.

Hacking College Debt Steps to Save Years of Financial Problems

Share this Image on Your Site!
Simply copy and paste the code below and you can share this infographic on your site:

The Student Debt Problem

According to the Federal Reserve, 53 percent of all U.S. adults with a Bachelor’s degree have taken on debt to finance their education. However, the prevalence of student loans has increased in recent years. When looking at only current students and recent grads, you’ll see that 63 percent of those aged 18 to 29 have taken student debt for their undergraduate degree.

On average, education-related debt that’s currently owed totals $36,299 per person. That includes student loans, credit card debt, home-equity loans, and other debt related to financing college education.

The problem of student debt is growing rapidly. In the past 15 years, the total amount of student debt has more than tripled. In 2001, the total debt owed was $340 billion, and in 2016, it grew to more than $1.3 trillion. This major growth is a result of two things. First, a greater percentage of students are taking out loans to fund educations. Second, tuition rates are increasing, causing borrowers to increase the amount of their debt.

The effects of student debt can go far beyond the monetary payments. In a 2015 Gallup-Purdue report, recent college graduates that have student debt are delaying major life events.

Percent of alumni delaying life events because of student loans under $25,000

Additional schooling 40 percent
Buying a home 26 percent
Buying a car 24 percent
Moving out of their parents’ home 18 percent
Starting a business 12 percent
Getting married 9 percent

For those whose loans are over $25,000, the rate of delay increased in each category, spanning 56 percent down to 19 percent.

You avoid student debt and its consequences; our blueprint will show you how.

Step 1: Cutting the Cost of College

To graduate debt-free, start by looking at how to reduce the cost of your education.

Consider the price of your school’s tuition and determine if your school offers a good value. According to the Community College Review, U.S. News and World Report, and the College Board, the 2018-2019 annual average tuition cost is as follows:

$4,854: In-state public community college
$9,716: In-state public college
$25,620: Out-of-state tuition
$35,676: Private college

Choosing a school with a lower tuition is the first step to reducing the amount of money you have to pay.

Next, be sure to apply for financial aid. This may seem obvious, but 36 percent of high school grads in 2017 didn’t fill out the FAFSA. For each Pell Grant-eligible student that didn’t apply, $3,583 was left on the table in unclaimed funds. That’s not loan money or work-study funds; it’s free cash that the government didn’t award to students. Additional financial aid options include scholarships and grants. Remember that when applying for additional funding, good grades can be an asset to help you increase the amount of funding you get.

The app Frank makes it easy to find free money. On average, Frank finds between $25,000 and $30,000 per student. With each student application, the app searches college aid programs including federal, state, and institutional grants. It’s free to use and only takes four minutes to apply, making it a fast way to earn cash for college.

Cutting auxiliary costs such as housing and food can also keep your fees and expenses down. For example, on-campus meals at the dining hall can cost 45 to 69 percent more than typical food budgets. On average, meals in a college dining hall cost about $7.50 per meal or $675 per month. Comparatively, the USDA reports that the U.S. average for food expenses is between $209 and $370 per month for low-cost to liberal food plans. Thrifty adults can spend as little as $165 per month on food.

There are several ways to cut college housing costs. First, consider becoming an RA. It’s free room and board, but be prepared for the work involved. Another option is to look into off-campus housing. Depending on your city’s housing market, you could save $219 per month. Taking on an extra roommate is another way to save. You could save $200 per month by splitting a $1,200 apartment three ways instead of two.

There’s also the option to live with family while going to college. In 2018, 37 percent of students were living with relatives, the majority of whom didn’t pay any rent. Unlike those living in the dorms, this option does add a commute to your day, and you may have FOMO because you’re not living on campus. However, you’ll also keep more money in your pocket.

Step 2: The Art of the Side Hustle

A side hustle can help you earn extra money, but it’s important to decide how much time you’re willing to put in.

Low time investment side hustles are a way to make money for things you’re doing anyway. A great example is note-taking. You’re already taking notes in your classes, and uploading them to a note-sharing platform such as OneClass can earn you extra money.

Another option is to use the health/fitness app, Achievement, which will pay you for tracking steps, sleep, and meals. You can also get paid to play video games by using apps such as Twitch.

Moderate time investment side hustles let you work as much or as little as you want. The example that many people think of is becoming an Uber driver or delivering food for Postmates. Many students also sell things online. Clothes can be sold on Poshmark or thredUP. Crafts can be sold on Etsy, and other items can be sold on Letgo, eBay, and Amazon.

An option unique to college students is to make money tutoring. No longer do you have to seek out fellow college students to work with. By using online apps such as Solvit, tutors can make $20 per hour and be instantly connected with students needing help.

High time investment side hustles will require that you dedicate yourself to your gig. For example, freelance contract work is a great way to leverage your skills for one-off projects. Using apps such as Fiverr, MTurk, or TaskRabbit, you can use your skills to build websites, design brochures, become a social media influencer, or do something else.

There’s also the option to make money on Airbnb by renting out an extra bedroom in your apartment or renting your whole place while you’re on break or traveling. Fair warning: Managing guests and cleaning will probably take more time than you realize.

Step 3: A Straight Job for Real Money

If your side hustles aren’t enough, a regular paycheck may help.

Many students get a part-time job. On average, work-study students earn $2,353 per year for part-time work. Restaurant and bar work can be profitable, and bartending averages $25 to $35 per hour, after tips. Keep in mind that your wage depends largely upon the place where you work. Using this hourly wage calculator from FiveThirtyEight, you can see how restaurant server income compares based on location, busyness, and customer tip amounts.

About 25 percent of student workers juggle a full-time job while going to school full time. It can be tough to manage the time and responsibilities of working while in school.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that employed full-time students work the following hours:

Less than 10 hours: 7 percent of students
10-19 hours: 8 percent of students
20-34 hours: 17 percent of students
More than 35 hours: 10 percent of students

Summer jobs and internships are also a great chance to make money; in 10 weeks of seasonal work, you can make $4,668.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to use the Tuition and Fees Deduction to reduce your income taxes on money earned.

Step 4: Keeping Your Grades Up

Your grades can affect how much you spend on college. For example, poor grades could end up costing you money if you have to retake classes you didn’t pass, if you lose your scholarships because your grades slip, or if it takes you longer than four years to finish.

Keep in mind that a key part of graduating without debt is actually graduating. One financial aid rep sees a correlation between graduation rates and number or work hours during college. Students working between one and 12 hours per week had a higher graduation rate than students who didn’t work at all. However, the graduation rate starts for drop for students who work more than 12 hours per week.

Money-related issues comprise the top two reasons students drop out. For 54 percent of students, the main reason for dropping out is to work and make money, while 31 percent said they couldn’t afford the tuition and fees.

Because there are a limited number of hours in the day, it may take some effort to juggle the time you spend earning money and the time you spend on classwork. Using this guide to lowering your student debt, you can make smart decisions to reduce your expenses, get the most financial aid, and earn money for things you’re doing anyway.

Don’t have enough time for studying? Use online tools such as class notes from OneClass to be more efficient with your study time.

How to Cite Study Guides in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard and Vancouver (2018)

Doing an assignment and stuck on how to cite study guides? You’ve come to the right place. See below on how to cite study guides for your assignment through MLA, APA, and Chicago referencing styles.


Cite Study Guides in: MLA 8

According to Massey University, since there is no specific format to cite study guides under the MLA style, they should be treated like books. If an individual author is listed, use their name. Otherwise, put the title in as the author.


To cite in-text, you would cite the original source’s author and not the author of the study guide. Similarly, use the page number of the original source, not the page number of the study guide.


Author: (John, 24)

Author + No Page Number: (John)

No Author: (“Beehive updating job,” 24)


References List:

Again, since there’s no specific format to cite study guides, you would treat it as a book. See below for what the format would be in the references list at the end of your assignment!



Sam B. 139.139 Introduction to Science: Study Guide One. School of Science,                      Ohio State U, 2008, p. 24

No Page Number:

139.139 Introduction to Science: Study Guide One. School of Science, Ohio                           State U, 2008

No Author:

139.139 Introduction to Science: Study Guide One. School of Science, Ohio                           State U, 2008, p. 24


Cite Study Guides in: APA

According to Massey University, like MLA, there is no specific format to cite study guides and so they should be treated like books as well. If an author is not listed, use the name of the school/institute instead.



To cite intext, cite the individual author (or group of authors). It should contain basic information about the source:

1. Author(s)

2. Publication Year

3. Page number (sometimes)

Example: (same as MLA)

Author: (John, 2007)

Author + Page Number: (John, 2007, p. 14)

No Author: (“Beehive updating job,” 2007)


References List:

Again, since there’s no specific format to cite study guides, you would treat it as a book. See below for what the format would be in the references list at the end of your assignment!



Sam, B. (2008). 179.704 Business studies: Study Guide. Palmerston North,                       New Zealand: School of Business, Massey University. 

Author + Page Number:

Sam, B. (2008). 179.704 Business studies: Study Guide. Palmerston North,                       New Zealand: School of Business, Massey University, 10-14

No Author:

School of Business, Massey University. (2008). 179.704 Business Studies:                        Study Guide. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Author.


Cite Study Guides in: CHICAGO STYLE

Under the Chicago Style, you would cite study guides as books or journal articles. Refer to page numbers from the study guide, not the original source.



1. Footnotes/endnotes are used to reference pieces of work in-text.

2. A superscript number is used after a quote or paraphrase.

3. Citation numbers should be ordered sequentially.

4. Each number should correspond to a citation, endnote, or footnote.

5. Endnotes must appear on an endnotes page. The page should be titled Notes and should appear right before the bibliography.

6. Footnotes are at the bottom of the page they are referred to.

You must include the author’s first name, last name, title, place of publication, publisher name, year and referenced pages.

Example In-Text:

Brittney found that “The milk was very cold” (33-34).1

Example Footnotes/Endnotes:.
1. John Doe, The Best of New York, (New York, Hamilton, 2003), 2.

References List:

According to Murdoch University, this is the standard format for citation:

Author, A. Year. Title: Subtitle. Edition. Place of publication: Name of Publisher.



One Author:

Walker, J. 2018. ECON 1000 Study Guide. 2nd ed. New York: New York University

Two Authors:

Walker, J. and Jesse, A. 2018. ECON 1000 Study Guide. 2nd ed. New York: New York University

Three or More Authors:

Jonathan Walker, Alan Jesse, Albert Black and Joe Ray. 2018. ECON 1000 Study Guide. 2nd ed. New York: New York University


Cite Study Guides in: HARVARD STYLE

An image of the Harvard referencing style logo

According to Southern Cross University, to cite study guides, you would treat it as the print version of a PDF, which includes the place of publication and publisher.

If there is no obvious author, the title would simply replace the author name.



Page number unavailable: (Author Surname Year)

Page number available: (Author Surname Year, page number)

No Author: (Study Guide Title Year)


Page number available: (Jenkins 2018)

Page number unavailable: (Jenkins 2018, p. 36)

No Author: (MATH 1010 Study Guide 2018)


References List:

Again, the study guide would be treated as the print version. Below is the format in your references list.



Jenkins, J (2018), MATH 1010 Study Guide, 4th edn, Auburn University, Auburn.

No Author:

MATH 1010 Study Guide, 2018, Auburn University, Auburn.

Cite Study Guides in: VANCOUVER STYLE

An image of the Vancouver referencing style logo

This style is similar to the Chicago Style where superscript numbers are used to reference in-text. Study guides are treated as books or journal articles.



As mentioned, superscript numbers are used in-text. They are generally placed at the end of the sentence, unless there are 2 citations in a sentence, outside of periods and commas, and inside colons and semicolons.

If a quote is longer than 4 lines, it should be indented as a block, in a smaller font, and without quotation marks. Then the superscript number would be at the end of the block.


One Reference: “In her research, Abigail 25 found that…”

Multiple References: “Many research studies have shown that…1,2,6,7

Multiple References (inclusive): “Many research studies have shown that…1-7


References List:

Again, the study guide would be treated as a book or a journal article. Below is the format in your references list, according to Wilkes.

Author(s) of book. Title of book. Edition (if other than first). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.


One Author:

Jenkins J. MATH 1010 Study Guide. 8th ed. Auburn: Auburn University; 2018.

Multiple Authors:

Jenkins J, Farrell A, Jokic T. MATH 1010 Study Guide. 8th ed. Auburn: Auburn University; 2018.

No Author:

MATH 1010 Study Guide. 8th ed. Auburn: Auburn University; 2018.

Citations and references are tricky because there’s always a particular way to do it depending on the referencing style. But hopefully, this can help you out with your assignment(s) coming up!

If you’re looking for more study guides to cite or reference, there are tons here, check it out!:

Also, if you’re stuck on how to cite lecture notes, we got you covered for this too: How to Cite Lecture Notes in MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard and Vancouver (2018)

How to Get the Perks of College Athletes When You’re Not on the Team

College athletes have access to perks that aren’t available to the entire campus. However, there are smart alternatives that you can use to live more like a student athlete even if you’re not on the team. Find out 7 ways you can live more like a student athlete.

Being a college athlete can have significant advantages. While there’s fierce competition to get the coveted athletic scholarships, the paybacks can be plush.

This list of college athlete benefits includes suggestions on how you can live more like a student athlete, even if you weren’t recruited.

1. Campus Note-takers

The UCLA athletics department provides professional note-takers for student athletes who may be recovering from an injury or have other qualified needs for assistance, such as ADHD. Having the extra classroom support can be a major academic advantage that helps athletes good grades during a busy semester.

Non-athlete Alternative: Download class notes from OneClass.

For students who don’t have the advantages of an athletic scholarship, the online note-sharing platform OneClass can give you access to shared class notes taken by a classmate sitting a few rows away. An Unlimited Subscription can cost as little as $9.98 per month; or, you can download notes by using site currency that’s earned from uploading your own class notes.

2. Free Gifts

College athletes often benefit from endorsement deals. For example, Adidas gave every UCLA basketball player 15+ pairs of shoes for the season. Gifts can also include a new PlayStation, Beats headphones, Bose speakers, or a flat-screen TV. “Most athletic departments in major conferences receive millions of dollars in free merchandise and cash annually,” said the Portland Business Journal.

Non-athlete Alternative: Get a side hustle to pay for your swanky gear.

With the extra money you earn from a side hustle, you can buy your own gadgets and gear. Driving for Uber can be a way to make fast cash on your own schedule, but the take-home could be between just $8.77 and $13.17 per hour after expenses. Tutoring can be a profitable side gig, and online tutors for Solvit can earn $20 per hour.

3. Free Tuition

Full-ride athletic scholarships are a big deal, but they’re competitive. Only 3 percent of college athletes receive academic aid. However, over four years, the average athletic scholarship totals $80,000.

Non-athlete Alternative: Get an academic scholarship.

Getting good grades could qualify you for additional scholarship opportunities, but you’ll have to hit the books and study hard. The latest figures from the NCES reveal that the average annual grant and scholarship awards total $11,810 per student, which could mean $47,240 toward your tuition over four years.

4. Easy Classes

There’s a notorious reputation of college athletes having access to easy classes. We’ve all heard about UNC’s “shadow curriculum” of about 200 lax classes for athletes that required no attendance and just one paper. At Stanford, a list of easy classes has been distributed to athletes by college advisors. Then, there’s the classic University of Georgia incident where basketball players took a class about basketball that included the following question: How many points is a 3-point shot worth?

Non-athlete Alternative: Hack your schedule.

Even without an athletics department behind you, you can hack your schedule to balance out hard classes with easier ones. For example, using flexible credits or electives to get a straightforward “A” can offset a lower grade in a more challenging course.

5. Private Chef

Unlimited food and snacks is frequently a perk of being a college athlete, and some schools use nutritionists to design special meals for their athletes. For example, University of Oregon athletes have a brunch station that runs until noon. The Wisconsin Student Athlete Dining Hall complex has dinners of prime rib and crab legs.

Non-athlete alternative: Get take-out.

Just because you’re not an athlete, that doesn’t mean you have to resort to the microwave. With a food delivery app, you can get the meal you want delivered right to your door. The late-night option on Grubhub can even help you figure out what’s open when many take-out spots have closed for the night.

6. Luxury Housing

High-end residence halls for athletes are a part of a new trend to attract players to college teams. For example, the newly built apartments at the University of Kansas include a small movie theater, a multi-purpose room for catered meals and tutoring, and plush lounging areas. At the University of Kentucky, the athletic dorm consists of a pool table, flat screen TVs, and a private chef.

Non-athlete Alternative: Move off-campus.

If your dorms are shabby, moving off campus might give you more bang for your buck. Depending on where you go to school, the cost of a student dorm could be the same as a downtown apartment with a balcony.

7. Free Tutoring

Many colleges offer student athletes a tutoring program. This help outside of the classroom can be essential to succeeding in class, especially for the 7 to 18 percent of college athletes in revenue sports who are reading at an elementary school level.

Non-athlete alternative: Use the Solvit app for instant online tutoring.

Academic help is available on-demand from apps such as Solvit. Within the online community, you can ask and answer questions in a wide range of subjects, including chemistry, economics, English, and calculus. There’s even an Express option for when you need answers fast.

Learn how OneClass helps 90 percent of users improve by at least one letter grade.

image attribution: Ljupco Smokovski –

OneClass vs. StudySoup: Comparing Note Sharing Platforms

Note-sharing platforms, OneClass and StudySoup, are based on a similar model of online access to studying materials. However, the two platforms have critical differences in their features, reviews, and service value. Choose the best platform to help your grades by learning how OneClass and StudySoup compare.

College students around the world have been benefiting from online note-sharing platforms. Uploading class notes is an easy side hustle for students who want to make some extra money. Downloading notes is a great way for students to catch up after missing a class, supplement coursework if they had trouble understanding the material, or optimize study time with prepared study guides.

OneClass and StudySoup are two major note-sharing platforms, each providing ways for students to share resources, learn from each other, and get better grades. To help you decide which academic platform to use this semester, let’s compare the features, reviews, and value of the two platforms.

Find out how OneClass and StudySoup are similar, and learn about the significant ways in which the platforms differ.

OneClass vs. StudySoup: Features

To help you with your class work, both OneClass and StudySoup offer online access to class notes, study guides, and an on-demand question platform. The combination of these three resources can be an effective way to get better grades. In fact, 90 percent of OneClass users have improved by at least one letter grade. Using these tools to get even one “A” can improve your GPA for the semester by 0.2 to 0.6 points, depending on your overall average.

However, a major difference between OneClass and StudySoup is the scale of the platforms. While OneClass has more than 2.2 million users, StudySoup’s user base is less than a quarter of that, at a half million plus.

Additionally, StudySoup places limitations on the classes for which notes can be shared. The platform specifies that shared materials must be from classes that have more than three exams and regular lectures. StudySoup also focuses on large classes with 50+ students. While materials for smaller class sizes are permitted, the compensation framework discourages students sharing these notes because the number of downloads can affect note-taker payment. Additionally, StudySoup note-takers are responsible for promoting their materials and encouraging classmates to download their shared notes.

In comparison, OneClass is an open marketplace where students can share notes and study guides for any class. The platform only requires that shared materials meet OneClass’ usage terms, including copyright requirements. OneClass note-takers don’t have to promote their materials in the same way as StudySoup because compensation isn’t tied to downloads. This open environment provides the freedom for students to share materials without stressing about potential earnings.

OneClass vs. StudySoup: Reputation and Reviews

Both OneClass and StudySoup have been recognized as leaders in the edutech field, and founders for each company have been named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.

On the review site Glassdoor, where employees and note-takers have left reviews, OneClass ranked higher than StudySoup in all three categories.

At the time of this writing, 140 OneClass reviewers gave the platform 4.2 stars. In total, 82 percent would recommend OneClass to a friend, and 84 percent approve of the CEO. Comparatively, 170 StudySoup reviewers on Glassdoor gave the platform 3.6 stars overall. A total of 71 percent would recommend the business to a friend, and 79 percent approve of the CEO.

OneClass vs. StudySoup: Costs and Value

Let’s consider the direct cost of subscribing to each platform as well as the value of what you get with a subscription.

An annual OneClass subscription is 11% cheaper than StudySoup’s annual subscription.

For StudySoup users, rates are $133.87 per year or $32.81 per month. There’s also a semester plan that costs the same price as an annual plan. With OneClass, subscription rates are $119.76 annually, $59.94 for a three-month term, and $39.98 per month.

While the costs for the two platforms are similar in range, the value of what’s provided is significantly different.

With a StudySoup subscription, users get an allotment of site currency each month to spend on downloading online material. The monthly distribution of 150 Karma points can be spent to download class notes at 25 Karma points each and study guides at 50 Karma points each. That means, with a StudySoup subscription, you have monthly access to six sets of class notes or three study guides. When you run out of Karma points, you can then purchase currency to access additional materials.

In comparison, a OneClass subscription provides unlimited access to the platform’s online materials. In other words, students with an annual subscription are paying just $9.98 per month to have the freedom to access any shared materials that can help their grades.


OneClass and StudySoup have similarities as educational platforms. They both offer a similar set of services, including class notes, study guides, and an on-demand Q&A platform. Additionally, both have been recognized on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list.

However, the platforms do have significant differences.

For note-takers, compensation on OneClass isn’t linked to the rate that materials are downloaded. This means that note-takers don’t need to market their materials, nor do they need to limit their note-taking to larger classes that are more profitable.

For subscribers who want to download class materials, StudySoup’s subscriptions provide access to limited site currency that equates to monthly access of six sets of class notes or three study guides before needing to purchase more currency. On the other hand, OneClass subscribers have unlimited access to online materials.

Even as a OneClass annual subscription costs 11 percent less than StudySoup, it provides significantly greater value, allowing unlimited access to shared materials.

Learn more about how 2.2 million students are using OneClass to get better grades.

*As of October 2018

image attribution: .shock –

The Best Way to Cram: 10 Late-night Study Hacks

Wondering what late-night study hacks can have the biggest impact on your grades? These 10 steps will explain the best way to cram for your exams. Even if you don’t have much time to study, find out how to optimize your learning, stay focused, and improve your grades.

How ready are you for tomorrow’s exam? If the answer is “not very,” then it’s time to start cramming.

Even if you only have one long night of studying available, the hacks below can help you strategize, stay focused, and cram as much information into your brain as you can. Follow these 10 steps to make the most of your late-night studying and last-minute cramming.

1. Don’t Panic

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic” is the key recommendation for successful intergalactic travel. It’s also the #1 recommendation when you’re cramming for your exams. After all, panicking is a waste of time, and you need to be using all your time to study and prepare.

2. Figure Out What’s Most Important for Your Exam

When you’re down to the wire, it’s essential that you’re smart about how you use your study time. By figuring out what information is most important for your exam, you can then focus on the material that can potentially have the most impact on your grades.

This may mean that your studying will exclude some of the information that you covered in class, and that’s fine. This strategy of information prioritization is a tool to help with exam performance rather than gaining a comprehensive understanding of the entire subject.

3. Use a Study Guide

Prepare for studying by gathering the information that’s going to be on the exam into a single study guide. This will be your roadmap to prepare for the exam. Include critical points from textbook readings, lecture notes, diagrams, or explanations.

If you’re short on time, you can skip this step by downloading a study guide that was prepared by one of your classmates. Search OneClass for your school and class to see the focused set of study materials that was shared by another student.

4. Optimize Your Study Style

You didn’t make it to college without a basic understanding of how your brain is most effective at absorbing information. The chances are strong that it’s not through osmosis, and re-reading your textbook is inefficient and likely ineffective.

Instead, people who learn by doing can work through sample problems. Auditory learners can benefit from talking aloud about the material or creating mnemonic devices. Visual learners may find it helpful to pull out their highlighters to add color to their study guide. Tailor the way you study to accommodate your learning style.

5. Use Short Breaks to Maintain Focus

An effective cram session can look a lot like a high-intensity interval training workout. Combine sets of high-intensity studying separated by short breaks. Researchers have demonstrated that these brief mental breaks help you maintain focus over a more extended period. A typical pattern is 50 minutes of studying followed by a 10-minute break.

The key to getting the most benefit from studying is to be deliberate about how you use your breaks to refresh your brain. Use this short downtime to change your environment, focus on different types of things, have a snack, take a deep breath, or even power nap.

6. Practice Tests and Flashcards

After you get a hang of the material, a practice exam can help you understand where you’re at by separating what you know from the content you’re struggling with.

For courses with a lot of memorization, such as UCLA’s Italian 1, use flashcards to quiz yourself on vocabulary. For other classes on more complex concepts, such as Introduction to Biology at the University of California – Davis, a practice exam will be more useful in assessing which material you still need to study.

7. Change Your Scenery

At this point in your cramming, your studying may start to stagnate. It’s probably late. The information that was difficult is still tricky. Your interest may be waning. Yet, the countdown to your exam continues.

For a boost of fresh brainpower, change the location where you’re studying. Cognitive scientists found that changing environments while studying enriches the input that your brain receives and can aid in learning, or at least slow down forgetting.

8. Troubleshoot Information Gaps

Unresolved questions about the material can impact your test scores.

While many students turn to the almighty Google to find explanations about course material, a more strategic approach would be to use academic communities such as Solvit that provide instant help for a range of subjects.

Simply post your question to the community and get responses from other students and subject matter experts. Many students use the platform to help with homework, but during the crunch of exams, the “Express” option is especially helpful for getting answers fast.

9. Sleep!

An all-nighter is a brute-force approach to studying. A smarter approach may be to leverage the scientifically proven sleep-memory connection. During sleep, your brain will consolidate the information you’ve learned and prepare you to absorb new material the following day.

Not only can sleep help with information retention but also reduce fatigue and help you perform better during an exam. Researchers found that one hour of extra sleep (increasing from six to seven hours) improved scores by 8.5 percent.

10. Exam Day

In the final hours before your test, it’s even more important to stay focused on the high-stakes material. Refer back to your study guide to make sure you’ve got a handle on any concepts that might be worth many points on the test. Glean any additional information that you might have missed the night before.

After your final round of studying, shut your books, gather what you need, grab some food, and get to class on time. Relax, and do the best you can on your exams.

Learn how OneClass’ study materials have helped 90% of users improve by at least one letter grade.

image attribution: Drobot Dean –