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21 Genius Hacks That'll Make Students Say "How Come Nobody Told Me This Earlier?"

Honestly, the Wikipedia tip is a total game changer.

1. When using Wikipedia, replace the "en" in the URL with "simple", and you'll get a shorter, simpler version of the article that you can easily skim.

2. Don't buy a textbook unless you know that you actually need it. And if you do, rent your textbooks instead of buying them. It's cheaper and you don't have to deal with storing or selling them off after you're done.

3. Read reviews of a professor on Rate My Professors before you register for a class.

A review for a professor on Rate My Professor

4. If you're not allowed to cite Wikipedia as a source, remember that all the citations and references live at the bottom of the entry.

A Wikipedia article on World War II showing the background with a citation, the citation entry, and the reference source for the citation

5. Download any material your professor sends through Google Classroom directly to your device, instead of just adding it to your Drive.

6. Need literature? Search Project Gutenberg for over 60,000 free eBooks. You don't need any app, and you can Ctrl+F when you zone out during class.

A cover of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as shown on Project Gutenberg

7. Similarly, Internet Archive is a nonprofit library with millions of free books, movies, music, and more.

A scanned image of two open pages of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina from Internet Archive

8. There's also Z Library, which has almost 5 million books and 76 million articles.

Books offered from Z Library, such as Architecture 101, Lord of the Flies, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, and Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy

9. Google by file type. For example, if you're looking for a PDF, type "filetype:pdf" before the name of whatever book or document.

10. Export and submit your paper as a PDF (instead of a Word doc) so that you don't have to worry about the formatting or the file itself.

11. Try a "Bible-safe" gel highlighter if your color coding is bleeding through your textbook pages!

A reviewer's image of a page of their Bible that they highlighted, and the back of that page showing that the highlighter did not bleed through

12. Schedule your classes back-to-back so you can get through them all in one go.

13. Use a text-to-speech online reader to help you proofread your papers — OR to read notes back to you as you study!

A screenshot of the text box for the online reader that says, "Paste your papers or notes here for the online reader to read it out loud. You can even choose which voice you'd like to read it for ya!"

14. Use a scanning app on your phone if you're taking pictures to submit handwritten assignments online.

15. Talk with your professors after class (especially if you really enjoy the subject) and go to office hours!

16. Set a screenshot of your class schedule as your lock screen.

A screenshot of a phone lock screen with a weekly class schedule set as the background

17. If your school has gone online due to COVID-19, consider completing your general requirements online through a local community college to save money.

18. Volunteer to answer your professor's questions and keep your camera on if you can during online classes.

19. Reward yourself when you complete assignments ahead of schedule.

20. If your roommate won't turn off their phone alarm, call their phone to stop the alarm.

21. Bookmark all open tabs in one click so that you can close out of everything and use your computer without a gajillion tabs running.

A screenshot of the drop down menu showing the "Bookmark All Tabs..." option

And if you have any advice or hacks that you wanna share (esp in the age of Zoom University), feel free to drop 'em below!