Exam Tips, Good Luck.

This was originally something I wrote in an old notebook I recently unearthed which noted parts of our conversation but with illegible handwriting. I’ve tried my best to keep this accurate but if there’s any outdated information, please do let me know. – Nishat

My brother got 100% on his economic essay in his A-Levels despite the fact that he only revised the day before the exams. He kindly bestowed some of his wisdom to share – which is nice considering he could make a slammin’ book out of this.

Conceptualising Knowledge

It’s becoming a more prominent aspect in exams. You have to understand the content well enough to a point where you can see the connections between each idea.

Here’s an example:

History Question.png

This is a simple example from what seems to be two different aspects of German history merging together. In this question, they give two topics to work from, it all depends on knowing your stuff and having a good structure when you write your answer. We’ll address presentation in a second too.

Some could appear like this:

2nd history question.png

When these questions pop up, they’re asking for the same thing. Except you have to rely on what you know. So you might wanna revise.

“But this is all self-explanatory, is there a better way to revise for this?” 

Glad you asked.

Revision Technique:

  1. Scan your whole textbook or your notes.
  2. Try to understand, not remember, the points until you get a good grasp of the content.
  3. Come up with exam-style questions and write them on sticky notes.
  4. Allocate a mark to each question as you see fit.
  5. Answer them, duh.
  6. Do a load of practice papers.
  7. Then teach a friend (or just anyone, there came a time where I taught my cat about Kant’s Axe).

Ideally, you want to create both simple and hard questions. The easy questions are equivalent to 4 mark question (or you can make it 8 if you’re feeling frivolous) and they allow you to consolidate your knowledge. The hard ones link up various topics that can be compared or used to evaluate different sides of a statement.

If you do this and formulate strong answers, you’ll be able to comfortably understand the content and how it factors into your topic. There’s even a chance a similar question will appear in the exam. Then you don’t have to plan what points you need to make, you just need to focus on how you’ll structure your work.

This scenario happened during my brother’s test. He came up with a few questions in his head beforehand and when one very similar was in his exam, he didn’t have to stress about his points, he just needed to present his work concisely.

Once you got that on lock, you’re halfway immune to the threat of exam failure.

Let’s move on.

Continue reading →

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5 features every app needs.

Dear App Developers,
I would really appreciate it if you had incorporated these features within that sick app you’re dropping this year. These are just basic privacy and nice little touches, so if you do listen to me and basically what the internet is trying to tell you for the past oh I dunno, existence of apps, we will notice that. And we will praise you.

1. Privacy settings

Everything you know that can affect me personally in terms of my rights and my privacy, you must tell me straightforward. The ability to see what dirt the app/company has on you is important, and ensuring that you are aware of this should be their priority.

And don’t try hiding it in the T&C jargon, I speak English.

I see that for safety reasons, you may need some of my personal details, but I want to know how much you’re snooping into. The fact that Snapchat saves your stories and every single snap you send is a definite cause for concern.

2. Email me for confirmation!

When someone (or even myself) enters my Google account with another device, I instantly get an email on my recovery email and the email that got entered, saying that it has been accessed. I like that feature a lot, it pinpoints the location and device used to enter at that specific time.

What would be better, though, is if you send a “confirm this entry” message to my recovery email (otherwise known as your backup email) just like LastPass does. It’s saved me from having important passwords nearly breached into and it gives a sense of confirmation.

Google does add a “Secure your Account” section but confirmation is both quicker and personally accessible.

3. Changing default email addresses

Trello does this nice feature where they allow you to add more email addresses, change the default one and enables the ability to redirect their subscriptions emails to another address, which is basically the icing on the cake.

Some other apps do this too, but it’s a rule of thumb that the more controls you give the user, the better the experience. People do say that minimalism is key, and it sure is when it comes to looks and creating a simple friendly UI, but giving people options help too.

The balance needs to be there, but it works mainly because it is tailored to the user’s preference.

4. Show me the devices (I was gonna make a Jerry Maguire joke, but that would have made me sound old and JM week was a while ago too)

Now most popular apps do this, like Google and Trello. And this is helpful to keep an eye on who has control over your account, whether it’s with different devices or in different countries.

The better addition would be the ability to revoke any devices if I want, like Trello – because Trello is amazing.

But if you are an Admin, a team leader or just a normal hipster being with a lot of iPads, you want that feature to make your account secure and away from prying eyes. It’s a little thing, but it helps.

5. Disability-friendly UI

So for people who can’t hear very well or have visual impairments, this would should be a vital one implemented into all apps however possible. This is singlehandedly the most important feature mentioned in this article.

Here’s an infographic that I made (feel free to use it to promote disability friendly UI) on the do’s and don’ts of design for those with disabilities.

BONUS: C U S T O M I S E

Tuck this little addition into your settings, and I’m sure people will appreciate the treat.

If I were you, I’d have different colour palettes that are compatible with your app so you don’t have hot pink text and illegible typefaces vandalising the project you painstakingly slaved away on.

Just give the people a little breathing space to make the app more comfortable to use.

And scene

Every little thing does actually help, and it does go noticed, and it does make life a lot more easier. If you do add these, app devs, I appreciate you, and so does the internet.

How to save Google Drive space with Gmail

Well it’s 2.35am, you’re emailing your colleagues dank memes when all of a sudden, your 15GB of space fills to the brim with errors popping everywhere. You consider getting a subscription, but you haven’t paid rent yet so you’re screwed. Here’s how to save space.

Delete them meems.

I know they mattered to you and were there for you during your divorce, but it’s okay. Go to the ‘Sent’ section of your Gmail and just delete. Delete every thing that belongs to your heart. Do the same for the spam, inbox (any unnecessary ones) and make sure to go to the bin and slay all the beasts you once called friends.

If you have any subscriptions, make sure to read (keep the precious ones if you like) and delete. This button is key to all storage saving. Once you clear up your Gmail, head to the Bin and permanently get rid of all emails.

I’m sorry pal, those memes must go.

TIP: The emails with files and attachments, if not important or is already saved, can be deleted as well. They bump the storage down a lot.

Make a new account

If you use Gmail intensively and can’t handle the onslaught of emails, make another email and redirect all subscriptions and other unrelated stuff there. You can also use it for signing up to websites or just dedicate it towards being a professional email for outsiders to contact you. It helps you be a little organised.

Now watch those numbers drop as quickly as your marriage. This was a simple but hopefully useful tip that’s helped me out a lot.

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon

In a land abundant of liars, fake reviews and misrepresentations, a ray of hope slices through darkness. The path in the Amazon rainforest is a beautiful one, if you don’t look behind at the snarling goblins. Some do, however, and they consequently fall into a pit of scams and an irritating refund policy is required to climb back out.

But the torch of FakeSpot prompts the creatures to leave in fear.

FakeSpot is pretty much a website where you paste an Amazon URL into the search bar and detect whether the product or reviews are real or not. It does this by thoroughly scanning each reviewer’s previous inspections and boom, it’s given a grade – A being not fake, F meaning hell yeah, it’s fake.

*cue angelic music*

This is a lifesaver for those cheapskates (or normal people) that value their money as if it were their organs. Once it finishes its analysis, they give you a brief, helpful summary of what people have said about the product and even makes a word map.

So be aware the next time you delve into the Amazon Rainforest for snorkelling gear. You may be submerged in falsehood, deceit and, dare I say it, waste your money.

LastPass and 1Password: why using both is way better

(this is outdated and there’s a better post on this, but if you’re here for nostalgia reasons then knock yourself out – Nishat)

Do you know that feeling of excitement when you realise no one can find your bank details because your password manager is encrypted? Me neither. But I do know the feeling of being robbed from your rights when it requires you to pay up when you want to access your password from different platforms.

It’s outright unfair. 1Password allows you to insert a maximum of 20 passwords on a PC as a trial. But LastPass is “infinite”, you just need to pay for using it on another device. There’s a way to bypass these two, but it does require some sacrifices.

If LastPass is best on computer and 1Password is best on iPad, let’s use both of them! Download the software for both devices and benefit from the perks of having 2 encrypted password manager for extra security.

1Password has a simple, clean interface on iOS which is easy to navigate. When signing in on Safari or associated apps, you can quickly access your details directly from the manager and you’re in. Unfortunately, it’s a different story on the PC. I downloaded the software and extension for Chrome but I could only input 20 passwords at the most. That’s peanuts in this day and age. So for this trick, stick with iOS.

LastPass is also a great password manager. It enables more options for free compared to the other one and can automatically change weak or similar passwords for you. It keeps track of your logins and how you can protect yourself to the ultimate level. But this awesomeness is short-lived when you want to use your account on another platform and it completely. Shuts. You. Down. Just use the Chrome extension for the best outcome.

Sure, syncing them is going to be an absolute pain, but at least you can enter them easily. Plus, syncing them manually allows you to implement a routine where you regularly check if your password is safe and sometimes, you’ll even learn them by heart. You can use the features of LastPass’ Vault Challenge to ensure the safety of all of your login details and 1Password’s password generator to the mightiest.