Students use Crash Course as learning tool



Lauren Hannani staff writer
Studying methods can be different for everybody. Rereading the book, taking practice tests and reviewing notes have always been common ways to study before a test. But recently, students have been using another resource to help them cram before a big exam: Crash Course. Made by different YouTubers, such as John and Hank Green, these videos pack pages of information into a short and concise 10-15 minute lesson and cover a variety of subjects, from U.S History to astronomy.
Since AP exams began, some students, primarily juniors, have been watching these videos more than usual because they squeeze important and relevant information into one simplified and short lesson.
“My early experiences with Crash Course were in my AP U.S. History class. My favorite aspect of the video was its ability to cram lots of important information in a short period of time,” junior Natasha Dardashti said. “Since then, I’ve use Crash Course for my honors physiology and AP Psych classes, and my understanding of the courses has dramatically increased since then.”
Junior David Bakalov, who also used Crash Course to study for the AP U.S. History exam, found that watching the videos was the quickest and most efficient way to study all of the information he needed to know for the test.
“I found out about it through recommendations from both my friends and from people online,” Bakalov said. “I wanted to try it out because I realized that, due to my other APs, I would not be able to study as much for APUSH, so I needed a way to learn the information quickly.”
In fact, Crash Course seems to be the most popular studying method among students who need to review for an AP exam.
“I would consider Crash Course to be the most helpful resource other than the book or my teachers,” junior Leila Shamtobi said. “I don’t think high school would dramatically be different without it, but studying for AP exams would.”
However, AP exam week is not the only time students watch Crash Course. Some teachers like to show the videos to their students throughout the year. Physiology teacher Sue Yovetich has been showing Crash Course to her students for about two years, and has only seen it help the students understand the material.
“Even as we go through it and stop and start talking about it, I feel like there is more of an understanding as we go,” Yovetich said. “So when I started using it, students really liked it, so I continued showing it.  I heard of people going home and watching it over and over again, so it’s something they have access to as well that they can watch as many times as they want, which is great.”
Some students feel like they need to watch the crash course videos before almost every test in order to feel confident.
“John Green has saved my life, my grades and my GPA. Without Crash Course, my grades would probably crash,” Shamtobi said. “I learn better with visuals and John Green does little thought bubbles and animation, so it helps me visualize events. For example, I remember taking an APUSH test and I almost didn’t know the answer to a question, but then I remembered John Green talking about it in one of his thought bubbles. So it not only helps me understand the content, but also visualize it.”
Although many students find Crash Course very useful, especially during AP exams, they do not all recommend using the videos before a test.
“I would only recommend using Crash Course if you are short on time like I was,” Bakalov said.  “If you have more time to study, Crash Course is a great supplement but should certainly not be your only method of preparing as it does not go as in depth as other detailed learning resources do. ”
Overall, students are looking forward to using Crash Course again in the future.
“Of course I’m going to use it in the future… it’s literally my holy grail,” Shamtobi said. “I’ve used it for APUSH, chemistry, AP Psychology… whenever I would be driving, instead of playing music, I would play crash course. You can’t play a textbook when you’re driving.”