How to use ChatGPT in your studies

ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI in November of 2022. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human interactions via artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP). ChatGPT has quickly become popular with students due to its ability to help answer many academic questions.

You can use ChatGPT in the following areas of your studies:

  • Exam preparation
  • Homework assignments
  • Getting a simple topic explained
  • Academic writing
Universities and other institutions are still developing their stances on how ChatGPT and similar tools may be used. Always follow your institution’s guidelines over any suggestions you read online. Check out our guide to current university policies on AI writing for more information.

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ChatGPT for exam preparation

You can use ChatGPT to prepare for exams by creating:

  • easy-to-understand summaries
  • multiple choice questions

How to create easy-to-understand summaries

ChatGPT can help you summarize or paraphrase text in an easy-to-understand way. This can simplify and rephrase complicated topics to help you understand them in layman’s terms.

Simply copy the text into the chat section by section and ask it to summarize/paraphrase.

Alternatively, you can use Scribbr’s free text summarizer and Scribbr’s free paraphrasing tool, which are specifically designed for these purposes.

Example: Summaries
You are reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and are having trouble understanding the first passage.

Please summarize the following text in a way that is easy to understand:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

ChatGPT result:
The text is describing a time period where there are both good and bad aspects, and different beliefs and opinions exist. It’s a time of both hope and despair.

Multiple-choice questions

You can use ChatGPT to create multiple-choice questions for your study material. This can help you test your level of knowledge.

To do this, ask ChatGPT to create multiple-choice questions for a block of text.

Example: Multiple-choice
Please create a practice test with 4 multiple-choice questions, each with 4 possible answers and solutions (show the solutions separately under the multiple-choice test) about A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

ChatGPT result:
Here is a practice test with 4 multiple-choice questions about A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, along with their answers:

Who is the protagonist in A Tale of Two Cities?

a) Charles Darnay
b) Sydney Carton
c) Charles Dickens
d) Jarvis Lorry

What is the central theme of A Tale of Two Cities?

a) Love
b) Redemption
c) The French Revolution
d) Poverty

Who is the villain in A Tale of Two Cities?

a) Charles Darnay
b) Sydney Carton
c) Madame Defarge
d) Jarvis Lorry

What is the setting of A Tale of Two Cities?

a) England
b) France
c) America
d) Australia


b) Sydney Carton
c) The French Revolution
c) Madame Defarge
b) France

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Using ChatGPT for homework assignments

You can also use ChatGPT to help you with your homework, for topics such as:

  • Computer science
  • Business administration

To do this, generate first draft solutions for the tasks given to you, and then improve them.

ChatGPT for computer science homework

For example, you can work on tasks from technical courses, such as computer science.

Example: Programming task in computer science
Please write a program in Python that calculates the sum of all numbers from 1 to N, where N is entered by the user.

ChatGPT result:
Here is one way to write a program in Python to calculate the sum of all numbers from 1 to N:

n = int(input(“Enter a positive integer: “))
sum = 0
for i in range(1, n+1):
sum += i
print(“The sum of all numbers from 1 to”, n, “is”, sum)

In this program, the user is prompted to enter a positive integer n. The variable sum is initialized to 0 and then we use a for loop to iterate from 1 to n (inclusive), adding each number to the sum. Finally, the result is printed to the screen.

ChatGPT Python code

ChatGPT for homework in business administration

You can also request assistance on your coursework related to economics or business administration.

Example: Business administration homework

Please solve the following task:
The following data is given for planning the ordering policy of a material type in an industrial company:

Planning period: 180 days
Total requirement: 30,000 ME
Cost price: 30 GE/MU
Order cost rate: 200 GE
Storage cost rate: 1.50 GE/ME (related to the planning period)
Interest rate: 5% (related to the planning period)

Determine the optimal order quantity, the optimal order frequency and storage range as well as the costs resulting from the optimal ordering policy as the sum of order costs and storage costs (including capital commitment costs).*

ChatGPT result:

The optimal order quantity, order frequency, and storage range can be determined using the Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) model. The EOQ model balances the trade-off between ordering costs and holding costs.

Ordering costs are the costs incurred each time an order is placed, and holding costs are the costs associated with holding inventory in stock over the planning period.

The EOQ model is calculated using the following formula:

EOQ = √(2DS/H)

D = Total requirement (30,000 ME)
S = Order cost rate (200 GE)
H = Holding cost rate (1.5 GE/ME)

Plugging in the values:
EOQ = √(2 * 30,000 * 200 / 1.5) = √(12,000,000) = 3464.16 ME

The optimal order quantity is approximately 3464.16 ME.

The order frequency can be calculated as the total requirement divided by the EOQ:
Order frequency = Total requirement / EOQ = 30,000 / 3464.16 = 8.68 orders

The optimal order frequency is approximately 8.68 orders.

The storage range can be calculated as the EOQ divided by 2:
Storage range = EOQ / 2 = 3464.16 / 2 = 1732.08 ME

The optimal storage range is approximately 1732.08 ME.

The costs resulting from the optimal ordering policy can be calculated as the sum of the order costs and holding costs.

Order costs = Order frequency * Order cost rate = 8.68 * 200 = 1736 GE
Holding costs = (EOQ / 2) * Holding cost rate * planning period = (3464.16 / 2) * 1.5 * 180 = 126,601.76 GE
Capital commitment costs = (EOQ / 2) * Interest rate * Cost price = (3464.16 / 2) * 0.05 * 30 = 523.25 GE
Total costs = Order costs + Holding costs + Capital commitment costs = 1736 + 126,601.76 + 523.25 = 127,861.01 GE

The costs resulting from the optimal ordering policy are approximately 127,861.01 GE.

*This task was taken from a document published by Prof. Dr. Kay Blaufus.

Note that ChatGPT sometimes makes mistakes, and it is always best to double-check if something it presents to you is correct.

ChatGPT for explaining simple topics

You can get explanations on simple or definitional topics from your studies from ChatGPT as well.

Example: Simple topics
Input: business administration
What is a balance sheet and how do I calculate it?

Input: chemistry
What are the main concepts of thermodynamics and their applications?

Input: English
What is a phrasal verb and how is it used?

Input: history
How has European colonial rule evolved throughout history?

Input: computer science
How do operating systems work and what are their main uses?

Input: philosophy
What are the most important concepts in the history of philosophy and how are they relevant in today’s world?

Input: psychology
What is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and how is it used?

Input: economics
What are the main theories of trade policy and their applications?

ChatGPT for academic writing

You can also use ChatGPT to help you organize your academic essays and theses or dissertations. It can help to optimize your writing process in the following areas:

To learn more about how to use AI tools effectively, see our AI writing resources page.

    Passing off AI-generated text as your own work is generally considered plagiarism (or at least academic dishonesty) and may result in an automatic fail and other negative consequences. An AI detector may be used to detect this offense.

    We strongly recommend against using AI tools as a substitute for your own writing. Instead, we suggest using AI-generated outputs as a source of inspiration and to guide your writing process in the ways outlined above.

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    Other interesting articles

    If you want more tips on using AI tools, understanding plagiarism, and citing sources, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations, examples, and formats.

    Frequently asked questions about ChatGPT

    Can I trust ChatGPT results?

    You should not trust ChatGPT’s results unconditionally. While you can use ChatGPT during your studies to clarify questions, you should always double-check the answers you receive against other credible sources, as it doesn’t always give correct information. Don’t cite ChatGPT as a source of factual information.

    Can I program with ChatGPT?

    Yes, ChatGPT is able to create code in different programming languages like Python, Java and C++.

    There are several ways you can use ChatGPT in your studies, such as if programming is part of your bachelor’s or master’s degree.

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    Tegan George

    Tegan is an American based in Amsterdam, with master's degrees in political science and education administration. While she is definitely a political scientist at heart, her experience working at universities led to a passion for making social science topics more approachable and exciting to students.

    1 comment

    Tegan George
    Tegan George (Scribbr Team)
    February 13, 2023 at 9:59 AM

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