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Tips for Surviving Virtual Midterms

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Albany chapter.

We are all too familiar with the crushing stress and anxiety that builds up during exam week. Now, we also have the added factor of most class activities being online. Between balancing classes, extracurriculars, and possibly a job, avoiding stress seems almost impossible. Not to mention, most people agree that professors are taking the opportunity to assign more work than they would have during a normal semester. Here are some tips to help stay organized and on top of your schedule to minimize the dread that comes with taking midterms in the era of corona. 

  1. Plan out your exam schedule: Take advantage of apps like Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, and even your phone’s calendar software. Mapping out all your exams and assignments during this time is crucial to getting everything done online. My personal favorite app is P. Schedule which allows you to schedule all your class assignments, set reminders, and even schedule exams. 
  2. Schedule your studying time: After deciding how much time you want to study for each exam, select one or two days before the exam and dedicate them to studying for that exam alone. Studying for too many exams at one time can be confusing and mix up information in your head. Trust me I am the biggest procrastinator and work always takes longer than you assume.  
  3. Make a study guide for each exam: Use programs like Quizlet to make easy, online index cards to remember important vocabulary, people, formulas, and/or facts that you think will be on the exam. 
  4. Commit to the time you set to study: Don’t schedule a specific time to study and then not follow through, this will set you behind and cause your work to pile up. There is no way to make studying seem appealing, but you will feel better after the fact if you don’t leave all your work until the last second. 
  5. If you need extra help attend TA hours, or join a study group: Though attending virtual TA hours or a Zoom study group session can be time-consuming, sometimes having others around can be beneficial. You can help each other stay on track and check each other to make sure you all understand the topics correctly. Additionally, a TA can provide extra insight on a topic that may have been confusing in class and you can go in-depth about topics that may have been skimmed over. 
  6. Remember to take care of yourself: Midterms and finals are important; however, it is essential to take care of yourself during high-stress periods. This will not only help you do your best but will make dealing with exam week a lot easier. We are in unprecedented times and it’s important to put you and your health first. This is another reason why creating and sticking to a schedule is so important because it allows you to make time for yourself to decompress from all the chaos. Also, don’t forget to eat and sleep as much as possible. 
  7. Lastly, drink: It’s vital for your health to stay hydrated and it will also keep your mood up. If you can, purchase a water bottle so you don’t have to constantly refill a small glass. Tea is also beneficial and certain mixes can help ease tension and stress. It is also a healthier alternative to coffee, which can also produce extra anxiety due to high levels of caffeine.