How to Study for Midterms

Midterm week. Probably the second most stressful week of the year, only second to Finals Week.

Midterms are tough, but you're tougher! 

Get your best grades with help from these study tips!


Use Flashcards

Flashcards don't work for everything, but they are one of the best study tools when you need to learn things quickly and clearly. 

Flashcards work best with definitions, formulas, vocab, language translations, laws and acts, and properties.

Depending on what you need to know, they may also work with people and places (like capital cities).


Write, Write, Write

Writing something down is an extremely effective method of creating long term memories. 

Even when making flashcards, like mentioned above, try not to use online flashcard makers. The information is easier to learn when you have to actually write the information on the card, instead of just copying and pasting.

They key to studying by writing is not to copy your notes down word for word. Read your notes and then, witouht looking, try to summarize the main concepts and the words you need to know. 

It's okay to look back at your notes to make sure you are writing everything correctly, but use it to improve your summary, not just as something copy without processing.


Do practice problems

Especially in math and science, there is no better way to master a skill than to practice over and over. 

And even though it's not fun, practice the concepts you are the worst at. 

Once you know something, move on. Don't keep practicing things you know how to do.


Set Timers

Use your phone timer or an online timer to keep yourself focused. It helps to make you aware of how much time you are actually spending on studying. 

Set timers of 10-20 minutes each and do as much work as possible as you can until it is up. 

Then refresh and try again. It might seem like a weird trick, but this can really boost your productivity.


Listen to Music With Words You Don't Know

Listening to music while doing a task can improve your performance on it! Plus, it can cut out all the distracting noises around you while you study.

While you're studying, listen to a new playlist of a genre you like, or even one in a language you wont understand. 

Study music without words is always good, too - you just want to make sure you're not getting distracted by the lyrics.



Find a Good Space

Studying alone in a space where you have no other distractions is the best way to stay focused and on track.

Don't study in your room or with group of friends, unless they are also studying. Group studying can be good as well, but you won't get homework done around a bunch of friends just chilling out.



Along with finding a good space, you want to make sure you are getting rid of any reason to leave your spot. Bring your charger, some water, a snack, a jacket - whatever you might need within the time you are studying. That way you won't have to start over so many times.


Think About the Subject

One of the best things you can do, even when you're not cramming, is simply to think about the subject you are taking. What does the teacher want you to get out of this class? What concept is this topic trying to make me learn? Why is this relevant to what we read or practice? 

Answering these questions can help you feel a little better about studying because it will feel more purposeful. You won't feel like you're just studying for a test, you're trying to learn.


Just Get Started

Procrastination is always one of the biggest issues with studying for anything. That's because "studying" seems like such a big task that you feel like you couldn't possibly tackle it. 

Break it down into smaller steps, and then start with the easiest one. 

Just getting yourself going makes continuing to study so much easier.