Midterm Study Tips

It’s that time of year again... Midterms. They always seem to sneak up on you. This is either the time of year where you’re buried in homework or you already gave up two weeks ago. Nevertheless, midterms are important and can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to study for them.


Tip #1: Write it down 

You can tell yourself that you “know” when things are due. But the second something slips your mind is when the stress comes. Try writing out exactly what needs to be done in a planner or on your calendar. Whether it’s a group project, a test, or a paper, knowing when things are due is the first step to success.


Tip #2: Start as early as possible

Don’t put off that paper to the last minute. Obviously, things that are due sooner will take priority. But, you don’t want to have to crank out a 10 page research paper at 11:58pm on a Sunday night. We’ve been there before, we don’t want to go back.


Tip #3: Get motivated

Once you’ve created your plan, you actually have to start it. I love to look at my calendar after I’ve color coated every class and due date. But, that’s not studying. Set time aside in your day that you know you can get some work done. Try not to squeeze your first study session into a twenty minute time slot in between classes. 


Tip #4: Get rid of distractions

My roommates would constantly find me saying I would do homework and then I’d be on my phone. It was just right there and it was so natural for me to grab it even if it didn’t buzz. Hide it. Have a friend hide it. Just put it away. If you know you can study with music on, put on some headphones and get to it. If you know you can’t, don’t try to start now. I find it easier to read long passages if I’m listening to instrumental music rather than a song I want to sing along to. Lastly, it’s so easy to open up another browser on your laptop and scroll through facebook or start online shopping. Remember to stick to your Google docs and your syllabi.


Tip #5: Take breaks

This is huge. No one expects you to study for five hours at a time. If you can diligently study for 45 minutes to an hour, you’ve earned a 10-15 minute break on TikTok or Instagram. The longer you study without giving yourself time to reset, the more you’re going to dread cracking open your textbook. Plan out little rewards to keep yourself going. “I know that if I finish reading chapter 8, I can watch three SNL videos on Youtube”. 


Tip #6: Ask for help

If you’re stuck or struggling with a class, don’t get discouraged. Reach out to a classmate and see if they can answer any questions. If not, don’t be afraid to ask your professor. That’s what they’re there for! Your teachers want you to succeed and encourage you to talk to them. No question is a dumb question. Also, if you’re consistently talking about coursework with them, they will probably be more lenient if you need extra time to complete an assignment because they know you weren’t slacking or putting it off at the last minute. 


Tip #7: Remember that everyone gets stressed out

It’s completely fair and normal to be stressed. Some stress is good. It’s like an alarm in our head telling us to make adjustments. Try and take time to relax this midterm season. Planning ahead will relieve some stress and just know that this is only temporary. 


Tip #8: Plan something fun for after midterms

Having a movie night with your roommates or a dinner party with your family is going to give you something to look forward to after all of your hard work. Also, it’s going to be a celebration of your time and commitment. You will feel great knowing you did everything you could to get a good grade.