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

As I am sure you’re all aware, midterms are coming up faster than anyone would like to admit. For this purpose, I’ve put together a guide on the best ways to study and different things that have helped me throughout the years.

1. Start Earlier Than You Think

This is something I have to remind myself ALL the time. The exams that I have always felt the most prepared for and done the best on are the ones that I spaced out my studying and really learned the information. Usually, a week and a half is a good time to really start thinking about what and how you’re going to study. On your first day of studying, map out a study plan. Something like reading chapter one and two on Monday, three and four on Tuesday, take practice exam Wednesday and so on. I have found that assigning pieces of studying to myself makes it more manageable and allows me to really get to know the material well. Make sure the study plan works for you and your schedule. If you need, give yourself more days and study less on every individual day. Cramming isn’t effective and you will remember the information for not only this exam, but also the final with this mechanism. 

Silver macbook by planner and flowers
Pexels / Alana Sousa

2. Rewrite And Engage With Your Notes

Before coming to college, my mom always told me that she always rewrote her notes. Writing things out helps it stick in your brain and comprehend what’s being said. Maybe even try rewording some stuff and drawing pictures. Since starting college, I have really benefited from this. I feel like it is a good way to mix up studying too. A lot of times, studying is reading and rereading, but this can give you a defined start and stop point in your work. If this isn’t something you already do, it’s certainly worth giving a try. After rewriting my notes, when I go through and read them, I’ll highlight or underline things in the notes. I have really found this helpful because it keeps me aware while I am trying to study. I have a tendency to zone out and not comprehend what I’m reading, but the highlighting technique really helps to keep you on task. 

people sitting in chairs and taking notes
The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

3. Prioritize Studying

This is something I never really considered until high school ended. I used to spend so much time doing assignments that I would be too tired to study or read. In high school, this doesn’t matter too much, but in college, exams are such a big portion of your grade. Investing the time into an exam worth 15% of your grade is much more effective than into a 10 point project. When I sit down to do homework, I always begin with the studying I have allotted for that day. You’re more engaged and more likely to finish everything on your to do list. Since starting this habit, I rarely push studying to the last minute and I feel much more prepared for exams. 

three women sitting on a couch with laptops
Photo by wocintechchat.com from Unsplash

All in all, these are tricks that I use and they inevitably won’t be effective for everyone. The main thing to keep in mind is that studying is important and you need to find what is effective for you. Study hard and good luck with your midterms!

a pink neon "and breathe" sign over a plant wall
Max van den Oetelaar | Unsplash

At the University of Illinois, I am privileged to be writing as a Blogger for Her Campus. Specifically about me, I am a dog lover, coffee drinker, and life enthusiast. Thank you for reading and if you want to see more of me- @xzoelewis will get you to me on all platforms.
The official page for the University of Illinois Her Campus chapter.