How to Maximize your Time Studying for Midterms

Although it’s hard to believe, midterm season will be here in just a few weeks! From remembering exam dates to figuring out how you can come up with 10 pages worth of things to say about one topic, midterm week can be one of the most stressful times of the school year. If thinking about midterm week makes you a bit anxious, here are four tips on how you can get the most out of your studying and preparations for the week:

 

  1. Sleep!

 

A UCLA  study on sleep and academic performance found that sacrificing sleep for extra study time can actually be counterproductive for students. Although many students may feel that a last minute all-nighter can help them to learn half a semester’s worth of material in one night, the findings from this study suggest that students who used this cramming technique ended up having more academic issues the next day than the students who slept for an ample amount of time. According to research from Stanford University, college students should be aiming for at least eight hours of sleep each night.

 

2. Get a planner and use it

 

A planner or calendar can be a lifesaver in college!  Most students have several exams or papers due within the same midterm week, and having a planner can help to keep track of the date and times that each assignment is due. A planner can also be used to create a study plan of class material for each night so that you don’t find yourself trying to cover 10 textbook chapters in one night.

 

3. Study material out of the order that you learned it in

 

Research from the University of South Florida shows that studying material outside of the order in which it was taught can help students to retain more information. The study suggests that since tests are usually written in randomized order, studying the material in a randomized order will help students to recall the information better than if they were to study it chronologically.

 

4.Be realistic about where you choose to study

 

Although studying in bed is comfortable and convenient, you have to be realistic about the type of studying that you do the best with. If you find yourself constantly being tempted to nap, maybe an empty classroom or table at the library may be better for you. Likewise, if you find yourself always being tempted to talk to your friends and roommates when you’re supposed to be studying, you may need to find a study spot where you’re able to be alone and away from your friends.

Midterm week can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming! No matter how stressful your week can become, remember that your well-being and self-care is always the most important thing, and that your grades do not make or break who you are.