Well, it came out of nowhere. Even though the weather is still hot like summer, the fall semester is in full swing. All of a sudden, we are staring midterms dead in the face. Now that the dreaded part of the semester has come, here’s how to pass (and make the most of) your midterms.
1. Catch up on all homework, readings, notes, etc…
This one is kind of a given but it’s essential! You know that book that you were supposed to read but managed to get by with SparkNotes? Well, it may be a good idea to open it up and actually read it. Space out the reading and thank yourself later on the day of your midterm. (PS: Professors like to pick questions that can only be answered correctly if you read the book, not the “Plot Overview” page on SparkNotes.)
2. Find yourself a good study buddy
Studying in a group is a great resource when it comes to midterms. Perhaps they have the notes from that class that you were “sick” for, or they simply took away a different interpretation of what you're studying. Working with a buddy allows for sharing of ideas and the ability to draw new connections. However, it is important to remember that your BFF may be an awesome friend, but not the best study buddy.
3. Take advantage of quiet places on campus
It can be very hard to focus in a dorm room, so help yourself succeed and change up your study environment. There are well known spots and hidden gems scattered all throughout campus where you can find peace and quiet. Some examples are the Jesus room, the SLP rooftop, and Copley Library. Also, if you can work in slightly noisy backgrounds, our personal fav is to study in Aromas and, with all your hard work, you could benefit from some coffee too.
4. Find motivation
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and the struggle is real when it comes to getting off of Facebook and actually being productive. To overcome this, promise yourself short breaks throughout your studying; for every chapter you read, allow yourself ten minutes to check social media. If you can’t find motivation and you’re worried about leaving all of your work to the day before, fight against the urge to procrastinate. A great way to do this is to make plans close to your midterm. While this may sound crazy, you will feel motivated to finish your studying ahead of time so you can enjoy your day out and not have to cancel. (PS: Get brunch, go to a movie, or go shopping earlier in the day so you can look over your notes one last time that evening.)
5. Don’t overdo it
They say too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and it is the same when it comes to studying. While devoting several hours to study time can be extremely productive, everyone has a limit. Eventually, you will get to a point where your brain cannot memorize anymore information. Be aware of this and listen to your body. Doing this will ensure you are not wasting your time reading information that you're just going to have to restudy on another day. Use this time to catch up on sleep, eat a healthy meal, or simply unwind and relax.
6. If things are getting repetitive, switch up your study methods
Let’s be honest, there are a million other things we’d rather be doing than reading a textbook. Make it a little more bearable by keeping your study methods fresh and unique. Use colors, doodles, and buzzwords to simplify all the information you're taking in. Also, try something new! If you are stuck studying boring outlines and documents, make flashcards or try writing your own, mock quiz. Not only will these methods help you retain the information better, but you will have made a mundane task just that much more enjoyable.
7. Don’t forget about your health
Resist the temptation to stay in your dorm and eat another bowl of top ramen. Go out and have a balanced and healthy meal. Ensure that you are drinking plenty of water and staying away from sugary beverages that will make you crash as you begin to study again. A healthy body will lead to a healthy mind and will promote learning and understanding.
8. Talk with your professors
If after countless hours of studying, there is still a concept you don't understand, office hours will be your best friend. Clarifying information with your professors is great because they will tell you what they expect you to understand. Also, they are making your test, after all, and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
9. And finally, SLEEP!!!!
This tip is quite possibly the most important. Without enough sleep, it will be harder to focus and retain all the information you are studying. Make sure your late night study sessions don’t go too late and you should be fine. Also, the night before your test, make sure to go to bed a little earlier than usual so you wake with a clear mind and ready to take on your midterm.
And there you have it. You will survive midterms and soon enough, fall holiday will come along and you can relax a little after all those weeks of hard work.