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5 Tips to Help Prepare You for Midterms

Now that it’s October, we’re starting the spookiest season of them all – midterm season.

Midterms are the exams that happen halfway through the semester, making our days mostly occupied in the library. Bad study habits can be hard to break, but once you realize the first floor is a bad place to study or that you can’t cram a study sesh in the day before your midterm, you’ll find how studying can be quick and effective. Here’s some “holy grail” study tips to make your library trips shorter and easier.


1. Finding a Playlist. ​A lot of people think that listening to music distracts you from studying effectively, but you’ll find that a lot of students actually find it helpful! Everyone’s taste is different, but typically more unfamiliar music with very few words is usually the way to go while studying. On Spotify, two playlists I find very helpful are ​Yoga and Meditation​ and ​Lofi Hip Hop Beats​. These help keep out the outside noise and focus in on your work.


2. Finding Your Study Space. ​Finding study spaces are hard. Sitting with your friends on the first floor of the library and talking would be ideal, except for the fact that studying effectively down there is close to impossible. There are plenty of options where you can talk quietly on the second floor, but the quieter environment will help you focus on your homework. There’s also plenty of personal cubbies to sit in, which keeps away all the excess noise! Study spaces aren’t just found in the library though! There’s study rooms in places like the Ave Clubhouse, dorm common rooms, the CCA, and the little open rooms in the Union on the second and third floor!


3. Start Studying Early. ​As obvious as this sounds, effective studying begins when you decide to start. Start by preparing for each midterm around a week to two weeks out, depending on the midterm. Starting early means you can start off small, studying in little bits and retaining information quicker than stress cramming a night or two before a test.


4. Know Vocab First. ​Before beginning to study anything else, make sure you know all your vocabulary first. Language is the basis of studying and reading the textbook, if you don’t know some of the words as you read it, can severely impact how well you study. Start with vocab flashcards to ensure you know the definitions by heart, and from there, it’ll be significantly easier to learn what you’re reading about and memorizing the text.


5. Check Your Mental Health Along the Way. ​Giant study sessions can leave us all in a daze sometimes, where we just feel like we’re going crazy from being in the library all day. Every half hour or so, take a break. Make sure you have lots of water, that you aren’t hungry, and that you’re taking a computer break. Staying well rested and comfortable can change how you focus and retain information!

Maddy is a junior at the University of Maine. She is from right outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. She is an English major and wants to become a journalist. In her free time, she skis, hikes, reads and hangs out with her friends.
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