5 Midterm Survival Study Tips

This might be a controversial opinion, but I genuinely think midterms can be a more stressful time of year than finals. Midterms sneak up on you when you’re most defenseless, right as you’ve caught your roommate’s cold, and right when you realize you haven’t been paying attention in statistics all semester. Worst of all, midterms are usually right about the time when you realize you don’t know how to study for any of your classes. But never fear, collegiettes! Read on for five study tips to help you make it out of midterms season intact.


1. Re-write your class notes

I only do this for classes that involve math or some form of quantitative reasoning. Yes, it’s a giant pain in the ass. It takes an hour or two, and it only works if you look back into the material to make sure you understand the concepts from class. However, this makes studying for your exams so much easier because it forces you to take the time to get to know your course material better before the test.


2. Make a study guide

Whether or not my professors give me a study guide for their exams, I almost always make my own. Draw your study guide out in colored pens, and outline key formulas, concepts, and definitions. For math-related courses, I include practice problems, and for my Poli Sci courses, I outline important political theories. This allows you a simple way to review all of your material right before an exam.


3. Go to office hours

Take advice from a girl who recently got a C+ on an exam, because she was apprehensive about asking the professor for help. If you don’t understand something in your class, ask the professor at their office hours. You (and your exam scores) will thank me later.


4. Study in a group

This tip takes some discipline -- I don't know about you, but I always get too chatty when I study with my friends. If you study with classmates, however, you can fill in the gaps when you need extra clarification, if tip #3 wasn’t as helpful as you hoped. Studying in groups allows you to bounce ideas off of your classmates who might have understood a concept better than you. Further, if you understand things better than your classmates, teaching them helps you understand the concepts better yourself. Basically, studying in groups is a win-win.

5. Sleep

Okay, so I’m not the best about getting my 8 hours a night, but sleep before an exam is essential. I studied for like four days non-stop for my Calc final freshman year, didn’t sleep well the night before, and got my lowest exam score for the class. Even if you can’t get catch those zzz’s on any other night, make sleep a priority before your next exam. Your grades will reflect the difference.

Though it may not be finals week just yet, midterms season is a no less terrible time of year. Hopefully, the following study tips make your exam burden a little lighter this spring. Happy studying, collegiettes!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5