Three Mistakes to Avoid Making During Midterm Season

As the weather cools down, syllabus week comes to an end, and everyone is back in the daily school grind, midterms often seem to come out of nowhere and can catch many off guard. If you’re struggling alongside the rest of us through midterm season right now, here are four mistakes to avoid making in order to encourage the best marks and happiest mindset.


Mistake 1: Keeping a Messy Workspace

When your biggest concern is a bio midterm in two days that you haven’t cracked a book for, chances are good that you won’t be focusing on keeping dirty laundry off your bedroom floor. Increased stress can lead to carelessness towards upkeep of your personal space, but taking five minutes to tidy up your room or work area will save you from getting distracted by chaotic surroundings. While having a clean room/workspace won’t directly correlate into a better final grade, it will help your mindset and ability to focus on what really matters.


Mistake 2: Listening to Music

Many people swear that listening to music while studying boosts motivation, but countless studies have proven that human brains just aren’t meant to multitask. Focusing solely on your study notes and blocking out all distracting factors will ensure that you’re getting the most of your time spent at your books, rather than using double the time to understand the same amount of subject material. Listening to your fall playlist while cramming for midterms may make the time go by faster, but chances are you’re absorbing less information.


Mistake 3: Studying Without Breaks

Another common mistake many of us make during midterm season is going to the library for eight-hour cram sessions. If you have an exam coming up and feel that you just don’t have enough time to learn the material this may feel like your only option, but it really won’t help you come exam time. Alongside not being able to multitask, our brains can only focus on one thing for so long. Your ability to pay attention and absorb information decreases with the amount of time spent on one topic, so taking fifteen-minute breaks at set intervals or bringing homework from another subject to switch it up will serve you better in the long run than a never-ending study session.


Midterms can be one of the most stressful times of year for most university students, but a few simple tips will make your burden a little lighter. Keeping your responsibilities and surroundings organized, cutting out distractions, and taking breaks to keep your sanity will all contribute to better final grades and a less stressful environment for you during this busy time of year.