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Why You Should Start Preparing for Midterms Today

With a few weeks between us and midterms, it’s super easy to lazily complete assignments and loosely study for quizzes. I’m incredibly guilty of doing the bare minimum or being complacent with my work at times, but I also know that midterms are creeping upon us. Wouldn’t you be so grateful for a study guide made in advance, notes already studied, and terms already memorized a month from now when you’re drowning in tests? Last semester, with the abundance of free time the pandemic has provided us, I used some of my free time on the weekends to start preparing for exams super far in advance. It really benefited me come exam time because I was able to focus on understanding the material rather than relying on cramming and memorization.

My tips for you are super simple but super effective in my experience. Make Quizlets or flashcards for classes like History, Psychology, or Science that involve a lot of terms that need to be memorized, and start practicing now! Just going over the terms and flashcards a few times a week now will make a huge difference in a few weeks. This suggestion may seem super obvious, but I have to remind myself to actually work on my memorization, so I figured I would remind you guys to start practicing too!

Another tip is to start compiling your textbook and class notes into single, simple documents! I really love to handwrite study guides with major themes, formulas, or concepts and use colored pens or highlighters to group ideas. Making aesthetically pleasing, clear study guides on a computer or in a notebook can be super helpful for visual learners like me and make the process of synthesizing information more fun!

My final suggestion is that if you have a lot of downtime, work ahead! Check out that next module or textbook reading on Canvas and start taking notes. If you are a few days ahead, by the time exams come around, you’ll have that much more time to just study and not worry about learning information for the first time. 

I know it can be overwhelming to try to get the motivation to study far in advance, but what has really worked for me is looking ahead at my schedule and seeing how busy midterms season really will be. This sneak peek into how stressed I will likely be has lit a fire under me to be kinder to myself and work ahead, just like I suggest you do. Happy studying!

Erin Byrd

Wake Forest '23

Erin is a sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who hopes to major in Finance and minor in Psychology.
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