Unfortunately, it’s midterm season. With midterms comes stress, exhaustion, and frustration, but there are a few things we can do to make this time less painful.
1. REVIEW MATERIAL THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER
We all have fallen behind in a class and then rushed to review the material before the upcoming exam. When I started college, I realized this study method does not work as well as it did in high school. Do a bit of extra work each week to ensure that it doesn’t pile up right before the exam. Review class material soon after you learn it, clear up any confusions early, and make notes and study materials that are easy to understand and that you can use to study for upcoming midterms and finals.
2. GO TO YOUR PROFESSOR’S OFFICE HOURS
Professors want their students to ask them questions. They like to know that their students are engaged with the material that is being taught. Although professors can be a bit intimidating, they are usually super friendly and want to help you succeed in their courses. From my experience, office hours aren’t usually very crowded and professors wish more people would show up. Be that person! They will appreciate your effort and will give you helpful tips for studying for the exams. What better source of information about the exam than the people actually making the exam?
3. FIND YOUR IDEAL STUDY SPOT AND MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS
Where you study is crucial and depends on each person’s preferences. I like working in libraries because I like to be around other people who are working. Other people like a bit of white noise, like in a coffee shop. Whatever it may be, find the place where you feel you can do your best work. It’s hard enough to concentrate when studying, let alone in a place that’s too loud or too cold for you to be comfortable. If you find yourself getting stuck on a math problem or have writer’s block, switch up your location! Studies show changing your environment helps your brain hold onto information.
In terms of staying focused, it’s hard to resist the ping or vibration of an incoming message on our phones, but this can detract from your study time. You will be splitting your focus, which may cost you in the long run. As much as you want to chat with your friends, it may be wise to turn off your phone or turn on the do not disturb option. All your messages will still be there, and you can answer them when you aren’t occupied with practicing derivatives or writing your English paper.
4. GET A TO-DO LIST GOING
When midterm season rolls around, you likely will have multiple midterms, in addition to homework and your extracurricular activities. Having so much to do can get overwhelming very quickly, but once you organize your thoughts and make a plan, the task at hand will be more manageable. The first step to studying is figuring out what you have to study. This saves you from forgetting assignments and gives you a chance to prioritize your work and tackle it strategically. Additionally, there is something satisfying about crossing a task off my list and knowing I accomplished a small goal.
5. DON’T FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
With so much to do, it can be very easy to forget the importance of taking care of your health, mentally and physically. As college students, we put so much pressure on ourselves to do well in our classes, that other important things get pushed aside. To be productive and study effectively, you must have the right mindset, which requires enough sleep and proper nutrition. While A’s are good, your health is so much more important than any exam will ever be. Make yourself a priority! The better you feel, the more productive you will be. No matter what, your health and wellbeing comes first.
Good luck this midterm season! We are all going through it, but we can make it out together. Leave a comment below and let us know if there are any strategies you use to get through your midterms.