Mid-October is the time for midterms. A lot of students spend hours a day either in the library or in a breakout room, studying. Spending hours and hours studying for exams can be stressful. Personally, when I think about spending hours on end studying, I get very anxious, which is counterproductive to studying. Similar to Elizabeth, I want to share a few tips in preparing for midterms (and exams in general):
- Time management – one of the most important things in preparing to study is time management. Creating a weekly schedule will help you pinpoint where in your day / week you have time to dedicate studying. The idea is to spend 2-3 hours each day reviewing what you’ve learned that day to retain as much information as possible, without the stress of long study sessions.
- Study methods – what helps you study? Think about the best method of studying for you, to make studying a bit easier. Some people study using flash cards, some people prefer group studying and some people like highlighting key points in textbooks so it’s an easy review. Think about what works for you.
- Give yourself breaks – but don’t overdo it! Having a break for five minutes every 45 minutes of studying helps the brain take in the information during that session, and allows you to relax without feeling anxious. Be aware – sometimes when you take a break, it turns into a long one, and you don’t feel like returning to studying after. To steer clear of this, set a timer so you know when your break is over.
- Sleep – get plenty of sleep every night. Sleeping allows the brain to process all the information from that day and store it in the long term memory. By getting enough sleep, you are giving your brain adequate time to do its job. No need to stay up all night studying.
- Prepare for the midterm – on the day before the midterm, make sure you’ve packed everything you need for it – pencils, erasers, pens, calculator, etc. By doing so, you’ve reduced a little stress for the next day (you won’t have to worry about missing any items right before the exam).
- Staying in shape – eating healthy and exercising helps maximize the brain’s capacity for remembering things. People who live healthy lives end up with better brain functions.
These tips are here to help you prepare for midterms, exams and finals. Though preparing for these can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Managing your time well, having a study method, giving yourself breaks and getting enough sleep are all ways you can improve studying, and even getting over the fear of studying. Following these tips will help you guys ace your midterms!