If this is your first midterm season at college, it is overwhelming. Having multiple exams in the span of a week or two, along with juggling on-campus involvement and a social life, will be difficult. But do not worry, you are fully capable and will succeed.
So, here I am as a recent college graduate, giving you advice on how to tackle your first midterm season!
Start with Success
Your success with midterms began on day one of the class. Up until the exam, you should be going to class, paying attention, doing the readings, and staying on top of the homework.
But, if you’re reading this with your midterm coming soon, it is not too late. You can catch up on that missed information, it will just take a bit of catch-up. Schedule that catch-up because you cannot catch up in a day.
Be Aware of All Exam Dates
The best strategy for midterms is knowing when they are. The worst feeling is going to class and the professor announces the exam is a few days away, or worse, that day! Most professors will give a heads-up on the exam, but that is not always guaranteed. You should know when your exams are.
Have every due date in a planner or a calendar. Figure out if you prefer digital or physical. Set reminders for yourself when the due date or exam date is approaching.
For me, I put all the information in a physical calendar and planner. But I also put them in a digital calendar, with reminders 2 weeks in advance so I knew I had to begin studying.
Create a Plan
- At minimum, start studying a week in advance.
- Do a little bit each day, do not cram.
- Go over one unit a day
- Set aside 1 hour a night to study for that exam
- Create a realistic and manageable schedule.
My hardest class in college was accounting. When I had an accounting exam, I would start 2 weeks in advanced. Every night I studied for 1 hour minimum. I would go through the study guide. I had the answers from my professor, so I knew if I was doing it right or not.
Pick a Location
Find YOUR study location. That location should never be your room or apartment. For me, I chose a room in my dorm building that was my go-to place. It had food nearby and bathrooms. Because it was in my dorm building, I wouldn’t use an excuse of it being too cold or far away to go to study.
During this time, you will be under a lot of stress. To lower your stress levels, take time to stay mentally and physically healthy.
- Journal your feelings
- Do not isolate yourself, be social when time allows
- Go into the exam with a positive mindset
- Do not over caffeinate (this can be tempting)
- Move your body everyday
- Be mindful of what you’re eating, fuel your body appropriately
- Sleep for a minimum of 7 hours per night (do not pull all-nighters, it is tempting)
If this is your first midterm season, you will be successful. But, if things don’t go your way, you can always correct your habits for the next exam!