The dreaded midterm exam. I’ve got them, you’ve got them. I’m stressed, everyone else in the library is stressed. There's the all-encompassing exam that will make or break your standing in the class until the next big exam or assignment. Here are a few tips that will hopefully alleviate some of your midterm stress and help prepare you for the big exam.
- Plan Ahead
The syllabus is your new best friend and will have all the important information you will need to know like important deadlines, test dates, and chapters covered in the course. Refer to the course syllabus and write down the exam date wherever you put important dates: your planner, Google Calendar, post-it note, note on the refrigerator, etc. Be sure to have the date marked down somewhere!
- Make a Game Plan
Remember, the midterm covers half a semester’s worth of information. From personal experience, cramming all of that information the day before the exam is not going to be too helpful! It is so easy to tell yourself you are going to study a week in advance but take the time to write down what topics you are going to cover each day. It’ll be easier to visualize just how much you need to review and thereby set aside time each day to cover what you need to.
- Summarize Each Chapter
Classes cover so much information before you even get to the midterm that a lot of times the big picture ideas can get lost in translation as each chapter goes by. One study tip to implement into your study routine is to make a “chapter summary sheet” that highlights all the key vocabulary points, ideas, formulas, and takeaways from the chapter. By the time the midterm rolls around, you’ll be left with a great study sheet that you can refer to and study throughout the semester.
- Treat Studying as a “Job”
When I study, I like to treat the time I study as a “job”. By treating my study time as a “job”, I consciously make the decision to fully dedicate all of my attention and efforts towards the subject. When I give my study sessions my undivided attention, they are the most productive and allow me to focus on what is most important.
- Take Study Breaks
Study breaks are crucial and help give your brain a mental reset after absorbing all of the information. According to scientific research, strive to take a break every 50 minutes as it allows the brain to reset and recharge.
Midterms are supposed to be challenging and force you to recall and analyze half a semester’s worth of information within one test. Hopefully, these midterm exam tips will help you ace the exam. Good luck!