For most of you in the semester system, midterms have already been well on their way. As for those of you in quarter systems, midterms are just about to start. Everything is happening so fast and there's no doubt that you're stressed. You probably feel unprepared and feel like you have no idea what you will be tested on.
But for those of you who feel completely confident and ready for your midterm, well I applaud you, and constantly aspire to be like you. But for those of you who don't feel this way, I'm here to cheer you on, hopefully, make this midterm season a bit easier to handle.
Without further adieu, here are some 10 tips to keep you going, on top of it, and "feelin like fiyah" throughout midterm season.
1. Take Breaks
I know all you're thinking about is studying for your tests, but sometimes taking breaks keeps your mind focused when it is time to study and retain all that information you were bombarded with during the first few weeks of school. Breaks can be anything from going to the gym, hanging out and talking with friends, taking a nap, watching an episode of Friends, playing a game of sudoku, or just jamming to some music for a while. Do something to momentarily take your mind off studying and hopefully ur mind will be refreshed for the next study session.
2. Quiz Yourself
Of course, since this is a list of tips for surviving midterm season, here are some study tips. Write out your notes again, whether that is notes from lectures, readings, or discussions, write them out again. And use those notes to quiz yourself to test if you retained the information. It'll take time, but quizzing yourself is a really effective way of remembering material. And once you feel confident on what you've retained, come up with examples if possible. It'll really show that you understand the concepts.
3. Look at the Syllabus again
Usually the professors and TAs include a schedule of materials covered in each lecture and a schedule of all the tests. Look over the syllabus again, and it might just help you when you're planning out your study sessions and what materials to study when preparing for your test.
4. Go to Office Hours
Think of Office Hours as a more intimate study session where you get to ask your TAs and professors for one on one help in understanding the material covered in lecture, in readings, or in homework assignments. Even if you can't make Office Hours, never be afraid to reach out to your professor, TAs, or LAs for help. They'll be more than happy to help you understand the material and might even give you tips on how to be better prepared for your upcoming exam.
5. Time Manage
Make sure to space out your study sessions. That means don't cram studying for a midterm a day or two days before. And then after taking that midterm, you start cramming for the next. No no no. It actually helps to start studying for all your midterms a week before they actually happen switching between studying for the different subjects, rather than just cramming for one and then immediately moving on to the next. Plan out your study sessions if it helps you to manage your schedule. And this leads to my next time, which is to…
6. Use a planner or calendar
It definitely helps to have a visual representation of your week written down so that you can plan out study sessions, classes, work, and free time. Even if you don't write down your schedule, writing down a to-do list will keep you productive and hopefully motivated to completely the seemingly never ending number of tasks.
7. Study with a buddy or group
Whether you prefer studying alone or with other people, there are times where studying with a classmate or a friend can keep you motivated. Also, when studying with a friend or group, you'll feel less nervous about voicing a question about the test material or asking them to further explain a concept. Helping and teaching others is one of the best ways of becoming familiar with a concept. It'll probably end up helping you and your study buddy too!
8. Make sure you eat
Please eat something even though you are stressed and consumed by studying. And don't just grab for the bag of chips or granola bar lying around. Make time to eat a fulfilling meal. You can even use meals as a time to destress and take your mind off studying for a while.
9. Make sure you get enough sleep
Now I don't mean to go all parental on you, but you really do need to sleep. Go ahead, sleep late or wake up later, but please get some sleepy. That's the only way you can keep pushing through this grueling midterm season.
10. Reward yourself!
Lastly, don't forget to reward yourself. Studying is hard work, and instead of making it a chore, reward yourself, either with a pint of ice cream, a Youtube video, a call with a friend, or anything that you do to wind down for a bit. But don't get too carried away because that test is still looming ahead.
All in all, I wish you much luck this midterm season. Be prepared and be confident in yourself. We'll push through these study sessions and tests together!