As a freshman, it was only a matter of time before the feeling of bliss wore off. Bliss was the feeling present in the first few weeks of college. It was the first few weeks of freedom, of being able to make new friends, join new clubs, and have your biggest worry be whether or not it was smart to go out on a weeknight. But, like every upperclassman warned us, for us freshman the workload did start to increase. Suddenly, reading a syllabus wasn't the only homework assignment, and the word "midterm" became a part of a common vocabulary seemingly shared by all professors.
Going about midterms for the first time is like trying to play in a professional orchestra without ever having played an instrument. There's no precedent, no way of knowing what to expect. High school is in the past, and unfortunately studying methods that worked in high school is as well. Cramming the night before, or multitasking writing a paper with watching Netflix aren't tactics that are effective anymore. It's time to learn how best to approach midterms in college.
Everyone has different styles of learning, and this can play a big role in how people study. Knowing your learning style is incredibly important. If you're a visual learner, study graphs, charts, maps, and pictures. If you're an auditory learner, you might find it helpful to record yourself saying important facts you need to remember, then replaying that recording through your headphones throughout the day.
In college, studying isn't just a one day process. If you need to know a hundred terms for that Psychology test, you can't learn them all the night before. Spacing them out twenty-five a day for four days will help your brain to process each term individually, improving your knowledge of each concept.
A good setting is one of the most underrated yet important aspects of effective studying. You are more likely to remember topics if you study them in a setting similar to where you'll need to reproduce your knowledge. For example, if you're taking an exam in a lecture hall, study in a library, a quiet place filled with tons of people who are also all working. If you are taking an exam in a classroom, study at a desk. As for the mood, set it based on how you focus best. If you learn best with classical music, blast Beethoven like there is no tomorrow while studying.
On the day of the midterm, it's essential to eat a good breakfast and have gotten a good night's sleep. But overall, the best method for approaching midterms is to have confidence. If you are afraid you're going to overthink it, you will. Midterms are something everyone goes through, and as far as I know, everyone comes out alive. Have faith in yourself and your knowledge, take a deep breath, and you'll be fine.