Are midterms coming up? Are you in full blown panic mode about them? Calm down, you’ll be fine! Probably.
I’m so glad that I’ve graduated college and that I don’t have to worry about them anymore. Even now, sometimes I have nightmares about exam week, like some horrible college version of PTSD. While I’m glad to leave those days of having more coffee than blood in my system behind, I know a lot of my readers are still in school and facing the horror of midterms now. I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you study for your upcoming exams!
Set a study schedule and follow it! Discipline is key here. Falling into the rut of “I’ll study this later” will spiral endlessly until you’re cramming the night before the exam. Studies show that. There are programs that help you avoid procrastination or distractions while studying. Some of my favorites are here.
Usually professors are creatures of habit and test on what they give out. Usually.
On that note-
Try to get a feel for how all your teachers work. Instead of just flat out memorizing your whole textbook, understand what your professor emphasizes the most and least. If your professor focused on certain topics, you should too. Also learn the language they like to use so that you can recognize it or reproduce it on a test.
If your TA or professor is holding these before an exam, go to them. It may suck because it seems like extra class, but think of it more as extra studying for your exam, because it is. These sessions usually cover main exam topics (unless they get derailed by that one student everyone hates) and sometimes TAs will even reveal test questions.
Take short – key word, short, breaks often. Your brain is optimized at 60-90 minute study sessions rather than the five-hour study marathon. Just be wary of getting stuck on your break. Refer to steps 1 for tips on how to solve that.
It’s easy to fall into the junk food buffet and “more caffeine than blood in my system” state, but try to maintain a healthy diet. Set a schedule for some exercise time and keep up good hygiene. These things will help you study better and keep you focused.
For a great, in depth read on studying according to how memory works, check out this this read.
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