As we all know, midterms are slowly creeping up on us. Midterms come with their pros and cons. In my opinion, midterms can be good simply because they tell you where you stand academically at that point in the semester. If your grade isn’t where you want it to be, you still have time to improve. The one thing that tends to be difficult about midterms is the stress associated with all of these exams and assignments piling up at once. To prevent the cons from overpowering the pros, there are some things you can do to help yourself not get overwhelmed. I talked with some fellow Monmouth students about strategies they use during midterms, and they had some useful advice about managing stress during this time of the semester.
Keeping up with your notes throughout the semester is important, but reviewing and rewriting them before midterms is always a good way to study because the material is fresh in your mind. Studying with a friend or a group can also take some pressure off and make midterms feel less stressful. As long as you can get your work done while having fun with your peers, this can be a good option.
Finding a buddy to partner up with who knows what they’re doing can be useful because they can help you understand the material better and can help you study more effectively. You can bounce ideas off of each other and share notes to make sure that you both know the material. Your study buddies may have written something down that you missed. For some people, studying in a group provides a more comfortable setting and is convenient because two heads tend to be better than one.
I find flashcards to be the most effective because not only are you studying by reading the material and answering study questions, but you are also studying by writing down the notes onto the flashcards. Flashcards are also very easy to carry around which makes it easier to study on the go – you can bring them anywhere.
Information overload can cause unnecessary stress during midterms, which is why it’s important to separate your notes by subject and make a study schedule. This is where time management comes into play. In order to actually study for midterms and benefit from doing so, you have to make enough time for it. As college students, we all know that we barely have enough time to do things for ourselves. During midterms, it’s especially important to make sure that you’re allotting enough time to study. This might mean taking less time for yourself for a week or two, but it’s temporary.
When it comes to staying organized, I do my best to make sure that I write everything down in my planner. I wasn’t huge on planners until I started seeing an academic coach, but now I always use one and have never been more organized in my life. This helps me stay on top of things and it makes it harder to forget things. Writing things down in a planner has helped me so much, and I guarantee it can do the same for you.
Aside from studying and taking the steps necessary to manage your time, the biggest tip I can give when it comes to midterms is to get enough sleep and to stay positive. Sleep is a very important factor when it comes to huge tests because not getting enough sleep can mess with your brain. You aren’t 100 percent focused if you are falling asleep during a test. It is also important to go into midterms with a positive mindset. Setting high expectations for yourself can be a great form of motivation. If you say you are going to do well on an exam that’s stressing you out, you’re probably going to get a better score. If you walk into the classroom saying you’re going to fail, you’ll probably end up matching that energy and not do your best. There are so many great tips out there to help with midterms but most importantly remember to grab a buddy, create flashcards, stay organized, get sleep and stay positive!