On top of interviews and school and life, I have midterms starting next week. Though, if I’m being honest, my midterms start this Friday with a history exam. I wanted to stop in and share a few pointers on how to survive midterms, and ace your exams!
First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. I know that I am essentially useless when I am sleep deprived, so making sure I’m getting plenty of sleep increases my productivity and my ability to study.
Second, drink lots of water to ensure that you’re staying hydrated. Also, in addition to water, maybe go for a run or do some cardio to get your energy out before you sit down to study. Restlessness consumes me if I don’t release a little energy before I study and my study time becomes much longer and much less productive. It’s hard to sit in a dorm room or a library when the weather is beginning to get nice, so try running around outside or something before chaining yourself to a desk.
Third, be mindful of your schedule. Know what you have coming up, know how much time things are going to take, and begin studying for an exam the day your receive the study guides. Professors give study aids for a reason, and that reason is NOT for the paper to sit at the bottom of your backpack until the night before the exam.
Fourth, plan to study a little each day for each exam you have a study aid for. In a Rory Gilmore way of studying, begin with world history (in example), and then move to the American Revolution, and when that gets to be too much, move onto American Literature. By segmenting your studying each subject will have your full attention while you’re studying it. Two solid hours of studying one subject with no break can actually decrease your retention level!
Fifth, do homework during the day so that you can relax at night and review your study materials. If you’re trying to homework at night AND study, you’re going to start feeling too overwhelmed, and become unproductive. By finishing all homework in the morning or early afternoon, you’ll have an hour to play before having to move onto study review.
Sixth, prioritize. Know what you feel least confident about, and begin each study session with that subject because when you initially begin studying you’ll be more alert than when you’re studying four hours later.
Seventh, study before AND after group study sessions. Studying before will familiarize you with the material so you aren’t going into group review cold. This may also mean that you’ll have to explain concepts to your peers, and through explanation you further your grasp on the concept. By studying after you will reinforce concepts, but also be able to study concepts that were clarified during group study. Groups can be great, but try not to rely solely on group sessions to get an A on an exam.
What are your study tips?