Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Preparing for Midterms

By Brittney Bodden
World Education Services

The middle of the fall semester is here, which can only mean one thing: MIDTERMS! It’s the time of year when professors test your knowledge on what you have learned thus far in the semester. This means weeks full of studying for exams, writing papers, and completing projects for a multitude of classes.

Luckily, midterms aren’t new or unfamiliar to your average student. For each class, students typically receive a syllabus at the beginning of the semester with a schedule of deadlines for assignments, midterms, and finals. So, from the beginning of the semester until the week of midterms, you’re prepping by listening, taking notes, and engaging in class.

To help you be ready, here are some tips and tricks for preparing for the week of midterms.

1. Get plenty of rest: When it comes to preparing for midterms, students are known to pull “all-nighters,” cramming as much information as possible the night before the test. But when you don't get the proper amount of sleep, you’re overexerting your mind body. This will cause you to lose focus and eventually your body will crash. Give yourself a full night’s rest, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer your exams.

2. Study groups: While everyone has different methods of studying, rounding up a few of your classmates together for a study session is the perfect opportunity to expand your resources and test each other’s knowledge. Be sure to select students that want the same goals and outcomes – that is, get a good grade on your test and pass the class. These are students who take notes, ask questions, and succeed in their assignments.

3. Brain food: A common and unhealthy habit that many students develop is eating unhealthily during midterms by stocking up on junk food and energy drinks to get them through the week. However, it’s important to eat well-balanced meals. There are certain foods that are considered “brain foods.” These improve your concentration and help retain information. Some foods that are recommended to improve your performance include fish, eggs, fruit, nuts, berries, and whole grains.

4. Log off social media:
 DISTRACTIONS, DISTRACTIONS, DISTRACTIONS. We all know that checking social media and other technology can be tempting when trying to focus. Do yourself a favor and disconnect from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and even silence your cellphone. Give yourself a few hours of no distractions to concentrate on your studies and see just how much you accomplish.

5. Avoid procrastination (don’t cram): Don’t wait until the night before to begin studying for your exam. Give yourself weeks (or at least a week) to create a study guide or flash cards with the material you need to know. Pace yourself, focus on a specific topic and study a little every day. That way, when midterm week rolls around, you’ve absorbed the information and are more than prepared to ace your exam.

6. Know when to stop studying:
 There is such a thing as studying too much. With the pressure of needing to know all the material on a test, students tend to stress their brains with continuous studying, which can drive anyone crazy. Take short 15-minute breaks, fueling your body with healthy snacks and drinking plenty of water. It’s okay to take a walk outside to stretch your legs and refresh your thoughts. Once you come back, you’ll feel energized and ready to continue, and your brain will thank you!

Finally, relax. There is only so much studying any one person can do. When midterm week comes around, get plenty of rest the night before, eat a well-balanced breakfast, and arrive to class 10 minutes early to get settled and prepared to conquer your test. You’ve been studying for weeks, and you’re ready to take on midterm week. Good luck!

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