Midterms are one of the very few points in academia that are truly stress-inducing. Not only do they take a good percentage of your final grade into account, but they also cover a wide array of material that is needed to go over and cram into your mind’s memory bank as best you can. Not only that, but they can come in a wide variety of forms, from papers to exams, to group projects, to oral presentations. Long story short, midterms are stressful and hard for anyone. So to help you out, we’ve collected a few surefire tips that are absolutely guaranteed to help you out without having you freak out too much.
One of the best and most surefire ways to make sure you get all the studying for your midterms that you need to be done in time for the big day is to have a study group that meets up a few times before the big day happens. Not only are study groups a fantastic resource at your disposal in today’s day and age since they can meet up both online and in-person, but they can also be fun. If studying is a real struggle with you, you can all make games out of the material and hold it like a trivia night with things like jeopardy and other such things. Make a gambling game out of guessing the right questions while wagering your bowl of Cheetos against each other. Just because it’s schoolwork, doesn’t mean it has to be terrible. So grab a group of studious friends and have a study session game night together.
Reach Out to Your Teacher or Professor
Midterms is a way for your professor or teacher to not only grade you to see how well you’re doing in the class, but also a way for them to see what might possibly be lacking in their curriculum as a way to adjust their teaching accordingly. So if you’re having trouble with any of the material, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Look through their syllabus to see if they have any recommended sources for extra study help. Send them an email detailing exactly what it is that you’re struggling with and ask them if perhaps they have any thoughts on how to help. Go to their office when they have office hours and have a one on one session with them. I know it might seem a little intimidating, but any professor worth their salt will be more than happy to give you all the help that you need, all you need is to ask for it.
Plan Ahead of Time
One of the worst mistakes that I have seen people make time and time again when it comes to preparing for their midterms is that they don’t plan ahead enough. One of the easiest ways to avoid this big pitfall that everyone seems to experience once in their academic life is to just plan ahead of time. When you know midterms are coming up, make a plan for yourself, so you know when and what it is that you’re going to be goofing off. Cramming is scientifically proven to be one of the worst ways to studying when compared to long term methodic work that taking apart the material in pieces does. Besides, the whole reason that you’re going to school is to learn as much retention as possible, not just forget it all once the tests are over. So actually do the work, and you’ll have all the payoff you’re hoping to get that A.
Review Prior Quizzes and Tests
One of the most efficient ways to figure out exactly what material it is that you should be looking at and reviewing when it comes to midterms is drawing from experience on previous tests and quizzes. Not only does this give you an inside look on how the questions may be asked on the midterm, but it’s also the perfect study guide to see where you might have been lacking in the past. If you have in your possession one test where you performed very well, perhaps only go over that material once or twice as a refresher. However, if you have an exam where you might not have done as well as you had liked, go over it a few more times just to really make sure you lock the material inside your mind.
Make Sure you Read Everything
One of the most important things that you can do to prepare for something like an oral exam or a group project is to make sure that you read all of the instructions given to you carefully and thoroughly. Preferably with the other members of your group if it is indeed a group project setting. Hell, read it over and over to yourselves throughout the project. Not only will that assure that you’re all on the same page, but it will also ensure that you’re not leaving anything out of the assignment that’s expected to be included.
In addition to planning out your schedule with everything that you want to have covered and found a good group of study buddies to have game nights with, you’re gonna want to start pretty early. Make sure that you are managing your time wisely so that you can avoid the last-minute cram sessions as much as possible. If you can, perhaps even start studying on your own before your peers do. Instead of goofing off on the internet for an hour, maybe only do it for forty-five minutes and spend the other fifteen minutes reviewing a bit of material every night. That way, when it comes to the real hitting the books, you’re already more prepared than your friends and are ahead of the game.
If You have a TA or SI, Go to Them
Let’s say that you have a teacher that’s unable to meet with you in person, or that you can’t find a good group of study mates to get everything done that you want to. Or say that you just can’t get a schedule to work for you. That’s when you go to your TA or SI for some help. Many times professors will have students who have already taken the class helping out or even leading the class. They are an excellent resource for midterms if you have any questions that you can’t ask your professor.