Midterms are here! And with them comes stress, anxiety, and late nights. Some people say midterms week, but I like to say midterms seasons. My mid-terms last from about mid-October to early November. This is probably about the time when you start questioning your ability to make decisions about your schedule. Have no worries, here are a few tips to keep you alive during this midterms season.
Plan and Prepare
Midterms are usually one of the biggest factors in your course grades. You want to be prepared for each one and be able to come out alive. Plus, you don’t want to fall behind especially since we are only halfway through the semester. Make a study schedule that you can adjust for midterms. Check your syllabus and with your professor to make sure you study the right material. Find out the format of your test from your professors and try to gear your practice to that. Is it essay format? Practice writing the concept and finding examples. Is it multiple choice? Do practice problems and quiz yourself in that style.
Revisit your semester goals
We all started the semester full of hope and set goals to accomplish these. But we often forget about our semester goals once the semester starts getting a bit hectic. Take the time to revisit your semester goals, and adjust them if necessary. This is a great way to see where you are and what you need to do get to where you want to be, not mention great motivation!
Get enough sleep
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is. It is necessary for our bodies to heal, grow, stay healthy, and perform at our best. Without sleep you will not able to put your best foot forward, so please, please go to sleep. Although there will be some days where you will inevitably sleep late, make sure to go to bed! A few days of not sleeping can really take a toll on your body. Trust me, you do not want to crash before – or during – your exams.
I had a professor once say you cannot learn anything new in the night before the exam. Instead, he told us to focus on strengthening what we did know. Cramming sometimes can seem like your only option, but it is not the smartest when an exam is coming up. Cramming can increase your stress, and decrease your ability to recall info. Instead, study in chunks in the days leading up to the test and make sure to study wisely.
You are working very hard to achieve your goals, so why not reward yourself a little. Make it your incentive to keep working, or use a reward as a break from the chaos. Try getting yourself a treat, seeing a friend you have not seen in a while or watching an episode of your favorite show. It is in the little things.
Some people can study for hours uninterrupted, but I am definitely not one of those people. Luckily is it actually better to take frequents breaks. This helps you to rest your mind, and retain the information better. I like to follow the Pomodoro method. This is where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. After doing this four times you can take a 20-minute break – at that is a complete Pomodoro! Try out a few to see which is best for you.
Finally, I want to say that grades are not everything. If you fail it is not the end of the world. Talk to your professor and see what you can do to improve for next time. If you need to take the class over again that is fine. There is nothing you cannot handle and we each have our own path, so do not freak out when things do not go according to plan.
Good luck!!!!!! 🙂
– Tatyana x