If you feel anything like we do, you’ll agree that the second round of midterms totally snuck up on us. It can be a difficult time when it feels like you’ve just gotten the hang of your schedule and now you’ve got big tests to worry about. You’re trying to juggle your heavy course load, clubs, and internships, and more—trust us, we understand. Plus, it can be easy to forget about taking care of yourself when you’re stressed out about school. That’s why we came up with the best midterm studying tips to help your week go by as smoothly as possible.
- Come up with a study plan for the week beforehand. There’s really no worse feeling than knowing you need to get your work done but not knowing where to begin. Mulling over how to get all of your studying done can set you back big time. Before the week begins, take some time to create a plan of how you’re going to get everything done. It’ll help you manage your time and prepare for potential setbacks along the way. It’s a win-win!
- Get organized. Let’s face it: we could definitely all use a little more organization in our lives. With big tests coming up, you don’t want to have to worry about rummaging through your papers to find your notes or losing information because of disorganization. This week, your planner is your best friend. Utilize your weekly calendar to manage your time and sort through all your notes so they’re in an order that makes sense to you.
- Find your favorite study place—and stick to it. There’s some psychological reasoning behind this. Studies show that if you learn or study the material and then get tested on it all in one place, you are more likely to recall the information. While you probably can’t control where you take the midterm, you can control where you study. One of the best midterm studying tips is to find your favorite place around campus and make it your home for the next week. Whether that’s your favorite coffee shop or a quiet room in the library. It will improve your studying and provide a constant in a time where everything else seems to be all over the place.
- Figure out which study technique works best for you. This one may take some trial and error, but by now you’ve probably studied enough to know what works for you and what doesn’t. One of my favorite midterm studying tips is making color-coded study guides for each class. For me, just writing out all the information in an organized and pretty way helps me remember it better. Your favorite might be flashcards, group study sessions, or working out the problems on a whiteboard. It’s totally up to you since you know how your brain works the best! Once you find your fave, make sure you use that one for the whole week. It’ll save you the stress of not knowing where to start and it’ll help keep you on track.
- Take everything one day at a time. When you try to see everything big picture, you can get seriously overwhelmed. If you’re like me, being overwhelmed leads you to start procrastinating and…well, it doesn’t end well. One thing I learned that helps so much is to try to look at midterm week one day at a time. Typically, you only have one or two tests a day, which means that you can put all of your focus on that day. It helps keep your thoughts on track and keeps you from confusing material from different classes.
- Work with your professors and people in your class—they’re there to help. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a freshman was not asking for help when I needed it. I would get caught up in wanting to be self-sufficient or seem like I had everything together. This can actually harm you more than it helps. Your professors are there for a reason—to help you! They really appreciate it when you seek them out, and sometimes, they may even give you some extra helpful midterm studying tips just for coming to them. I once had a professor show me some of hardest questions on the midterm just for emailing him before the test! Also, don’t be shy around your classmates. Chances are they’re just as stressed and nervous as you. Group study sessions or even just collective study guides can be super helpful since it’s always a good idea to get a perspective other than your own.
- Meal prep or come up with an eating schedule that works for you. When you’re stressed out about midterms, it can feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. It’s easy to forget about a meal or to choose working over taking the time to sit down and eat. Though it’s something not everyone thinks about, eating nutritious foods regularly can really keep you on track during test week. Food is your fuel, and without it, you’ll burn out! One thing you can do is meal prep the weekend before to ensure you’re getting full, healthy meals each day. Or, you can plan out your meals in your schedule to make sure you’re getting enough time in for eating. Your meals aren’t a treat, they’re a necessity.
- Take some time to de-stress. While stress can be healthy and even act as a motivator, it can be very detrimental to your body when you have too much of it. The last thing you want is to get sick because you’re so stressed about your tests. I promise you that there is enough time to de-stress yourself throughout the week. It can be as big as having a movie night with your friends. Or it can be as small as doing a face mask and lighting a candle. If exercising helps you de-stress, give yourself some time to go for a run or practice some yoga. You can also look out for activities and events on campus surrounding midterms and finals. A lot of groups on campus will provide resources like self-care kits or free snacks to help you. The littlest things really make the biggest difference and will give you the motivation to push through.
- Self-care is everything. One of the worst things you can do during midterm week is to put yourself last. Maintaining good physical and mental health is one of the most important ways to help you do (and feel) your best. I know it seems like there isn’t enough time to “treat yourself,” but you have to make the time. Take your vitamins, practice meditation, or take that extra couple of minutes to do your makeup in the morning. I promise you deserve it.
- Practice positive affirmations. During midterms, it’s pretty easy for your self-esteem to suffer. It’s important not to beat yourself up over not getting the grade you wanted or for making mistakes. Practicing positive affirmations really goes a long way. It may seem silly, but every morning talk to yourself in the mirror or leave sticky notes in your planner. A simple “you’ve got this” or “don’t give up” will go a long way. Speaking positively about yourself will boost your self-esteem and encourage you to push through the hard week. Once you speak it into existence, it’ll have a better chance of coming true.
Which midterm studying tip are you most excited to try out? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @cfashionista.
Opening image by Sarah Gargano.