Surviving Midterms

Monday, October 05, 2015


Midterms are coming up in two weeks. And when you've had some problems with procrastination it can be a difficult thing to catch up. I do better under the pressure of knowing I have a deadline though, and I usually do my best studying right before the exams. This semester has to be a little different because next weekend I start my new job which will take up two prime studying days right before midterms. This weekend I used Saturday as my relaxation day. My dad and sister were at a baseball game so my mom and I made dinner and watched magic mike. That meant Sunday was my day to get down to studying. Some professors make it very difficult by choosing not to provide a study guide for midterms. I think its a little unfair, because its very unlikely that they're going to cover the material from the entire first half on the midterm. The teachers that do provide study guides at least give you a better idea of what to study. 

This semester I am most worried about my California history midterm. This is a class that does not receive any study guides, and the teacher has a reputation for making her exams very difficult. Our entire grade lies on a midterm, final and a 10 page paper. There's not a lot of room for error when that makes up your entire grade, so I have to be extra careful to study all of the details. 

I usually start my studying in a quiet place, if you're someone who likes a little background noise then I suggest putting on a movie or TV show that you've seen a hundred times so you won't be so easily distracted, for my study day yesterday I chose Jumanji. I lit a Vineyard candle from Bath and Body Works and got snuggled up under my new sweater blanket from Target. I also made myself a cup of chai tea. I like to study in a more comfortable space, although some people would rather be upright at a desk to help them focus better. 

First I try to determine which classes need the most study time. Like I said before, for me that class is History. I also need to set aside study time for English, Art History and Physical Science, and Disney (yep, thats a real class). The next thing I usually do is see which reading I still have to complete for each class, and whether or not there are other readings that I didn't fully understand. 

Lots of my reading for class is online, but if its not too many pages I prefer to print them out. Recently i've also been using my kindle a lot for my class reading. I think it's easier to focus if its something that you can read in your hand rather then on a computer screen, it also makes it easy to take with you if you aren't able to be at home. 

I make sure to pace myself so I don't get too overwhelmed. I try to read a few chapters at once, maybe to or three and then move onto another subject. This helps to avoid getting so bored by one subject that you stop retaining any information. 

This semester I have written exams as well as papers due, and of course they all fall on the same day. My biggest tip is just doing your best to stay organized, and trying different study techniques so you can see what works best for you. Notecards are a great thing. Even if you don't go over them, just the action of writing them out can be helpful to studying.

On the night before your midterms, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Eat something in the morning to jumpstart your day, and even if you can't remember everything that shows up on your midterm, chances are you'll remember a lot. 

Good luck! 


1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your California History midterm, that sounds intense to me.

    ReplyDelete

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