Top Five Tips for Making it Through Midterms

 

girl studying

Awen Photography, 2009

#1 Read effectively. Reading scholarly work is different from reading fiction. In fiction, you want to savor each part of the book, but in scholarly work you want to extract the most important parts of the argument.  As you read, jot down questions and connections to other readings.

#2 Go to your instructor’s office hours.  The whole point of exams is to get you to review and remember all of the course content, so don’t ask, “Will this be on the midterm?” (Profs hate that.)  Instead, ask substantive questions about the material – what’s the difference between these two important, similar concepts? How does this theory apply to a specific case?   

Another option is to visit the Learning Resource Center in Bayramian Hall.  You can get feedback on your writing in any subject, or tutoring in Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy, and Economics.

#3  Stay focused.  Lots of students believe that they’re great at multitasking.  They’re nearly all wrong.  Try studying for 20 solid minutes of focus followed by a 5 minute break – you’ll be more productive than if you tried to do three things at once.

If you really need music to block out noise around you, try something without distracting lyrics. I like Explosions in the Sky.

#4 Drink water.  One study suggests that staying hydrated enhances your performance on exams. (And it’ll help balance out all the caffeine you’re drinking.)

#5 Get some sleepSleeping after studying makes it easier to retain all the information you’ve crammed into your brain.

Good luck!

- Laura Wimberley

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