10 Study Tips To Get You Through Midterms

By Jessi Stickel on October 11, 2015

Well, we are halfway through the semester, which means it’s that time of year … yep, midterms. Midterms are not as terrifying as final exams; however, they do impact your final grade quite a bit.

Many students don’t take midterms as seriously as they should, including not studying for them.

Here are some study tips to try when you’re cracking down on the books for midterms in the next couple of weeks!

*Note that every student is different and has different way of retaining information, so all of these tips may not work for you, but they are worth a try.*

1. Put your phone in another room.

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The worst distraction you can have is your phone. Even if you just put it on silent beside you, there’s a good chance you’ll see it light up from a text or you might just want to check your Instagram.

To avoid your phone turning you into a procrastinator, put it in another room, or if you are in the library keep it in your book bag where it isn’t visible.

2. Turn the TV and music OFF.

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If you prefer to study at home in your dorm or apartment, it is temping to turn on the television or put on Pandora for background noise. If you have ever done this, you have probably caught yourself watching whatever was on, or singing the songs aloud.

It may make studying feel more fun, but it is a constant distraction especially when you are reading over notes. If you study with silence you will find yourself getting through much more material in less time.

3. Get out of your dorm or apartment.

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Let’s face it, studying from home can have so many distractions. From roommates to television, to realizing you need to clean your room, it can get a little out of hand at times.

If you find yourself struggling to get things done from your dorm or apartment, go to the library or a quiet place to study. Sometimes if you are not feeling the whole studying thing, being around people that are and in a peaceful place can set your mind at ease.

4. Make flashcards.

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Class notes and Powerpoints can be very intimidating when you’re trying to study. Flashcards are great for memorizing vocabulary and splitting up the mountain of notes you have. Make sure you do not put too much information on one card, as it is less stressful and easier to memorize a bunch of cards with short answers.

When going through your flashcards, make three piles after answering them yourself: an “I know it!” pile, an “Eh, kinda” pile, and an “I have no idea!” pile.

This way you’re not wasting your time going over material you already know and can work more with the things you need help with. Going through flashcards to study also makes studying a little more fun.

5. Write in different colors.

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Writing whatever you will be studying (notes or flashcards) in different colors may help your memory during the midterm exam. If you are a visual person, this tip may help you the most.

Since not everything you will be reading is in the typical black ink, you may think during the exam, “oh this topic was written in orange” and it could spark your memory of what exactly the flashcard or notes said.

6. Get your friends or classmates involved.

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Getting classmates involved in studying for your midterm is great since you all will benefit from helping one another. Try using your flashcard alone, then get one of your classmates (or a friend) to quiz you. This way they are learning and studying as well. Studying with a classmate is a win-win!

However, make sure you pick someone that is serious about studying and getting a decent grade on the exam; you definitely do not want to waste your time talking about how dumb the class is when you could be studying.

7. Take small, frequent breaks.

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Sometimes if you study for too long, you can overload and bore your brain. It is beneficial to take small breaks throughout your study session. You can get a coffee, take a short walk around campus, grab a bite to eat with friends, or hey, maybe call your mom?

Once you go back to studying your brain will be refreshed and ready to retain information. Just make sure these are short breaks–you shouldn’t be gone for 3-4 hours, as that’s not a break, that’s called procrastinating!

8. Chew gum.

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Some say that chewing gum while studying or taking an exam can help you focus, so you will have to try this out and see if it works for you. Some also say that if you chew the same flavor gum during a test as when you studied it will help you remember what you went over.

I definitely wouldn’t bank on this saving you from bombing a test, but it’s worth a shot to try to boost your memory a little and who doesn’t love gum?

9. Study right before going to bed.

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If you study before going to bed the night before the midterm exam, it may stick in your brain better than only studying hours before. This may not work for everyone, but it does work for me. Something about getting in the information before I go to sleep helps me remember it better, so try it out!

More studying can’t hurt, right?

10. Review material right before the test.

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It’s always a good idea to skim over the material for the exam while waiting for it to start. You may refresh some topics that you may have forgotten. You should also study what you have the most trouble with before the test. There is no sense in constantly going over things that you have locked in your brain — focus on the more difficult material.

Good luck studying and on your midterms!

My name is Jessi. I love entertainment news and enjoy writing about my favorite celebrities and films. I love to travel and see different places. I hope you enjoy reading my articles. I am happy to be a part of Uloop's national team!

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