Midterms and finals are always stressful in college. Whether you have exams, group projects, papers, or a combination, everything seems to pile up around the same time. And you always think you’ll budget enough time to get everything done, but chances are you won’t without a plan.
- Create a to-do list and schedule: Make a schedule ahead of time and approximate how much time you will need to spend studying for each exam. Include a buffer day or two because life happens and you will want time to review material or ask for help.
- Prep ahead of time: Think about how you’re going to study for each exam. Do you need to create an outline, make flashcards, reserve a study space?
- Review daily: Do not think that just because you’ve attended class you can get away with minimal studying. Think about studying as a process that can happen over a period of time. By studying in shorter increments over a longer period of time, you will have time to re-reading notes, looking up examples, and quiz yourself/others to identify strengths and weaknesses.
- Create a strong support group: Always try to identify individuals in your class that you can reach out to for help – even if you have a simple question. Also think about friends who may have taken the class before – they may have tips for how to spend your time wisely. Of course, your TA, instructor, or professor will be the most knowledgeable, so if you know you’re struggling with a concept, ask sooner rather than later.
- Use study aids: If a professor gives you example problems or directs you to a website, add those resources to your study prep. Even if your professor does not offer assistance, you can always ask for help or use Google to see what else is available.
- Schedule breaks often: Whether it’s because you don’t want to study or because there’s an upcoming event on campus that you want to attend, you know there will be distractions. So account for time off when making study plans.
- Make your space work: While you may have a favorite study spot, it’s best to have more than one. You should study in spaces that have minimal distraction and you can keep organized. Look for nooks and crannies around campus and town that may maximize your concentration.
- Exercise and get fresh air: You can’t spend all your time studying. Not only does your brain need a break, but your body needs to move away from that library desk you’ve been sitting in for hours. Whether you go outside or hit the gym, do something active.
- Manage anxiety: We all get stressed, but it’s important to know how to deal with your stress. Part of managing anxiety is being prepared and confident. Another part may be implementing simple soothing exercises like meditation and breathing techniques or listening to classical music.
- Sleep: Students tend to get slammed with a ton of work at one point of the semester. Don’t discredit the amount of sleep you will need to be successful. Try to stick to a normal sleep schedule the night before an exam.
Remember, you’re not alone during midterms so check out campus resources. For all of those papers and presentations that you have coming up, get help and feedback from our Business Communications Office.