By Eric Xue, Co-Convergence Editor
We’re already halfway through the school year and the dreaded midterm exams will soon be upon us. To some, this may be good news; after all, most of us are done after half a day of testing. However, to others, midterms mark a period of stress and anxiety. But fret not, The Spoke has you covered with some tips that will help you feel prepared for your tests.
1) Find a suitable study environment
Limiting distractions is key to success when studying for tests. For most people, this means going somewhere quiet and turning off all their devices. A quiet setting will help you focus on the material and prevent your mind from wandering to other things. To maintain this focus, it’s best if you turn off all devices or store them away. It’s unconducive to be studying while checking your computer or phone for new text messages, which will only lead to partial understanding of the material you need to know for your midterms.
2) Take short breaks
Taking breaks throughout your study sessions will help you stay both focused and sane, but that doesn’t mean you should go on Facebook for an hour or watch Netflix. After studying for one or two hours, take a 15 minute break to relax and get your mind off of studying for a bit. Breaks should be something that you look forward to and a change of pace from your studies. This will allow your brain to process and organize the information you have just reviewed so that when you go back to studying, you feel refreshed and ready to go.
3) Study in groups
Sometimes studying by yourself is just too overwhelming, especially when you have a lot of information to cover. Studying in groups can help lessen the load you have on your shoulders. When forming a study group, make sure the people in it are just as focused and determined to ace their exams as you are; those who are not will only hinder the progress of your studies and prevent you from getting the grade you want. When studying in a group, divvy up the content so that each person has an equal share. Become an expert in your assigned topic, then meet with the people in your study group to go over all the material before the exam.
4) Make notecards
Using notecards is a great way to study. Active studying, such as writing out important terms and concepts, is the most effective way to get all the material into your head. While making your notecards, some information will already be absorbed when you write out the terms and definitions, and you will have an easier time recalling them.
5) Make a playlist of study music
Silence may be good for some period of time, but for long periods of time, it will drive you insane. To make sure you keep your sanity, you can create a playlist composed of study music. This does not mean you can just put in any songs you want, even if they might be your favorites. Study music should almost blend into your surroundings and have a calming force on you. This way, you can continue to focus on the material without getting distracted.
6) Stay healthy
After hours of continuous study, your muscles will become tense from sitting around for so long and your stomach is bound to be grumbling for food. When this starts to happen, get up and move around. Stretching will always help relieve the tension in your muscles but if you want to do more, feel free. After all, exercise will help you focus and work more efficiently in the long run. Also, when you are hungry, you don’t want to go right for the junk food. Eat healthy foods, such as blueberries, that will fill you up and stimulate your brain at the same time.
7) Don’t cram
Most importantly, do not wait until the day before to study for your midterms. Unless you have a photographic memory, you won’t be able to comprehend and memorize all the content you need to in order to do well on your tests. Cramming the day before will also lead to losing sleep, something that you need in order to think clearly and recall information effectively. Nonetheless, that does not mean you shouldn’t look over your study materials the day before the test. Make sure you skim over important concepts and test yourself to see how much you know.
Eric Xue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.