First thing’s first; take a chill pill if you need one. Midterms is one of the biggest stressors of the semester, so it’s very easy for everyone to start to freak out a little. “OMG what if I fail? What if I blank on this part of the test? I have three tests this week what do I do? I work 8 hours tonight too…what am I going to do?!” You’ll be okay, you’ll be fine, so relax. Instead of getting all worked up and anxious over what hasn’t happened yet, here are 5 great ways to help you succeed and stay productive over these next few weeks:
1. Organize & Prioritize
Make a list of all that you need to do and accomplish before fall break (which, if you didn’t know, is next week Thursday 10/26 and Friday 10/27). Writing everything down can help you easily visualize your tasks and give you a starting point. Star the MOST important ones, and then rank them in order of when they need to be done. For example, instead of worrying that you need to study for four tests next week, write a lab report due tomorrow and clean your super messy room eventually, organize and prioritize them! Clearly, you need to get your lab report done for tomorrow, so do that first. Then, work on studying for each test you’ll have chronologically. Worry about cleaning your room some other time, or if you have a study break and want to stay productive.
2. Better Body, Better Brain
The generalized triad of a healthy body in college includes eating well, sleeping enough and staying adequately hydrated. When you’re stressed out, it’s super easy to forget to eat or reach for the easiest, junkiest foods on hand. Try to stick to the “good stuff” that helps you think and feel better. Sleeping enough at night is critical too. You’re way less likely to perform well on an exam if you pull an all-nighter beforehand cramming for it. Relax, go to bed, and wake up early instead if you feel like you need to. More sleep equals better creative and logical thinking for those test questions you get stumped on. Lastly, drinking enough water is especially important when we become caffeine-crazed from mega studying. Caffeine from coffee, energy drinks and some teas can seriously make you dehydrated, and thus make your brain work lousier. For every caffeinated beverage you have, try to drink 2 big glasses of water afterwards.
3. Utilize Flashcards & Mnemonic Devices
When you’re trying to prepare for a lot of exams in one time period, it’s easy to feel frantic that you won’t remember everything. Chillax. Some great tools to use while studying to help your memory work better are flashcards and mnemonic devices. Flashcards are great for putting your pen to paper and having that mind-body connection of writing different terms. If you’re a visual learner like me, it gets easier and easier to “see” the card over time when testing yourself. Mnemonic devices are also easy to use, and help your brain encode things easier and faster. Here’s a great link for seeing some examples of Mnemonic devices.
Make sure to try out at least one of these tips for going through all your mid-semester tests and projects – they’re sure to help you out in one way or another!
Written by Hannah Garrett on 11/04/17