Midterm Madness: how to dominate your midterm

Cuppies and Joe
Finding the right place to study is key to studying for mid-terms. (Photo by Muy Yum used under Creative Commons license)

By Ashleigh Buchanan

I was looking ahead at my schedule and I have a midterm the Tuesday after Fall Break. Lame. I’ve always thought it was unfair that midterms fall right around Fall Break because really, who wants to crack open a textbook over a school break? Having midterms right before a break is rough too because you just want blow stuff off and start the break early. Or maybe that’s just me.

But midterms are a necessary evil. And since they have a big impact on our grades, we need to take them seriously. It’s important to figure out what kind of studier you are because everyone learns differently! Since I’m a senior and know everything, I thought I would share some of my wisdom. And since I know a lot of smart people who study for tests too, I asked around for more midterm tips!

Tip #1 – Find your study place.

Kelsi Vines recommends finding a place that you can concentrate but that has incentive, like a place with good coffee, comfy chairs or a nice view! I’ve studied at Cuppy’s and Joe (a cupcake/coffee place at 23rd Street and Shartel) before and it’s a great environment for studying! In the afternoons it’s not too loud but not too quiet, and you can reward yourself with a cupcake! A good study place is a key part in successful studying.

Tip #2 – Perfecting the setting.

Finding your perfect place is only part of having a great study atmosphere; you supply the rest. Of course you need to have the right materials: notes, textbooks, laptop, highlights, flashcards, etc. I love using flashcards because I can save them and use them to study for the final! Zach Bond says his study experience always includes a good playlist. If you’re into the instrumental only study music, Bond recommends the artist The Album Leaf. However, if you want some soft lyrics to keep you focused, go with the artist Sigur Ros. Small things like this help complete your study atmosphere and keep you on track.

Tip #3 – Take Breaks.

I’m not the type of person who can just sit and stare at a textbook for hours and hours. Sometimes I hit a wall and just need to take a break before I dive back in.  Sharyl Moseley recommends taking restricted breaks while studying. Taking a short walk or allowing yourself 10 minutes of surfing the Internet can be a great mental break! But remember, these are restricted breaks! Don’t let your 10 minute facebook-break turn into a hour long facebook/twitter/instagram/youtube break. Willpower, people.

So after reading this, you are bound to do amazing on all your midterms. It’s important not to stress out about midterms; too much pressure might make you sick. At the end of the day, it’s just a test. If you do less than awesome on the midterm, you have the second half of the semester to do amazing! And working hard all semester long helps keep pressure off these big tests.

I better alert the Bethany Police Department, because you guys are about to murder your midterms.