It’s midterm season (or finals, depending on how your school structures things). The new year means that many students are about to be tested on everything they’ve learned since school started in the fall. Whether you view midterms as an opportunity to showcase how hard you’ve worked, or a major obstacle to your high school survival, here are some tips to make the whole process go more smoothly.
Stick to your routine
If you are someone who goes to bed at the same time every night, don’t stop now. If you always walk your dog at 6:45pm, don’t make your little brother do it just because you have finals. Stick to your routine as best you can – it’s been working for you so far. Remember that finals are a test just like any other. This is especially important to remember if you are normally a good test taker.
Look over previous tests/assignments
Many teachers recycle questions, or at least question types, when they write multiple exams. Looking over previous tests and assignments, especially in a cumulative class like Math or Chemistry, can sometimes help you to predict the sorts of questions a teacher will use. Use those resources to your benefit!
The other advantage to studying prior tests is that you realize your own mistakes. Getting an accurate picture of your own weaknesses allows you to identify the areas you should focus on while studying.
Make a plan and stick to it
It’s very easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of stress and deadlines with several cumulative exams looming. Stress is at an all time high, and it’s easy to lose track of time. Before the big days get too close, make sure you give yourself time to budget out how much time you’ll need to study for each subject, and when you’ll do so. Take into account your extracurricular activities, and don’t sacrifice sleep unnecessarily.
Run your study plan by your teacher
Teachers love to hear that their students plan to work hard on their assignments. Once you come up with a plan of what to study when, run it by your teacher and make sure s/he doesn’t see any big problem with the topics you’re spending time on and how you allot that time relatively.
Keep in mind here that the way you ask the questions here is everything. Questions like “Here is my study plan. Am I overlooking anything that I should be focusing on?” are good. Questions like, “Will X be on the test?” are often bad, especially if the teacher already gave you a list of what would be on the test.
Avoid late night caffeine
Whatever your preferred caffeinated beverage is – energy drink, tea, or coffee – don’t drink it too late at night. While it is true that caffeine can boost your short-term energy level and concentration, it can also disrupt your sleep pattern. Yes, extra studying is good, but not at the expense of your focus on the big day.
Drink enough water
The human brain requires a good amount of water to function at its peak. Why? Because science. Stay hydrated to give yourself the best chance of performing at your highest level.
Form a study group
We’ve posted before about the pros and cons of studying in groups. Your friends can help you by holding you accountable, filling gaps in your knowledge with what they know, and serving as a sounding board for your own ideas. Just beware that they don’t distract you, and that everyone is on the same page in terms of what needs to get done.
Take breaks and stay sane
All work and no play makes everyone absolutely nuts. Build short breaks into your schedule so you can keep a balance of sanity and productivity – but make sure you get back to work on time.
Looking for a professional study buddy this finals season? Contact us today!