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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

As a freshman new to the college experience, your first midterms can be intimidating. You may not fully know what to expect, which can fill you with a lot of anxiety leading up to test week. You know that college midterms are likely much harder than what you’ve already experienced in high school, but just how much harder they are is as of yet a mystery with the potential to keep you up at night. 

Midterms will be brought up by your professors long before the day even arrives, which can have you dreading them for weeks in advance. And watching your peers stress out in a mad scramble to retain information before it's too late is something that can further plunge you into a state of distress. This may all seem inevitable, but you don’t have to accept that. There are things you can do to make midterm week a lot more comfortable for yourself. 

If you do just a few things to prepare yourself, you can go into your midterms feeling a lot more relaxed. The knowledge that you’ve done what you can to make sure you’re ready will make you feel much calmer in the moment than someone who is rushing to prepare themselves at the last minute. You can be so prepared, you could end up looking like the serene eye in the midst of a storm of students running around and trying to study in panic. Here are a few things you can do for the best midterm results!

Start Early

Getting a head start on your studying will help ease you into midterm week. 

The library is always a comfortable and quiet place to get some studying done in between classes. Image courtesy of StudyPug.

Don’t wait until midterms are right around the corner to start studying. You want your study session to be a quick brush up on all the knowledge you’ve obtained thus far, which is hopefully a good amount. While knowledge retention can be difficult to achieve when you’re being taught something new each day, the trick is to regularly study along the way. Even if you don’t have any major tests coming up, make sure you’re studying just to make sure that you retain what you’ve learned. Brush up on old knowledge weekly. If you wait until the midterm is upcoming to make sure you still remember everything you’d learned in the past several weeks, you’re going to be stressed out. 

Choose a Comfortable Study Location

The place where you study can have a large effect on how well your study sessions will go. Each person has different preferences regarding where it works best to study, and it's up to you to decide which study locale suits you the best. Having a vast campus around you gives you many options. You should try out a few to figure out which place makes your studying time go most smoothly. Your bedroom could be the ideal spot for you, or maybe it's the library. You could also try an empty classroom or even an outdoor space. It could also be a good idea to study in a coffee shop or at a friend’s place. Try out all or a few of these places and pay attention to what feels best. You can make study time a regular part of your routine with its own designated space.


Keep Your Notes Organized

Keeping your notes in an organized state will make it easier to study. 

When you take your notes in class, make sure you have a separate book or section dedicated to each course you’re taking. You’ll want to make sure that you’re writing good notes, but it won’t be too useful if you’re having trouble finding them when you need them. Designate a single notebook for each class, or give each subject its own section of a five-subject notebook. And always make sure to date and title your notes so that important pages are easy for you to flip to. As long as your notes are written clearly and kept in order, it will be easy for you to flip to the pages you need. 

This To Do List from OCM will help you keep your days organized as well. You can write out your daily and monthly schedule, and keep a list of everything you need to get done. It will be easy for you to keep track of everything you need to keep your days in order, which will keep you from having any major exam come as a surprise.

Use Study Guides

Take advantage of the tools your professors give you to help you study. 

A nice warm drink can make a study session feel a lot cozier. Image courtesy of Wits Education

Your professors make study guides for a reason, make sure you’re taking advantage of the help. Your professor’s study guide will clue you in about what will likely be found on the exam. Since they are the ones creating the exam, their study guides are the best source of information about the exam. You can also create your own study guide with the guide that you were given. Tailor your study guide to fit your study needs so that it's helpful to you. If a certain layout or style of writing works best for you, use your professor’s study guide to create that version. 

Don’t treat your study guide as if it's an answer sheet. It is meant to guide you towards what to study, not supply you with the answers. Using a study sheet will help you narrow your focus, which will help to reduce your stress. Rather than try to study everything in the textbook, you’ll get to focus on the most important parts. 

Talk to Your Professors

Your professors don’t stop teaching as soon as they leave the classroom, they are mostly eager to assist you!

This professor has all the answers you seek. Image courtesy of Discover PHD

Your professors are usually eager to help in whatever ways they can. Don’t assume you’ll be a bother because they must have other things to do, they are mainly there for your benefit. They often have office hours for a reason, they like being accessible to their students. Drop by to speak to your professor during their office hours or schedule any time outside of class that works for you. They can help you focus on the right things before the exam, and also help you further understand any concepts that may confuse you. 

You can also send your professors simple emails to ask for help. If you have a simple question that you don’t need to have a meeting for, just shoot an email and you’ll get a helpful response eventually. Some professors may even be fine with a call or a message. Ask each one for the best way to reach them, or just the ones whose classes you have some trouble with. 

Take Breaks

You shouldn’t be studying all the time. 

It’s just as important to take adequate breaks as it is to study. It is not very healthy to focus all your free time on your schoolwork. It might sound as if studying all the time will be beneficial to you, but it can actually have the opposite effect. It can cause you to burn out too quickly, which will lead to much more stress than you need. A high amount of stress will cause negative effects on your body and mind. You’ll end up feeling more tired and scatter brained if you push yourself too hard. 

Healthy breaks help the body and mind run well, just as much as working them do. It is ideal to have a good balance or rest and work to earn the best results. Studies throughout the years have found that students who overwork themselves are more likely to suffer from mental issues like sleep deprivation and depression. You want to keep your body and mind in top shape so that they can serve you best come exam time. 

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Don’t Go Hungry

Satisfying your hunger will keep your brain functioning at its best. 

When you’re worried about classes and test scores, food may not be the most prominent thing on your mind, but keeping your hunger satisfied is important when it comes to test preparation. You should make sure to eat before your study sessions, and before your exams. Studies have shown that eating before studying helps students focus which in turn helps them earn higher test scores. Food provides fuel for your brain, which helps it to function better. Your brain needs adequate nutrients in order to do its job well. 

If you’re stuck thinking about your hunger, you will lose focus and won’t retain as much information as you would like to. You are also more likely to be irritable, which can cause impatience with the whole study process. You might end up eager to be done with studying and rushing through it just to get done with it rather than actually learning. This will not bode well for your test scores. It is best if you can take your time and fully focus on the task at hand. You don’t want to be distracted by your empty stomach. 

This care package from OCM will help satisfy hunger when you don’t have the time or the energy to head to the dining hall. If you’re studying in between classes, grab something from this box on your way out. You can simply pull it out and enjoy a snack before you start your study session. 

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep is necessary for your body to perform at its best. 

Pulling an all-nighter is something that many college students do before big exams, but it is not actually the best solution. Getting a good amount of sleep is something that helps out a lot more with an exam than losing sleep will. You might think that the information will be more fresh in your mind when you spend all night learning it, but your brain may be too tired to recall everything you’ve just reviewed during the actual exam. Your brain isn’t designed to absorb tons of information on no sleep and retain it well, it actually operates best during the day after a good night of sleep. When you pull an all-nighter, you’re relying on your short-term memory which can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. You’ll have a limited window to regurgitate the information you took in, and you never know when it will disappear from your mind. 

When you’re sleep deprived, you will also have a tougher time concentrating. Your brain will already have a tough time remembering what you’ve learned, an inability to concentrate on top of that will only make your testing experience worse. The best way to study is in short bursts, preferably several days before the exam. That way you can retain information better and also make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the exam. 

This headboard pillow from OCM will help out with your resting needs. You can use it for studying and sleeping. You can sit up against it or lay down onto it. It is made of soft sherpa for maximum comfort. Running your hands across it will feel so relaxing. There is a hidden zipper on this pillow so you can separate them if you’d like. You can use one for your back and the other for your legs. Whichever way you choose to use it will add a lot of comfort to your resting time.

Midterms are usually a stressful time for college students, especially when you’re new to the whole thing. Following these few important steps can help ease you into the process so you’re not overwhelmed with nerves when the time comes. Make sure you can face your exams with confidence!