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Opinion: Nervous about midterms? Here are some study tips

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Study Notes

Midterms: we love to hate them.

Don’t worry, though. Here are some tips to ace those exams.

Don’t study all at once.

Start dedicating each day to one or two subjects. For example, devote Monday to studying American government, while on Thursday you can focus on calculus. Plan your study time in a way that works for you, but try not to procrastinate or cram all the information in your brain at once.

Take a break.                     

During every study session, you should take about a 10-15-minute break. Watch a video, eat a snack, take a walk or rest your eyes. Just make sure you’re not overstudying material.

Visit office hours.

You've likely been told numerous times to go talk to your professors during their office hours, but this is helpful. If you have a question on the review or there is material that is hard to understand, then it’s important to ask your professor the first chance you get.

Stay off your cellphone.

Unless you absolutely need your phone, the best thing to do is not check it every five seconds. Try turning on “Do Not Disturb,” or download apps such as "Tide" and "Pocket Points." The less distracted you are, the more beneficial studying becomes.

Form a study group.

If you know people who are taking the same course as you, create a group chat and a study group. Plan a time and place, assign specific sections of the review to each person and even bring food to create a fun experience. Study groups can also form future friendships.

Get plenty of sleep.

Remember, a good night’s rest is most important. Staying up until 6 a.m. is not healthy for your mind or body. Taking a midterm while you’re sleep-deprived won’t help you. Rest allows you to think clearly, which is key for any exam.

Study in a comfortable setting.

Avoid areas where you’re distracted and can’t complete a task without having to stop every few seconds. Try studying in quiet places, such as the library, a coffee shop or the Student Union, depending on the time of day.

Eat up.

If you want to stay energized, grab a snack when you’re studying. Sometimes students can forget to eat because of their busy schedules, but getting nutrients is important. You don't have to eat a full-course meal every time, but maybe pack trail mix or peanut butter crackers before you head to the library.

Be confident.

You got this. Nerves are OK, especially if you’re a freshman and this is your first time taking a midterm. Don't forget to have a positive mindset, and don't wait until the last minute to review material. If you study hard and study smart, you will pass midterms.

opinion.ed@ocolly.com