How to thrive during midterm season

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Pictured are letters arranged to spell out “study” on a desktop in front of blurred out books. Midterm season is approaching, or has approached for most, and while it can be extremely stressful, tips to study can help more than ever known. Photo credit to Pixabay

As we come to the close of the seventh week of this spring semester and approach the long-awaited spring break, a looming threat once on the horizon is finally in full view. 

Midterm season is not the most enjoyable time of the year for students at the University of Connecticut. It is full of late studying sessions, constant reviews of notes and presentations, stressful practice sessions and of course the test days themselves. 

This article will break down the ways to make your midterm season successful, including a few tips and tricks from UConn students themselves along the way. 

Know Your Study Style 

Arguably the most important key to having a successful midterm season is knowing your particular study style.  

There is no clear-cut way to study for exams. There are countless methods, including memorizing flashcards, pouring through notes for hours, quizzing yourself and reviewing presentations. 

However this isn’t necessarily about the methods themselves, but rather what timeline makes you the most prepared on your test day. Some people prefer cramming their studying into a one day period, forcing themselves to memorize the material. Others prefer a more gradual approach, memorizing the material over a longer period of time, such as a few days or even a week. 

“I think a very important strategy is [to] study early and often, making it a routine to accumulate knowledge as you go,” said Ethan Wicko, a fourth-semester mechanical engineering major. “I think it’s fundamental to building and understanding rather than memorizing.” 

Others agree with this approach, though sometimes it is difficult to actually put into action. 

“I would recommend studying for midterms by not waiting until the night before like my friends and I did,” said Youssef Amer, a fourth-semester computer science major. “I have a midterm in about three hours and I am freaking out, but it’s okay, because I got this, but you shouldn’t do this and I shouldn’t do this next time either.” 

“I THINK A VERY IMPORTANT STRATEGY IS [TO] STUDY EARLY AND OFTEN, MAKING IT A ROUTINE TO ACCUMULATE KNOWLEDGE AS YOU GO. I THINK IT’S FUNDAMENTAL TO BUILDING AND UNDERSTANDING RATHER THAN MEMORIZING.”

Ethan Wicko

Other students actually consciously choose that one-night approach, rather than falling into it due to procrastination. 

“I have a unique approach to studying for midterms, I actually wait until the last minute,” said Daniyal Athar, a fourth-semester molecular and cellular biology major. “I try to internalize all the information and regurgitate that on the midterm. That helps me make sure to go over all the slides, all the presentations, memorize everything I can see with my eyes and then just do the midterm.” 

Ultimately, the important thing is to find the right method for yourself. This can be done through trial and error, or studying for different exams in different ways and seeing which ones you perform better on. Studying can be demanding, so it is important to understand yourself to do it well. 

Find the Right Studying Location 

Another important factor in the studying process is finding a place where you can focus. 

In this ever digitized and connected world, it is difficult to focus for hours on end while studying what can be fairly dense material. Thus, it is ever important to find an environment that fits your needs and comforts to study in. 

Again, this is something of personal preference, as some people enjoy studying in their own rooms while others prefer the library or even dining halls. 

“I WOULD RECOMMEND STUDYING FOR MIDTERMS by not waiting until the night before like my friends and I did. I have a midterm in about three hours and I am freaking out, but it’s okay, because I got this, but you shouldn’t do this and I shouldn’t do this next time either.”

Yousef Amer

“I prefer studying in my room, mostly because I have everything that I need there,” said Daniel Paliulis, a fourth-semester computer science major. “If I go to the library or I go to ITE and I need a textbook, I’d have to come back, and I also have a two monitor setup which is really convenient for [computer science] stuff.” 

Ultimately, the right location depends on the resources you need to study and where you feel most comfortable. 

Get Enough Sleep 

Though it is arguably the norm to stay up late to cram information before your exam day, this is not the most beneficial of strategies. 

Getting a good night’s sleep simply helps you think more clearly, have more stamina throughout the day and be more mentally healthy. It may be tempting to memorize another line of notes or a few equations before going to bed, but even a few extra minutes can go a long way. 

The Daily Campus wishes you the best of luck on your midterm exams. If you know your study style, find the right location and get enough sleep, there is no limit to how well you can do on your tests these next few weeks. 

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