The mayhem of midterms is approaching, but have no fear – we’ve collected the best tips and tricks to help you keep your cool during the dreaded mid-semester cram session. Follow along with this helpful BNC Study Guide and you’ll be acing your exams in no time!
1. GET STARTED – Ignore that voice in your head that says, “I don’t feel like studying.” The sooner you start preparing, the easier (and more effective) your study sessions will be.
2. ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE – First, determine which exams you have and when they’ll take place. Then, block out time EACH day for studying. Assign a subject to each study session so you know what to expect.
3. ONLY STUDY WHAT’S ON THE EXAM – Before you start studying the book front to back, determine what will actually be included on the exam. Your professors will typically outline the exam structure and let you know where your time studying would be best spent.
4. USE STUDY TOOLS – Take advantage of different study techniques that will help you to memorize the most information in the shortest amount of time. Use flashcards, phone/tablet study apps, mnemonic devices, games, diagrams, songs, drawings – whatever you find most effective for you.
5. STUDY OUT LOUD – By reading information out loud to yourself, you’re actually improving your retention of that knowledge. This is called creating “distinctive memories”. The more you have, the better your chances of remembering that information will be!
6. ATTEND REVIEW SESSIONS & STUDY GROUPS – This is really important. During review sessions, professors will generally tell you a) exactly what will be on the exam (remember #3?) and b) you can ask them to explain anything you haven’t understood throughout the semester. Occasionally, you’ll even get extra points just for showing up and sometimes he/she will tell you exact questions from the exam – it DEFINITELY pays to go. As for study groups, sometimes just hearing someone else explain something to you in a new way, or being forced to explain something to someone else out loud will help you learn more effectively.
7. CHANGE UP YOUR LOCATION – If you study the same information in different locations, you will be more likely to remember it. Doing this forces your brain to make new associations, much like the distinctive memories we discussed in #5.
8. TAKE BREAKS – Giving your mind time to relax and soak in all of that new information is actually a real study technique – and it works! Try doing some light exercise during one of those breaks for some extra brain power and to boost your productivity.
9. EAT HEALTHY – Keep on top of your health by maintaining a nutritional diet – rich with brain foods! Try fitting a few of these favorites into your meals leading up to midterms: fish, blueberries, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and avocados.
10. SLEEP WELL – Possibly the most important of all – get your rest. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule leading up to your exams, getting a good 8 hours of sleep per night. A well-rested brain functions much more efficiently than a sleep-deprived one!
With these 10 great midterm-prep tips, you’ll be on the road to straight A’s and a carefree Spring Break! Is there anything we missed? What is your favorite way to study? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweet @bncollege!