It’s midterms week and life can begin feeling hectic. The good news is that you can prepare for midterms in small ways that will make a big difference on test days!
- Be in communication with your professors. It’s better to over communicate than under communicate with your professors. This doesn’t mean you should email them for everything, but it is a good idea to speak with them before or after classes or schedule a time to meet privately. Simply asking questions during class can make a big difference.
Consider asking these questions:
-Will there be a study guide or study sessions for the midterm?
-What is the format of the exam?
Make sure you look at the class syllabus before asking questions because the answers may be on the syllabus already.
- Study Smarter. There are many resources available through the Office of Student Success that can help you prepare for your midterms. Don’t wait until finals to go to tutoring! Email Ethan Lannom at Elannom@cumberland.edu for more information about tutoring opportunities.
- Try out different study spots. It can be tempting to get too comfortable if you’re studying on the couch. Sometimes it’s easier to study in an unfamiliar environment than in your own room. Try going to the Vise Library, the LCC, or a local coffee shop to study.
- Don’t be afraid to take breaks. It can be very beneficial to study in increments and set aside short but frequent breaks. The Pomodoro Technique works to minimize multitasking and help you focus on one task.
-Pick one task.
-Set a 25-minute timer and work on the one task for the entire time.
-Take a 5-minute break.
-For every 4 pomodoros, take a 15 to 25 minute break.
- All-nighters are not your friend. You will be tempted to trade sleep for studying, but that is one of the worst things you can do. Research shows that sleeping helps improve memory and learning. Try to aim for getting at least 7 hours of sleep, if not more.
- Background noise can help you concentrate. Not everyone can study in complete silence. Some people find it helpful to listen to classical music, jazz, or simply find a place that has a lot of background noise, like a coffee shop.
- Practice active reading to help retain information. Have you ever read something and realized halfway down the page that you can’t recall what you just read? By highlighting, underlining and taking notes in margins, you’re more likely to retain information.
Trying out these different techniques can make a big difference in how efficiently you study and improve your overall success in classes.