The halfway point of the semester is approaching us, which means two things—we’re getting closer to winter break, and it’s midterm time. With the heavy course loads and busy schedules of students, it can be difficult to sit down and focus to study. Here are five tips, suggested by Post students on how to manage your time and workload to be successful on your midterms:
1. Shut off your electronic devices. Turn off your cell phones, iPads, computers, video games and all other electronic devices known to distract you. Christina King, a junior majoring in English, says that doing this helps her concentrate while studying. For Apple users, the new software of the iPhone has a “Do Not Disturb” setting that keeps the phone from receiving any incoming messages or calls, which is a useful tool to keep you focused on studying.
2. Review, review, review. This is one of the more popular techniques that Post students use to study. Making review sheets is one way that Dan Morris, a fresh¬man accounting major, studies for big exams. He goes through his notes that he took in class and compiles the most important information into a single sheet so he can study the information easier. Review sheets help con¬dense the information that the professor has given, so you won’t be as overwhelmed with a large amount of information.
3. Rewrite your notes. When Kristen Costa, a freshman English education major, studies her notes she likes to rewrite them by hand. When she rewrites her notes she simplifies them and writes in different colors to differentiate various topics. She said that this trick is especially helpful when your teacher allows it to be an open book exam. Rewriting your notes is a great studying device because it gives you a chance to read your notes while thinking about them.
4. Make practice tests. Wolf German, a sophomore adolescent education major, says that following what is going on in class makes it a lot easier when it becomes time to study. He uses blackboard to go over information his professors posted to supplement his notes. German also uses a website called quia.com; if you join the site you will gain the ability to create your own quizzes to test yourself on how well you really know the curriculum you need to know. Stephen Corr, a freshman film major, says that he goes over his notes and makes practice tests as well to help him study for big exams. Going over notes from class and the assigned readings helps him a lot while studying. This is an effective way of studying since you are forced to ponder over the most important parts of the curriculum while creating a tool that will put you in a similar format as the actual exam you are preparing for.
5. Use music to help your memory. Other students find that music helps them study for a big test. “I like to listen to a good song,” Nori Abranson, a senior history major, said about what she does to study. She associates difficult questions and topics with songs that she likes to help her remember the information. When she can’t remember some¬thing she starts to sing it to the rhythm of the song so that way when she thinks about the song, she will also think about, and remember, the difficult pieces of the course that she was studying. She learned this trick in a psychology class.
Midterms are an important part of the semester because the tests often weigh heavier than other tests in your grade for the class. Studying, and getting to know the curriculum is vital when it comes to acing a test. Get to know how your mind works; once you find the studying technique that works best for you midterms may actually seem a little less daunting in the future.