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1. Start earlyCramming – or putting off studying until the day before an exam – is not only an ineffective study strategy; it’s stressful, too. Avoid cramming by starting your midterm studying early – about a month before your exams are scheduled. Most students retain information best when exposed to it repeatedly over time, so you’re likely to benefit more from short study sessions spread over a month than one all-night study session the evening before a midterm exam.
2. Form a study groupSaying you’ll start studying early and sticking to a regular study is one thing, but doing so is quite another. Consider forming a midterm study group to help hold you accountable for your midterm prep. Committing to a group can help motivate you to study hard and contribute to your group’s studying success. When forming a study group, it works best to buddy up with three to four of your classmates. Your study group members can be your friends, but be aware that forming a group with close friends often increases the possibility of distraction. But, no matter whom you form a study group with; in order to succeed it’s essential to stay focused on the purpose of your group: studying for your midterms.
3. Use your time wiselyEvaluate your daily schedule to check for any “wasted” time you could use to study for your midterms. Perhaps you spend an hour before dinner watching TV each night after you come home from swim practice. It would be wise – for at least the month leading up to your midterms – to use that hour for studying. Studying during parts of your day that are typically spent on less valuable activities will give you additional time to focus on the extracurricular activities you really want to spend time on. You’re also likely to find that you have more time to spend with friends and family, too.
4. Stay healthyThough you may wonder how midterm season could become any more challenging, then don’t pay attention to your health and you will quickly find out how that’s possible. Midterm season will only be more stressful if you get sick: not only will being sick make it more difficult to concentrate on your studies, but you may perform worse on your exams. Be sure to put aside time for adequate exercise and sleep, and be sure to eat healthy foods. If you feel you’re too stressed out to handle everything, always make sure to ask a teacher, parent, or guidance counselor for help.
Erica Cirino is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, the leading curated marketplace for private tutors. The company also builds mobile learning apps, online tutoring environments, and other tutoring and test prep-focused technologies.