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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2019

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Midterm Tips: how to make it to spring break

Midterm Tips: how to make it to spring break


Midterms for many University of Mary Washington students are happening either this week or the week after spring break. Because of this, students are feeling overwhelmed with an influx of papers, projects and tests. Here are 10 essential tips for students to not only survive midterms, but to also come out on top.

1. Eat brain food 

Food is the most essential part for surviving midterms. The brain needs healthy brain food to not only help you get through a test, but also the day. Nuts such as pistachios and cashews are the best nutrients for your brain as you walk into a test. According to Livestrong, it helps to eat an apple before a test because it reduces anxiety.  

2. Flashcards

Repetition is key when it comes to studying. Write out flash cards of important facts or key terms and recite the question and answer as you make them. This is the most important part of flashcard studying, especially if you are a visual learner.

3. Have someone quiz you 

No one likes to be tested on material, especially by his peers. But this is an essential part of your studying. Because of sleep deprivation and stress, students are more inclined to make mistakes. It can be a good idea to have a friend proofread papers and go through flashcards.

4. Organize notes

Do not just straighten them, read them and practice important terms or key dates. This is great if you are having an open note test, but even if your test is closed book this still helps you go over information and visualize your notes.

5. Create a study schedule—and stick to it

Making a set time in your day that is solely devoted to studying guarantees that you will at minimum be familiar with the material you need to know. Also, schedules are known to help people who are feeling anxious—having something that is definite in your day and not unknown can relieve additional stress.

6. Study with classmates

Group study sessions are sometimes exactly what you need. Not only does it make you sit down and study, but talking about the material with other people can help you see if you are studying the right material or completely off base.

In addition, sometimes explaining material to someone who doesn’t understand it is actually beneficial for you. Repetition helps you remember important details.  

7. Take breaks

Do not study for endless hours without any breaks. Your brain needs a rest so it can process all the information you’ve been cramming into it. After a half hour session take a 10-minute break. Go grab some coffee or stretch and go for a quick walk.

8. Comfort food

While it is a good idea to eat healthy foods for the most brain power, it’s okay to splurge a little bit. It is called comfort food for a reason. Have your favorite candy or snack close by when you’re studying.

9. Playlist

Get your power songs and put them on repeat. Hans Zimmer music is considered the best music for studying— there are no words to distract you and the melodies are the epitome of power tunes.

10. Sleep

Most importantly, try to sleep. Being well-rested will make sure your brain is ready for your next big exam or writing a big paper. Follow these tips and hopefully this midterm season will run smoothly for you. Good luck and don’t forget these essential tips!