Guide How to Study for Midterms Exams. Part 1.

efficient preparation for midterms studies

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by Susan

1 September 2017

1. Ask questions

Your college professors and tutors are the most reliable source of knowledge when you study for midterms. Should you have any questions about the material or the exams themselves, be sure to ask your teachers for help. Below is the list of useful questions you should ask to secure yourself a good grade.

  • Will there be a review packet or in-class activity?
  • Should I review the material we covered during the whole year or only the most recent topics?
  • Will there be multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, or essays?
  • How many points can I earn at this exam?
  • Are there any study suggestions from the teacher?
  • Does the teacher offer any extra grade opportunities, like writing a book review, doing a research, etc.?

2. Set up a midterm preparation schedule

Even though sometimes it might feel you do nothing but study, it is possible that you dedicate too little time to midterm exams preparation. To avoid this, set up a special study plan. Once you find out what questions will be on the exam, make a list of topics to cover and plan when exactly you are going to study them. Stepwise preparation will be less stressful and more effective than last-night cramming.

3. Review the notes first

Start with reviewing your notes and handouts, because many questions will definitely concern the material you covered in class. If the midterm exam will test the knowledge you gained during the whole year, be sure to also review previous tests. Apart from analyzing your past mistakes, you can better understand the teacher and think about the possible questions. Plus, you might want to reconsider your approach to taking notes if their quality is far from being excellent.

4. Join a study group

So, if you realize that your notes are yet to be improved, you can partner with some of your classmates whose note-taking skills are better than yours. To make it fair, you may suggest creating the flash card or paying for coffee. By the way, joining study groups is an extremely effective method of preparation, because you can ask questions, discuss complex topics together, recall important pieces of information from the lectures, and just have some fun.

5. Choose different approaches to different subjects

You must have already noticed that you are really good at some subjects, while others leave you struggling. One of the reasons is choosing inappropriate study methods. For instance, practice problems are helpful while studying Algebra, flash cards work best for Biology, but which strategy to choose for English? Although study methods are also a matter of personal preferences, you can ask your tutor to help you choose the best technique.

No matter which method or methods you choose, stay positive. Anxiety won’t work to your advantage, but with good preparation and positive thinking you will earn a fair grade!