It’s one of everyone’s favorite times of the semester: midterms! Were you one of those students who could put in minimal effort and still ace your exams in high school?

Well, let me be the first to warn you that those habits will not serve you well in college. I was one of those students in high school where I could get an A on any of the tests I took. In college, this was a reality-shock to me when I did horrible on my first midterms.

To save you from falling into that pit, try to follow these simple tips for a successful midterm season:

1. Write tasks down

With everything going on, it can be easy to forget all those deadlines coming up. Do yourself a favor and make a note of everything you need to do and everywhere you need to be over the next few weeks.

Personally, using online calendars that sync with my university laptop and tablet works really well for me! One free app in particular I like is Trello.

2. Utilize study tools

There are tons of cheap (or free) apps for your phone, tablet and laptop that can help you make the most of your study time!

3. Reduce distractions

One of the quickest ways to lose focus is studying someplace where you’ll be constantly interrupted. Find a quiet place on campus like the library or Baldwin Lounge to review your notes and prepare for upcoming exams!

Personally, I can’t study that well in my room – I would rather clean than study, usually. So I have to be careful when I choose that option. Do what works best for you!

4. Stay healthy

Nothing can derail your plans like a nasty case of the flu or simple exhaustion. To ensure best performance on your exams, make sure you are getting plenty of extra sleep in the days leading up to your tests.

Fuel your brain with healthy treats and make sure to start each day off with a good breakfast. Your mind will focus better if it gets a break every now and then, so be sure to schedule time for a quick walk/run or other exercise, as this will actually help you concentrate better when you get back to studying.


5. All-nighters DO NOT work

Your body will be more stressed from lack of sleep and you’ll find it harder to focus on your tests. Study over the course of the semester in increments, and you’ll find you are less stressed and you will do a lot better!

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John Otis

John graduated in 2016 with a BA in Organizational Communication and minors in History and Global Studies. He is from Pine City, MN and his interests include photography, camping, hiking, and basically anything outdoors with friends.