Midterm exams hold a lot of importance for students, as they are a determining factor of their first semester grades. Because of the impact that midterm exams can have on your transcript, it is important to properly prepare for them. However, many students do not know how to do so. As midterm exam season will soon be upon us, students should learn proper study habits before it is too late. If you struggle with studying and usually save test preparation for the last minute, consider using these steps as a guide.
1. Beginning the process
The most helpful thing you could do when studying for an exam is to start reviewing as early and as frequently as possible. When you start studying earlier, it gives you time to pick up things you may have missed when initially learning the information. In doing this, cramming and learning important information the night before will be avoided. Starting test preparations early and studying frequently will ensure that you know the information inside out and will be better prepared for the examination.
2. Use your learning style
When studying information, it is helpful to know which methods of review are the most beneficial for you and your learning style– or the way you absorb information the easiest. Most people fall into one of the three main learning styles: auditory, kinesthetic and visual.
Whilst studying for exams, auditory learners may benefit from reciting and summarizing information out loud, listening to lectures or creating rhymes and songs to remember information.
Visual learners may benefit from watching videos, organizing information into charts or diagrams or taking notes and highlighting important chunks of material.
Kinesthetic learners may benefit more from writing information down, playing informational games or applying information to real-life examples.
To discover which method of studying will help you the most, take a learning style inventory quiz here.
3. Test your knowledge
Sure, knowing the information is important for preparing for a test, but knowing how to take the test is even more beneficial. If you do not know how to apply the information you have been reviewing, then all of your hard work will have gone down the drain.
In order to properly prepare for test day, ask your teacher what form the test will be in so you can run through practice tests that will accurately portray how you will perform when taking the real thing. Doing practice tests will also show you your weakest areas so you can work toward improving your knowledge in areas of struggle.
4. The night before
The night before the test you really only want to do a short, final review and maybe go through another practice quiz. It is more important to get a good amount of sleep than to cram in as much information as possible. If you followed the previous instructions and started studying earlier, then you shouldn’t have to cram the night before. According to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, spacing out your time devoted to studying is much more effective than cramming, so do not wait until the night before the test to begin studying.
5. Taking the test
Remember to stay calm and continue to remind yourself that you are well prepared for this test. If you freak yourself out too much, it could hinder your ability to recall information and select the correct answers. If you struggle during the test, use process of elimination or, if it’s a written response, write as much information as you possibly can about the topic at hand.
Midterm season can be a stressful time for many students, but by following these steps you can effectively study and receive high scores on your exams.
Photo by Kayla Florenco