How to study for midterms

Calasandra Spray (TheLorian)

Midterm’s fast approach can be overwhelming, and attempting to work out a homework groove to stay ahead and prevent stress is a lengthy process. While keeping up with classwork will require discipline, hard work, and a little bit of stress, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming burden. The following are ways to make studying a little less stressful:

Set aside time specifically for studying. “I’ll get to it soon,” will turn into an all-nighter the day before a big project is due. Instead of cramming, losing valuable sleep, and turning in a “just good enough” paper or project, try setting mini due dates for yourself. Set aside time specifically for studying to meet those mini due dates. That way, when the real due date arrives, the work is done. 

When studying, set cell phones aside. Distractions can easily turn something that should take one hour to complete into something that takes several. Unfortunately, because a majority of studying is online, getting sidetracked by the internet is always a possibility. While the internet is often unavoidable, cell phones are. Cellular devices can break concentration with alerts from social media, text messaging, and phone games, all of which will make studying more difficult. 

Make time to rest. In tandem with setting aside time to study, you can prevent all-nighters that sap your brain and body of energy needed to effectively soak up information from classes. Working brains need sleep to continue functioning. Obtaining a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night is crucial to memory function. 

“When we are sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information,” reports a Harvard study.

Most important, know when to call it a day. Having a balanced life will reduce the stress associated with studying and prevent burnout. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Over-studying can harm your ability to concentrate, reduce the energy you have for socializing, and affect your mood, as well as cause stress-related physical pain (Scholars Education). If you feel like you’re not being productive because of studying all day, then you’re probably not. Take a break and come back to it later, and the task may not seem so overwhelming. 

Good luck with midterms, and have a wonderful fall semester. Happy studying!

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