By Alexandra Bosco, 3rd-year Con-Ed Life Sci/Psych student
The leaves have started to change colour, you’ve gotten settled into your school routine, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. That my friends, means one thing: midterms are coming.
If you haven’t had a midterm or two yet, then they may be coming soon. Whether you are a first year or third year, preparing for midterms while balancing regular schoolwork and extracurricular activities can prove to be a challenge. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your midterm preparation is a success!
- Make a plan. As soon as you know the dates of quizzes, tests, or midterms, put them in your planner. I like to use monthly planners that allow me to see what my responsibilities are for the month as a whole.
- Prepare early and beat the curve of forgetting! After 30 days we lose 80-90% of what we learned if we don’t review that information again. Reviewing your notes after you make them, a week later, and then a month later will help you win the battle against that dreaded curve of forgetting and help you on your path of the curve of remembering.
- Prioritize. Do the most important things first! You can use the ABC method to help prioritize tasks. Start by making a list of all the tasks you need to get done, studying, note taking, assignments etc. Then label each task. A is for tasks that need to be done immediately, B is for tasks that you need to get done soon, and C is for tasks that can wait until later. After rating each task A, B or C, its time to stark working!
- If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to take break. However there is a difference between taking a break to look at a single cute cat video versus binge watching an entire season of Game of Thrones. Queen’s Learning Strategies recommends using the 50/10 rule, which means for every 50 minutes of work/studying, you take a 10 minute break. This method is effective for two reasons. First, we remember best what we learn in the first and last 20-25 minutes of a lesson or work session. By limiting studying to 50 minutes increments you are maximizing the amount of material that you will remember. Second, taking a break helps to increase motivation and productivity.
- Remember, you can do it! Preparing for midterms while going to classes and learning new material can feel overwhelming and if you let yourself believe that you can’t do it, you likely won’t. To quote Theodore Roosevelt “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”