How to Prepare For Midterms

how to prepare for midterms

It’s that time of the school year when it’s the halfway mark and professors love to give midterms. To me it’s the second most stressful time of the year (after finals), just because there is a lot of information crammed into one test. But I’m going to share some tips with you that will hopefully make things less stressful.

1. Find out the format of the test

Will it be all multiple choice, short answer, essay, or a combination of those? How many questions will there be? This will help you study more efficiently because you will know how to study. If it’s an essay test, then you know you need to know the main concepts in the class and come up with a thesis. If it’s multiple choice, then you need to study terms, dates, and names, and be able to recognize so that you can easily choose the right answer on the test.

2. Divide and Conquer

If there is a lot of material that will be on the test, break it up so that you can tackle smaller chunks of information instead of trying to cram it all in at once. For example, with my Poly Sci exam, there are 3 pages of terms that will be on the test. Instead of trying to sit down and trying to write down the definition for each one, I divided them into related sections so all of the presidents in one section, all of the amendments to the Constitution in the other. Or you could do it based on your notes, so you would go through a couple days of notes at a time.

3. Practice what you know

If you have a short answer or multiple choice test, then you can test what you know by asking yourself sample questions or having a friend or family member look at your notes and ask you to explain them. If you can, you’re in good shape, if you can’t then you need to go over that again.

4. The night before

Pack your bag so that you aren’t rushing in the morning; get your pencils, pens, exam booklet, calculator, what ever you need for the test. Also go over your notes finding out what you do know, and then going over what you don’t know. If you save all of your studying for the night before (no judgement, I’ve done it as well), then go over your notes a couple of times, writing down what you don’t remember so that you know what to study. Then try to get some sleep.

5. The day of the test

Breakfast will help wake you up the morning of your test, so try to get some. Also, try not to be nervous, you prepared for the test (hopefully) so it shouldn’t be too bad. You can use the time you have before the test to do a final review of your notes, and go take the test.

You got this! Good luck!


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