Student Life

Getting Through Midterms

It’s coming up on that time of the semester when you’re going to have to start thinking and studying for your midterms.  It is probably one of the most stressful times of the semester, as some of your classes will have midterms, others won’t, and some will have papers or presentations.  It’s just a mess!

Well, we certainly feel your pain.  The long nights of studying, writing papers, and endless lines of questions, you can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed.  While you should check out our post on de-stressing in college, here are some more tips to help you stay focused during this time in the semester.

Find a good spot to study.   As we’ve noted before, studying in your room cannot only be stressful, it can also be incredibly distracting.  Choose a place that suits your preferences.  Maybe you like to study in complete quiet with very little action going on around you.  If that is the case then maybe you want to choose a spot in the library.  If you prefer a more active environment with a little bit of background noise, you may want to choose a place like your favorite coffee shop.

Take study breaks.  You need to give yourself breaks every once and while to take a breath and recollect your thoughts before beginning again.  It will not only be something to look forward to, but it will also give you some time to clear your head.  Just be diligent with how long your breaks are if you have to get a lot done.  Maybe you want to limit yourself to 5 or 10 minute breaks.  It just depends on how quickly you want to work and how much work you have to get done.

Try a study group.  In many ways a study group can be really helpful.  If you are all studying for the same class it will help you test your knowledge if you have to explain something to someone else.  It’s also a great idea to test one another to see what you know.

Even if you aren’t studying for the same class, going somewhere with a group of people can be helpful in keeping you on task.  While it may not work for everyone, for some it may help you to stay on task and will give you someone to talk to when it’s break time.

Choose background music.  One of the best ways to keep yourself going is by choosing an awesome playlist.  Many have said that listening to classical music can be incredibly beneficial when you study.  However, it doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as you choose music without lyrics.  This is because lyrics can cause your brain to try to focus on too many things.  If you want to focus on your studying, it’s best that you choose classical or instrumental music.

Overall, studying for midterms can be really overwhelming.  By choosing a study spot, taking breaks, studying in groups, and choosing background music, staying hydrated, exercising, and get as much sleep as possible, you can ensure that you keep your mind, your metabolism, and your immune system up during one of the most difficult points in the semester.


“Classical Music for Concentration” by Tayla Holman

“7 Study Tips to Help You Ace Your Midterms” by Tamar Zmora


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