I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, didn’t I just take like 100 midterms? Didn’t I just read your last blog post about how to survive them? Why do I have 100 more between now and fall break?” These questions are not uncommon at this school, and probably many other colleges. At this point, it would be far less misleading if we just did away with the concept of “midterm season!” Hence, the fact that you are now reading another post about surviving it.
In my first set of tips, I discussed the importance of studying earlier rather than later. This time, I have even more recent examples. I have a calculus exam next Thursday, and most people haven’t looked at the study guide yet. However, at the beginning of this week I looked over all of my notes from this section so far and went to office hours to clarify any little concept I didn’t understand. This is an easy way to stay on top of things when you aren’t able to devote hours to poring over a study guide.
The other tip that I provided in my last post was a recommendation to allocate your time wisely. Even I am struggling to keep this one in mind right now; my first exam next week is Theology, so I obviously want to study for that as much as I can. However, the reality of the matter is that my statistics, calculus, and Spanish exams later in the week will be much more challenging, so I need to focus more on those subjects even though I have more time.
Now for some new additions! In this post, I’d like to talk about the part after all of your hard work and intense studying. Ideally, I would say that you should go to bed by 12, feeling confident and ready. However, I’d rather be realistic. Although I hope that you can take the ideal path sometimes, exam schedules can be too hectic and difficult to always allow it. Above all, know this: sleeping an adequate amount will benefit you more than the extra hours of studying that an all-nighter will give you. Without sleep, your brain simply cannot consolidate information or function on an exam.
For the actual day of the exam, the first step is waking up. This probably sounds really stupid, but I lived through the classic horror story last year—I slept through a chemistry exam. Everything turned out fine, but it was certainly traumatic! Ever since then, I make sure to set a crazy amount of alarms, have friends in the class call me if I don’t answer, or set up any similar system to ensure that there’s no chance I will sleep through it.
Now that you’re up, should you get dressed in comfy clothes and make your way to the exam location? Yes, but with an essential stop: the dining hall. Or Einstein’s, or anywhere else that sounds good for a hearty breakfast! Just as your body can’t function without sleep, it needs nutrients to function at top capacity. For me to do my best, protein such as scrambled eggs and natural sugars such as in fruit are the most important. I also rely on Vitamin C to stay healthy for exam day, as well as other vitamin supplements to deal with things like stress and anxiety (all of which can be found through LivOn Laboratories and Terry Naturally)!
If you have a crazy midterm week next week, remember these pieces of advice and know that I’m struggling with you. Fall break will be a well-deserved reward when they’re done. Once again, Go Irish, Beat midterms!