How to Pass Your Mid Terms
Midterms can often be a cause for stress and even anxiety. However, there are many ways to prepare for your test to ensure that you get the best grade possible. Getting in touch with professors, studying weeks in advance, and eating a well-balanced diet will help you reduce your stress and anxiety about your exam. Creating a study schedule will allow you to stay calm and collected throughout your exam and recall your answers to the best of your ability.
Studying for the Exam
Ask your teacher or professor for a study guide.Most teachers and professors will have a midterm study guide with course content that you should review before taking the exam. Ask your professor or teacher to provide you with a print or electronic study guide with specific subjects or areas to review. Study guides should have comprehensive information reviewing the overall content of the course up until the midterm. They often have specific content, chapters, sections, or areas that need review and can occasionally have sample questions.
- Look for key terms, test format, and example questions on the study guide. If they are not on the study guide, reach out to your professor!
- If your teacher does not have a study guide, ask to meet with your teacher or professor outside of class to review materials for the midterm.
Pay attention to what your teacher or professor stresses in class.When your teacher or professor gives lessons, they might put a lot of emphasis on some subjects while placing less emphasis on others. Pay careful attention to things they repeat, circle or underline on the board, and assign homework on. These items will likely show up on your midterm.
- For example, if your teacher repeatedly brings up a key term or questions the class about a concept, they are probably trying to ensure that everyone understands it. This means you will likely see it on your midterm exam.
Join a study group.Study groups can be effective ways of setting deadlines and sharing knowledge to better review and understand the content that could be on your midterm. Create a schedule with your study group detailing what content will be covered during what times. Study groups can be organized in a variety of ways, from assigning specific material to individuals to all collectively sharing each section. Some teachers or professors may even require you to meet in groups to ensure that you all study for the exam.
- Have a discussion with your group to discuss people’s strengths and weaknesses to better understand how you should organize the study schedule. For example, if one of you feels confident and proficient in one area then that person could lead the group in reviewing that area. If you all feel less than proficient then divide the section into parts.
- Start a group if one does not already exist. Be proactive about your midterm preparation and ask fellow students if they would like to meet regularly to study together.
Set a studying schedule weeks in advance.Set your studying schedule weeks in advance so that you can review specific sections as well as the overall format of the exam with enough time to fully retain the information. Try to study for the exam right after the class ends to help deepen the connections between materials. Making the schedule as detailed as possible will help you stick to a strict routine and improve your ability to recall the information come the exam.
- Try following your study guide if you have one. Write the dates and hours you plan on spending next to specific areas, subjects, or sections.
- Try to spend at least one hour studying for each exam per day up to 3 weeks before the exam date. Increasing your studying by 1-2 hours the week of the exam will help solidify your retention.
- Take a 30 minute snack or exercise break for every 2-3 hours of studying.
Avoid cramming.Cramming large amounts of information in a short period of time will make it difficult to easily recall all of the information you’ll need to pass an exam. Cramming also will impact your sleep schedule and cause anxiety as cramming sessions frequently extend into early hours of the morning.
- Stick to a study schedule before your exam to avoid cramming. Remember to take breaks frequently to avoid burning out.
Preparing Yourself for the Exam
Get lots of sleep.Getting plenty of sleep will help you be focused for study sessions and test taking. All-nighters can impact memory and retention for up to four days, so it’s best to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Make sure to set an alarm if you plan on studying late into the night so that you have a set time to stop studying and get some sleep.
- Try studying the most difficult material before bed as it can be easier to recall in the morning.
Eat healthy and drink water.It’s easy to binge on junk food and drink caffeinated beverages while studying. However, it’s best to stick to simple, healthy foods and water to fuel you through long study sessions and promote retention. Try to prepare food ahead of time, whether meals or snacks, so that you don’t wait until the last minute and make unhealthy choices.
- Your body consumes large amounts of glucose while studying.
- Make sure to eat lots of whole grains, high-quality protein, and plenty of vegetables.
Schedule routine exercise.Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve your energy and memory. Schedule your studying around regular exercise to provide yourself with breaks and to improve your results.
- Try going on brisk walks or short jogs for 15 minute intervals between study sessions.
- If your teacher has recorded their lectures, put one on a mp3 player and listen to it while you jog or walk to get a little extra studying in.
Bring extra pencils.Bringing extra pencils and pens to your exam will help you avoid any emergencies caused by running out of ink or lead. Some instructors forbid talking or getting out of your seat while the exam is in session, so be sure to sharpen all of your pencils before the exam and have them out on your desk so that you don’t have to dig for them in your bag.
- If you forget extras the day of your exam, ask a friend if you can borrow one or more pencils or pens for the duration of the exam.
Taking the Exam
Read over the entire exam and look for instructions.Read the entire exam and look for instructions before beginning to answer questions. Look for general exam instructions at the beginning and read for specific instructions as each section changes. Reviewing the entire exam will help you gauge the format of the exam as well as spot questions that you might need to allot more time to.
- Reading over the exam can also provide useful information for other sections. For example, there may be a later section in the exam that answers a few questions in an earlier section.
- Read instructions carefully. Your instructor might ask you to only answer 8 out of 10 short answer questions or have other qualifiers for multiple choice, true/false, and long answers.
Don’t stress over questions you don’t know the answer to.If you arrive at a question that you do not have an answer to, mark it, move on, and return to it later. Stressing over questions that you might not have an answer to right away can take up time, cause anxiety, and inhibit recalling information that you might need for other questions.
- Have a system for marking questions you don’t know, like drawing a circle or check mark in pencil next to the question number.
- Make sure to check with your professor to find out if there is a penalty for answering a question incorrectly or if you can get partial credit for answering a question that you know some of the answer to. This will help you to determine if you should guess on some questions, answer them partially, or skip them.
Allot time to questions that are worth more points or a higher percentage.Some questions, like long written answers or essays, are often worth more in points or percentage. Spending more time on these questions will help you have a better chance of raising the overall grade of your test. If you anticipate not being able to finish, or working until the last second of the allotted time, start with questions that are worth more and return to other questions after.
- Return to questions, like multiple choice, matching, or true/false, after you’ve answered more difficult and complex questions.
Review the exam.Even if you finished your exam with plenty of time left over, staying until the end of the allotted time will allow you to review your answers and make changes where necessary. Try to read through your entire exam from start to finish to check all your answers and make sure you haven’t left any blank.
- Review questions that you answered hastily, or spend time going over high point or high percentage areas of the exam to ensure the best grade possible.
QuestionI have midterms in a week, and I have short term memory loss, and a learning disability. How do I study and remember?
M.A., EducationM.A., EducationExpert AnswerIf your learning disability is documented by your school, and even if it’s not, you should definitely set aside a time to speak with your teacher and ask for any modifications you think you might need to do well on the test.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I only have a week to study for an exam?
M.A., EducationM.A., EducationExpert AnswerWhile it is not ideal to start studying a week before a big test, you still have the opportunity to do well if you come up with a strict study schedule and plan for every day leading up to the exam. Figure out when you have blocks of free time to study, and then use each block to focus on a different study topic from a chapter of your textbook.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I study when I haven't started and the midterm test is tomorrow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStart now and don't stress. Get off this website and start immediately. 1) Make sure you get enough sleep! 2) Start by making a list of the grades you got on each test and quiz, separated by chapter. 3) Make a list of any concepts you got incorrect on any quizzes or tests. Separate this by chapter too. 4) Start reviewing notes and old homework assignments. 5) Do practice test problems/problems on a study guide that correspond with things you don't remember or things on your previously made list. 6) Don't stress. Chances are if you left studying until the last moment, you did it because you're stressed. You already were taught and tested on this material. You've got this!Thanks!
QuestionI'm super worried I'm going to fail. What should I do?WriiterCommunity AnswerYou will feel less worried and scared if you know all of the material. Have someone quiz you so you can keep track of your progress. It's normal to feel scared before/after taking your mid term.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prove triangle congruence?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSAS - In this order, corresponding Side, Angle, Side; ASA - In this order, corresponding Angle, Side, Angle; AAS - In this order, corresponding Angle, Angle, Side.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I study when I haven't started and the midterm is tomorrow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe first thing you should do is identify the main concepts you need to study. Make sure you get through the biggest, most important ideas first. Make a map of the main things you need to do. Start with those, then you can work on the smaller ideas. Make sure to review everything and get plenty of sleep.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I pass my midterms without any notes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou probably shouldn't try to do that. You can manage it, but making notes decreases difficulty significantly. You could start by reviewing the textbook carefully if you already skipped taking notes.Thanks!
QuestionI've failed. How should I get over it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to remember that failing a test isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. Don't stress too much, but do change your study habits so you can do better next time. In many courses, a failed midterm won't completely ruin your final grade if you can improve by the time you hit the final exams.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I prepare for a math exam?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk your teacher what will be on the test. Then go to your textbook and study those chapters.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I master a math concept the night before the midterm?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMastering a concept can take more than just studying it the night before, but to get a good sense of when and how to use it, try rereading the part of the book that talks about it. Find a video explaining how and when to use it (Khan Academy has great ones on their website or YouTube). Try finding problems to practice with to test how well you know the concept.Thanks!
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