7 Pre-Midterm Study Guidelines

At the University of Denver, we have delved into week 5 of our 10 week quarter system. Halfway isn’t something to be pumped about, however; week 5 means it's time for midterms. For those students currently on the quarter system, or even for those that want to be as prepared as they can be on the semester system, here are some tips to help keep you afloat!

1. Ask Questions.

Make sure you're asking questions in class  to get the information you need about the exam. Not only will you be building a relationship, but your agency will have many benefits come the test. Here’s a quick list of questions you should confirm for each class:

  • Will the teacher be providing a review packet or holding an in-class review session?

  • When are office hours?

  • Will the midterm test material from the whole year so far or just the most recent material?

  • What is the format of the exam?

  • How many points is the exam worth?

  • What study suggestions does your teacher have?

  • Does your teacher have specific suggestions for upping your grade like turning in extra credit, rewriting a paper, or getting a tutor?

2. Make a midterm study schedule.

We know it feels as though you’re doing nothing but studying. But you can actually spend less time studying for midterms if you make a plan. Prevention really is key. Once you know what’s going to be on the exam, make a list of what topics or question types you need to cover and when you’re going to cover them. You can use this list to ask your teacher for clarification if you really can’t seem to figure a concept out. Make sure you study a little each night from now until the midterm. Even 15 minutes makes a big difference come the exam!

3. Form a study group.

If your note taking skills really are subpar, or if you had some difficulty getting to class recently,  it’s a great idea to partner up with a classmate who has got this skill down. In exchange, offer to help transfer his or her notes to flashcards or to take on another part of a group project.  Study groups can also help you study more efficiently—dividing and conquering a chapter outline, for example, can help all of you prepare. Everyone comprehends different concepts with different efficiencies; use your strong suit, and help explain what you understand to your friends! If they do the same, chances are you’ll really learn some new information.

4. The Princeton Review!

Did you know that you have access to your very own study assistant? At The Princeton Review, the online tutors are experts in over 40 subjects and AP courses. They can help with tricky concepts or overall study skills—whatever you need, 24/7.

5. Understand each subject is different.

Practice problems may work for geometry, but what’s your strategy going to be for English? A tutor can help you find the best study method for each course you’re taking.

6. Change the scenery.

Breaks are essential to retain what you’ve learned and keep your focus. No matter how hard you’re working be sure to take some time to grab a snack from the kitchen or go for a quick run. Our bodies are meant to move, so chances are you will resume studying with a clear mind. It also helps to switch up your study space when reviewing for exams. Get out of the dorm room and find a new study spot; chances are it will improve your drive and productivity.

7. Sleep Enough.

Regardless of the time you put in studying, a bad night’s sleep before the exam will put you at a real disadvantage. Start a healthy sleep routine in the weeks leading up to your exam, so you can reap the benefits of a fresh mind on test day. A good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast before the exam is necessary.