Our honeymoon with the fall semester? It’s over.
As you’re dealing with a week of midterms, essays and major projects, it’s probably difficult to remember the early days of #Fall2016, when we took selfies together, talked about our goals and big plans, and felt like anything was possible.
But let’s not be overdramatic. Like everything in life, midterms happen. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite and most effective study tips that should help you earn the best grades ever (or at least get through this week without too much stress).
Find Your Study Spot.
Midterm studying requires some serious concentration, and the best way to get it is to find a quiet, comfortable place. Fortunately, there are tons of great options for study spots on campus, like the 5th floor Quiet Room in CBB or the study carrels in M.D. Anderson Library. Pay attention to how much silence you need to focus when deciding whether to go to a quiet spot or a busy coffee shop.
Rewrite Your Notes.
Research shows that writing things down — you know, with a pen and paper —can help you remember them better than if you’d just read them. Take that into consideration as you study by taking notes during lectures and as you read your textbooks. Once the exam comes around, rewrite your notes to create your own study guide. The bonus? You won’t have to carry around those large textbooks on exam week if your notes already have everything you need.
Sit Front and Center.
According to several research studies, students who sit in the front and middle of a classroom earn higher test scores than those who sit in the back, and it’s not just because higher achieving students like to sit up front. When a group of students were randomly assigned seats in the class, one study found that those closer to the front still ended up with higher grades. This is probably due to the fact that they could listen and hear better, had less exposure to distractions and felt greater pressure to maintain eye contact with the professor.
Did you know that chewing one flavor of gum when you study and then again during your exam can help you remember certain details you might otherwise have forgotten? As long as your professor allows it, add a pack of your favorite flavored gum to your must-have study materials.
Doodling in class can actually help you remember things better… as long as it’s relevant to the subject material. Research shows that since most of us are visual learners, using drawings to memorize important pieces of information can help jog our memory during exams. So go ahead and put your best art skills to practice on those statistics or accounting notes.
Student, Become the Teacher.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re familiar with certain subject material is to try to teach it to someone else. Get together with a friend before your exam day and take turns explaining different topics to each other. It’ll give you a chance to make sure you have a complete understanding of the material, plus you’ll benefit from an outside perspective.
Narrow the Choices.
Multiple-choice tests are a mixed blessing — they increase your chances of getting the answer right, but the several answer choices can also be confusing. Prevent this by trying to answer each question before you glance at the answer choices. Once you’re sure of what the correct answer is (or if you can’t remember at all), move on to the multiple choices.
By Priscilla Aceves