January 23rd is Nashoba’s first midterm and while it may seem as though winter break just ended, the time between vacation and midterms is when we are overwhelmed by new material. Teachers are cramming in last minute quizzes, tests, and homework before the mid-year exams. Additionally, many students are working on the home stretch of overwhelming projects. How in the world are we supposed to manage this and study for midterm exams too? Our midterms make up 10% of our semester grade and can make or break someone who is on the verge of moving up a letter grade. Here is a list of tips to help with studying:
Start now! Midterms are just a week away and if you haven’t started studying yet like all of the other procrastinators in the school (including me), then now is the perfect time. If you can’t motivate yourself to crack open your textbook and start going over material, then do something small like making a study schedule or a Quizlet. This will make you feel accomplished and productive when you have a lot to do.
Ask your friends for help. You know that one friend in math class that understands everything? Plan time to hang out with them to study and ask all your questions, or go through the review packet for your class with them. Having someone other than your teacher explaining material to you can be really eye-opening and help you understand things you never did before. If you and all your friends are lost and don’t understand, turn to the Internet. There are thousands of online lessons for any topic you can think of, all for free. A great source for these kind of lessons is Khan Academy, which does a great job of explaining things in a simple way. If you put in the effort, you are sure to understand at least a little bit better.
Set up a clear work environment. We’re all in high school and at this point, each of us at least have some idea what kind of environment we work best in. Some people like to get cozy and study or work on schoolwork in the comfort of their homes. Other people can’t be at home and have to go to a library or coffee shop to really get things done. Wherever you work best, make an effort to set up your work environment in a way that allows you to focus.
Go through your old tests! Many teachers give you access to all the tests you took throughout the semester in preparation for midterms or finals. These can be one of the most effective ways to study. Look through each test and make sure you still know the answers to all the questions you got right, and work through the questions you got wrong. Another good idea is to make a Quizlet or review packet for yourself for each class with all of the missed questions from the semester.
Make a study schedule! I mentioned this earlier, but setting expectations for yourself for each day leading up to midterms can help you feel prepared and like you have the situation under control. Managing your time wisely is the key to success.
Use Quizlet! There are hundreds of thousands of students in the United States learning the same things we are. So, there are full Quizlets made for nearly every subject and topic. Making Quizlets can be a way to study in itself, but if you’re short on time don’t waste your time and look for an already made one. Quizlet is a great tool to memorize material and nearly every high school student knows how it works.
Don’t pull all nighters! Even though you think in the moment that you need to stay up all night to finish something or study, in reality you’re hurting your ability to perform in school the next day. Additionally, not getting enough sleep and pulling all nighters more than once a year can affect your health for a while, increasing risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to Business Insider.
Take a deep breath. It’s true that these tests are important, but in the long run they are only 10% of your grade. Even if you don’t finish the semester in the place where you wanted to be, you have time next semester to bring your GPA up as the only grades sent to colleges are your overall yearly grades. There is still time! If you spent the first semester slacking, you still have time next semester to get your grade where you want it to be.