Midterm study infographic

Are you in the throes of Midterm Mania? You’re not alone! It may feel like the stakes are high, but midterms exams don’t have to be stressful. Here’s a roundup of study strategies that will help you prepare for test day.

how to study for midterms

How To Beat Midterm Mania

1. Speak up.

Your teachers should your very first stop when getting ready for midterms. Make sure you're asking the right questions to get the information you need about the exam. 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? Will there be after-school opportunities for more review?
  • 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. 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. Make sure you study a little each night from now until the midterm.

3. Ready to study?  Start with your notes and tests.

While you’re at it, gather up any handouts or worksheets. If your midterm exam covers material from the whole year, then your previous tests will help you see what your teacher thinks is important. (Plus, you can learn from your past test mistakes).  If the quality of your notes is less than stellar, vow to change your ways!

4. Form a study group.

If your note taking skills really are subpar, 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 flash cards 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.

5. Study smarter.

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

6. 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.

7. Mix it up.

If you’re beginning to get sick of your own handwriting, try asking a friend to quiz you in biology , putting history dates to music, or recording yourself practicing your French vocab.

8. 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. It also helps to switch up your study space when reviewing for exams. Try studying in the public library, at a coffee shop, or at a study buddy’s house for a change.

9. Don’t skimp on sleep.

You might be tempted to pull an all-nighter, but a good night’s sleep is key to your success. 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. (But if you do happen to need some study help in the wee hours, our tutors are there for you.)

10. Stay positive.

Test anxiety is real. A smart plan, focused studying, and a calm morning are your best plan of attack.

It’s crunch time now, but the end is in sight! Check out our homework advice articles for more study tips and strategies.

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