As we dive headfirst into the middle of midterm season, I have come up with a list of wild tips students can benefit from. Surrounded by heavy biology textbooks, physics problem sets and unending notes, I hope these help you succeed in those killer tests.
Wild Tip #1: Motivate yourself (use food!)
I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen this picture circulating around tumblr:
Believe it or not, this is actually quite effective. Setting goals and rewarding yourself when you accomplish them is a great way to stay motivated while you study. Whether it is listening to your favourite playlist, grabbing a delicious snack or even watching a funny cat video on YouTube, there are a million different ways you can reward yourself. Make sure these breaks are spaced out though, and that they don’t last too long. I’ve been a victim of addictive cat videos more than a few times myself. It takes a lot of self control, but make sure you set a time for when you have to get back to the books.
Wild Tip #2: Teach others
This is a tip that is extremely effective in helping me study, especially for courses like Biology and Chemistry. Being able to completely explain an idea to your peers shows a much deeper understanding of the topic than just memorizing ideas. If you’d rather study alone, then speak aloud and describe the concepts you’ve learned to yourself (or to the teddy bear you sleep with). Tip: make sure you’re in a closed, private space (preferably not a library) when you do this to avoid awkward stares. So grab a stranger, introduce yourself, and ramble on about sexual recombination!
Wild Tip #3: Get Sleep
I can already hear some of you laughing sarcastically over the screen. Trust me, as I hustle to study for two back-to-back midterms, sleep is last on my priority list too. I know the familiar feeling of sitting down to study and feeling time just slipping away. I know how easy it is to just procrastinate all day, and use your never-ending supply of coffee (or tea in my case) to study through the night. But it’s awful for you. Research has shown that skimping on sleep increases anxiety and makes you work at a slower pace. Biologically, humans are diurnal, meaning that our bodies are conditioned to stay awake during the day and shut down, recharge, and get rest during the night. Manage your time, and avoid those all-nighters if you can!
Wild Tip #4: Make a schedule
I know this sounds cliché, but it helps. Setting goals and having an organized schedule of when you’re going to study what sections/lectures covered on your exams can be life-saving, especially if you have exams back to back (I feel you, First Year science students). Make sure your schedule is spaced out, and you’re not over exhausting yourself by continuous studying.
Wild Tip #5: STUDY
This is the wildest tip of them all, but do it. Don’t throw away all that time, money and energy you’ve invested into getting into your program. Help yourself succeed. I promise it’ll pay off.
Good luck on midterms everyone! Hang in there.