At Florida Tech, week eight in the semester signals the beginning of a few things. For starters, it means that half the semester has passed. But it’s also a time that people dread. Why? During this time, many big projects are due and those midterm exams loom ominously in the immediate future. It’s often a daunting time—sometimes looked at as a primer for finals week. I’ve already spent numerous nights in Evans Library that lasted until it closed (midnight). Regardless of your collegiate or other academic standing, there are a few things I have found to help me through my studies during midterms.
- Early Preparation: Have a project due in three weeks? Set goals each week and complete sections of it, so when it comes to the night before it’s due, you’re stitching it together rather than just arriving at the scene of an accident. This goes for studying too. Study small sections long in advance to prevent cramming the night before (though if it happens to be on a Sunday night, tune into my radio show on FTCR Internet Radio 9-11 p.m. for The Sunday Cram Sesh, where you can hear some perfect-for-studying music).
- Eat Right: Nutrition often falls to the wayside in lieu of more time for studying in the library. Make sure to limit the pizza intake, drink plenty of water and hit the gym for 30 minutes every now and then. I find the better hydrated and fed I am, the more I’m able to concentrate. Taking a multi-vitamin and exercising a little bit helps my immune system from shutting down due to stress.
- Attend Study Sessions: Sometimes professors will have study sessions outside of class where they go through especially helpful in my accounting classes because sometimes the concepts are confusing. You’re all the different types of problems and scenarios you’ll need to know. I know these are also more likely to know what’s on your test because your professor will have worked through what you need to know.
- Take Breaks: You could marathon through five hours of calculus or corporate finance studying, but after about two hours your attention span will decrease and the amount of information you absorb will diminish. Expose your brain to other stimuli by taking 10-minute breaks every so often.
- Stay Off Social Media/Turn Off Your Phone: In my opinion, these are two of the biggest distractions. I like to turn on some country music, put in some noise-canceling headphones and zone into the work I need to do. I also turn off my phone and put it in my backpack so I don’t see it and feel tempted.
Best of luck on future midterms!