8 Ways to Ace All Your Midterms

The great Roman Philosopher Writeybordicus once said: “Study hard for your midterms, and you’ll surely make lots of money later in life.”

College kids, take note. It’s crucial to take a deep breath before you read this or do anything else. Okay, one more time. Now, read on if you want to remember why you are smart enough to get successfully through midterms with these college study tips.

Stay Focused, You Social Butterfly

It’s common to check your social feeds more than once while studying. After all, you’ve got to plan your Halloween costume, have a witty comeback in that outrageous group text (consisting primarily of emojis), and anything else besides study. Four hours or so later you realize that you haven’t really absorbed the material because of it all. Not to mention, the countless forms of distractions disguised as entertainment these days. Eventually, your attention is drawn away from what you should be doing, and it eventually puts a wrench in your study session. We’ve all been there.

To keep your focus on schoolwork and anything else for that matter, start by cutting out all of the social media and electronic device distractions. Put your phone on away, turn it off, or put it in airplane mode. Temporarily disable the social notifications on your computer. Set a timer and split up your study session into sixty-minute stretches with ten-minute breaks in between. I know, it sounds outlandish. But, you’ll survive an hour away from watching another looping cat video. Use that ten-minute break to do a quick check in if you’re having withdrawals.

Oh, and turn off Netflix as well! It’s a terrible excuse for background noise. Try some free web-radio stations that automatically choose songs for you. Spotify allows you to choose a station based on your mood. And they even have a study channel that might tickle your fancy. Not good enough? Try some of the stations on Live365.com.

Stay Sane with Exercise

Whether you want to prancercise or go to the gym with your roommate, you need to clear your head, sweat out the stress and move your body. Not only will you feel hot in your post-workout, but it's also a great refresh and has been proven to help keep people in a positive mindset. It also boosts your ability to manage the pressure of deadlines and makes you more optimistic in stressful situations. If you’re not much of a gym rat, get in a workout outside. Being in nature can improve your concentration too and will pep you up like a hot cup of jo.

You can still break a sweat outside and record your efforts without sporting a smartwatch or one of those fit bracelets. Download a free mobile app; Strava is super popular among cyclists and runners, and the growing community makes it easy to find routes and trails near your campus. And if you like a little competition you can join different challenges, set weekly goals and earn trophies! When was the last time you won a trophy? If you’re looking for something less involved, Nike+ Running is a simple app for runners that syncs to your playlist and notifies you after every completed mile. You don’t get a trophy with this one but a famous athlete praises at the end of your workout, so that’s nice!

Textbook Savvy

It’s important to get through as much of your reading assignment as possible; however, chances are you don’t have enough time to read every textbook cover-to-cover. Since it’s imperative to comprehend what you’re reading for your midterm, it’s not a great idea to skim through the pages or skip the chapters altogether. Instead, try to read the first and last paragraph of every chapter. Most textbooks summarize the entire chapter in the last paragraph. Following this, compare the brief overview to your notes from class to determine the validity.


Schedule an appointment with your professor during their office hours to go over any subject matter you may not be grasping. You can also ask your classmates and speak up in class. If your class is enormous, and the thought of speaking in front of a large audience keeps you up at night, look for the teaching assistant and also consider taking a public speaking course next semester. Anyhow, there’s usually more than one TA that’s readily available for questions. If you’re lucky, you’ll find out exactly what will be on the exam!

Teach Somebody, Anybody

Educating another person doesn’t mean you have to become a tutor. Although the ideal situation would be to teach a fellow classmate especially if you get some cash money for it. At any rate, teaching someone else is the best way to measure if you know the material. You’ll also pick up on the areas you need to spend more time on.

Create the Best Study Space

Having a place that inspires you to get into the zone is a game-changer in college. Set up a station that will allow you to work freely and organize your thoughts, or jot down questions as they pop into your head. Our Classic Writeyboard can help create a space where you can review the class material and home in on exactly what you need to learn. It will help you tremendously and get you into a consistent and efficient study routine.

It’s Never 5 O’Clock for You

Be realistic about how long it will take you to study, write and complete assignments. It’s easy to presume less time is needed for each task when your friends want to grab happy hour. Skip happy hour and give yourself more time. You just might get the grade you want.

Power Down

Coffee may be an absolute necessity in college—that said, so is sleep! People in the lacking-sleep department tend to feel terrible and become, in general, worse people. Chances are, without sleep you’ll procrastinate, decide to quit studying and binge-drink with your friends, flip your teacher the bird, or all of the above. To avoid this, when the caffeine wears off, and you can no longer keep your eyes open, shut them and take a nap.

Even though the workload is seriously overwhelming, college is great. Remember that! Now, we hope, that you can finally breathe again, and successfully get through midterms with our study skills for college students. As Spock says, “Live long and prosper.”

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