How to Handle Midterms

By Jason Paley


With the advent of good weather right around the corner and the itineraries for spring break complete, midterms seem to be last on everyone’s to-do list.  This final hurdle standing between students and their ten-day adventure promises to add a little stress and unneeded worry to the workday.  There are, however, a few steps that can be followed to make the week easier.

Don’t CramStart studying for the exam earlier than the night before.  This one seems obvious and not just specific to study-abroad, but students often forget to crack a book until the night before the test. This quickly turns into panic, all-nighters occur, and almost nothing is retained.  Do yourself a favor and start studying early.

RelaxA professor once told me to finish studying early enough to enjoy myself at the end of the night.  He believed in the importance of going to bed relaxed and happy, in order to have a positive attitude the day of the test.  Close those books, eat something tasty, and watch your favorite TV show before calling it a night. Go to bed early enough to get a full night sleep!

Last Minute ReviewThrough my own experience and study, I have modified my professor’s method given above.  Instead of going right from relaxation to sleep, I find it important to quickly review once right before bed.  Though not 100% conclusive, studies do show a relationship between sleep and information retention.  There is a noticeable increase in remembered facts when a person studies right before bed, as opposed to other times throughout the day.  This detail makes reviewing your notes once before you pass out extremely helpful.

Eyes on the Prize: I know it’s easy to get caught up in study abroad life, with your friends going out every night and classes not seeming real, but look past that for just this week and the reward is endless.  It will feel much better heading off for spring break on a high note than knowing you failed.  Do yourself a favor, forget about being abroad this week, kick your own butt, ace your tests and then you can travel the world.  You’ll be happy you did!

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