Midterms & Finals: How to Study Efficiently during Crunch Time

You may now be nearing the end of your quarter, which means a lot of exams coming up and a lot of assignments to be submitted. It’s imperative that you learn how to manage your time effectively during this difficult time so you don’t get behind and perform poorly. Here are some tips to help you be efficient during this crucial time.

  1. Do not procrastinate.
    This may be obvious, but procrastinating before a big exam or assignment is not going to serve you any good. Take initiative to get started early on. You don’t want to be in a situation in which you run out of time or blank out on an exam because of cramming.
  2. Make a schedule
    You have two weeks until your big exam or big paper is due. Make a realistic schedule of how you are going to work towards being prepared leading up to the test or assignment. Create short, attainable goals that will help you achieve your ultimate big goal. Make sure these goals are quantifiable or in other words, instead of writing “study for test” on your schedule, write down “read chapter 2 of textbook and answer practice questions 1-10.” This way your goal is measurable and you can keep yourself accountable.
  3. Come up with a game plan.
    This goes along with making a schedule, but what’s your plan? What resources are you going to use to study? How are you going to study? Are you going to study by yourself or with friends? Think about these things in advance. Also, make sure you have adequate material to prepare. Have you already done all the practice questions assigned by your teacher for your math exam? Ask your teacher for some extra material to prepare. There is no such thing as being over-prepared.
  4. Measure your progress by efficiency, not time spent
    Sure, you may have spent 5 hours studying today. But how much did you actually get out of it? Were you daydreaming while trying to read your textbook? Did you have distractions such as a noisy environment or your phone going off? Assess your environment. You want to be sure you are in a quiet place where you can stay focused and concentrate. Set a timer for how long you plan to study, and schedule in breaks. During this time, avoid using your phone or straying from what you have to do. Be sure you are giving your 100% when you are studying and be sure you are doing something to take your mind off of studying when you take a break.
  5. Get adequate sleep and eat a balanced breakfast the morning of your exam
    Sleep is essential for learning new information and for consolidating your memory. Even though you may think that pulling that all-nighter will help you for your exam, you are actually doing more harm than good. Be sure to give your brain the rest it needs and your stomach the fuel it needs to perform well.
  6. Maintain a positive attitude.
    No matter what, be confident when taking your exam. You have worked hard to prepare- trust yourself and your instincts! If you have a mini panic attack during the exam, take a second to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and re-center yourself before continuing. Do the power pose in front of a mirror and tell yourself you can do it.

Good luck on your upcoming exams and the end of the quarter. You have worked hard to prepare; trust yourself and give it your best shot. Hope you found these tips helpful!

Written by: Tulsi Shah – Novastar Prep Coach

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