Midterm Tips, Tricks, and Stress Relievers By: Gretchen Lumpkin
With Spring Break right around the corner, many HSU students are once again encountering another semester’s mid-term exams. So how can we finish strong in time for the long-awaited week off from classes?
You have probably heard at least one of your professors say, “This is not an exam you can wait to study for until the night before or morning of.” There is great truth behind that statement. Our brains are not made to take in, process and remember a ton of information within only a few hours. Just as we develop muscle memory for specific tasks, the same goes for our brain, hence the importance of not waiting until the last minute. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it by biting off a little each day for a few days leading up to your mid-term(s).
Flash cards and rewriting your notes with colored pens are helpful to many, but what can you do if you do not benefit from this study method?
For many, attacking studies in both a visual sense and an auditory sense helps students remember the content much more than students who study with only one. “Teach it to the dog” is an old saying but there is a great reason this can help. Our brains remember better from breaking down information into its simplest form and then building upward from that. Therefore, if you reread your notes (visual) and verbally teach it to your pet or a small child (auditory), it can help your brain to better process the content and remember it for a longer period of time. Act it out if you need to.
Our brains better process and remember information when we take it in small bites like stated above. Therefore, taking small five to ten-minute breaks in between 45 minutes to an hour of studying can be extremely beneficial. During those breaks, go outside and take a walk. Get a change of scenery. Stretch your limbs. Do some deep breathing exercises. Take a shower and listen to some music. Make a smoothie. Clean/organize your area. Our bodies and brains benefit much more from these relaxing activities than scrolling on social media.
Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help. Phoning a friend in the same class as you may benefit both of you in preparation for the mid-term. The ACE tutoring and Writing Center in the HSU Richardson Library are also available to HSU students for many subjects, and it’s free. You can always access more information about the subjects ACE offers tutoring on your Canvas page. No appointment is needed; just stop by on the first floor of the library. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m..
Good luck to everyone on their midterms.