How to Survive Midterm Season in Five Steps
By Stacie Hartman (SFS ’21)
It’s almost October, which means ~midterm season~ is right around the corner for Hoyas. It’s been said that once midterms start, they seem to never end until finals. Luckily, I have some tips and tricks on how to survive midterms, especially if this will be your first time taking midterms at Georgetown.
Tip # 1: Stay on top of your readings!
Okay, I may be a little late on this tip, but it is so important to stay on top of all assignments and readings the day they are assigned. It can be tempting to procrastinate because technically reads aren’t tested on until mid-way through the semester, but if you have missed upwards of 10 readings and have only a few days to prepare for the midterm, you will be stressed when you find yourself cramming. It is much better to only have to go back and look at your notes than to have to read every piece in its entirety in the days leading up to the midterm.
Tip # 2: Create study groups
I find it so helpful to team together with my friends to prepare for midterms. Perhaps create a shared google document where you all can share your ideas on the study guide. Studying with friends makes the process easier because you motivate each other and hold each other accountable. Your friends may have some helpful insights about a topic that you might not have, and vice versa.
Tip #3: Get a Change of Scenery for Studying
Lau 2 is great, but it can become more and more difficult to get work done there if you are sick of the same surroundings. I find that going to new study spots motivates me to study even more. Try seeking new coffee shops to do work at or new spaces on campus. Some of my favorite places to study include Blue Bottle Coffee, South Block, and the Starbucks that just opened on M Street.
Tip # 4: Take care of yourself
When I’m stressed and overloaded with work, I begin thinking I don’t have enough time to eat, sleep, or work out. It may seem like that’s the case, but the reality is that eating and going to the gym will only take about two hours out of your day, and staying fueled will make you more productive when you are studying. A good tip I have is to wake up early and start your day by going to the gym. Hitting the gym in the morning gives you energy so that you can take on a long, grueling day in the library. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Eight hours of sleep is essential, especially the night before the midterm.
Tip # 5: Go to Office Hours
Professors and Teaching Assistants offer office hours for FREE, so take advantage of them! In these private meetings, you can get helpful insight on what the exam will be about or how to best prepare. One-on-one instruction is usually much more effective than simply relying on the instruction you receive in the lecture hall. Plus, this is a great opportunity for you to start building relationships with your Professors and TA’s.
Best of luck with exams this semester, Hoyas!