A College Guide to Cramming for Fall Midterms


Fall Midterms are a mid-semester source of stress.  Many are complete and for some students, they will happen during the first weeks of November.    Take note – millions of college students have been through this moment in time. You are not alone.

For most college students, midterms are looming closer and closer, that one last roadblock before the relief that is Thanksgiving.  And while some of your peers may have gotten the jump on studying for exams, there are plenty others that let things get the better of them.

Fear not, procrastinators, for we have the ultimate guide for cramming for your midterm exams!

1. Use any and all tools and resources available to you. If your professor posts study guides, or has a review period before the test, make all efforts to go to it, or to follow the study guide. This will help to slim down and focus what you need to be studying for the test. This is important, as time is crucial when cramming for exams, and studying anything that you don’t need to know can be a devastating waste of time.

2. Form a study group. If you have a little more time, contact some other members of your class and see if they’d be up for forming a study group of sorts, which can help you focus and bounce ideas off each other.

3. Borrow notes from other classmates if you had to miss a day of class (or if you lost yours or can’t read what you wrote, it happens). Either take pictures of them for later reference, or else copy them down. Notes are vital, as these are usually taken directly from lectures in your class, which is what your professor will be most likely testing you on.

4. Use your skills to your advantage. If you know a certain studying technique works better for you than others, then use that! If flashcards are the best way for you to memorize things, then make flash cards and review them constantly. Find which ways work for you and use them.

5. Focus on what is most important. If you know you have three different exams, but you’re already feeling fairly confident about one of them, then be sure to focus on the other two! While it doesn’t hurt to review the other material, it’s simply common sense to be more focused on the material that you don’t know as well.

6. Get a good night’s sleep before your exam. I know it’s tempting to stay up half the night trying to cram as much info into your brain as possible, but you won’t retain the information half as well if you pull an all nighter. You need sleep, and resting before an exam will do you much more good then trying desperately to stay awake the next day as all the information you tried so hard to retain slips away from your foggy brain.