For most, the semester is now in full swing. You’ve likely already gotten a good feel for the type of work your current professors expect of you, and you’ve probably already gotten into some sort of groove with your daily routine.
But what happens when midterms come along and you suddenly find yourself with 3 exams within days of each other? How do you retain and recall all of the specific information for each course with so much going on?
Figure out your Exam Schedule
It can often be helpful to write down all of your deadlines and exam dates in one place, so you can start to prioritize. While it’s no fun looking at everything laid out all at once and realizing just how much work you have ahead of you, it’s an essential step to making sure you do well in each course.
Prioritize your Studying
Now that you know what’s going to happen and when, figure out the best order in which to tackle your studying. For example, if you have 2 exams on Tuesday and one on Thursday, it’s ok to devote most of your studying time to the first 2. That said, don’t make the mistake of leaving all of your studying for the 3rd exam until the day or 2 before. Start digesting that exam’s content at least a week prior, but in smaller chunks. This way, when you’re done with #1 and #2, you’ll already have been laying the groundwork for a successful exam #3 before you even begin the heavy-duty studying for it.
Create a Study Schedule
Since you know which materials you need to tackle first, block off some times in the week(s) leading up to the actual exams and dedicate them solely to studying. There’s so much going on in college, it’s easy to just push things off until a little bit later. By committing some of your time in advance, you’ll have made plans around your studying and won’t have to waste energy trying to figure out when you can fit it into your busy schedule last minute.
Remember your Study Breaks!
Of course, you may feel like taking breaks is the last thing you have time for right now. However, your brain needs time to recharge and process all of the information you are internalizing. This is a great time to implement the Pomodoro Technique. (You can use tomato-timer.com if you don’t own a physical timer!)
Carve Out Time for Rest
Once the exams start, make sure to plan your schedule in a way that allows you to get a full night’s sleep so you’re well-rested and not distracted. This may mean one or two less social events, but odds are that your friends are likely dealing with the same situation and might even appreciate you politely declining plans for those few days once they realize they need the study time and rest as well.