A Student’s Guide to Surviving Midterms

photo cred: http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/644709-kermit-the-frog

Midterms are here, start the panic!

So far I have taken 6 exams and have 3 more to go before finals week.  It has been busy but I am enjoying every minute of it. Being out of school since 2011, I had to relearn how to study. I don’t think cramming will be enough this time around.

Here are some of my tips on how to survive midterms:

Start Early

Stay on top with the material and try to make sure you understand everything. I try to read my notes at the end of every week, and sometimes rewrite key points that I tend to forget.

Watch videos on Youtube

I don’t mean those cute kitten videos or addictive chiropractic cracking videos that I myself enjoy watching. Youtube is a great resource for learning material, it has videos on everything. I find it helpful when the material is explained in a different way. Sometimes it helps fill in some gaps that you didn’t understand and other times it is just to reinforce what you already know.

photo cred: https://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/study-tips-from-memes/


This is my new love, where was this 5 years ago?! It is essentially making flashcards on the computer. You can even download the app so you can carry your flashcards on your phone. Best part is that you can share with your classmates and they can share their flashcards with you. You can even search for flashcards made by other students from different school. If you are interested have a look here: https://quizlet.com/

Record lectures

Sometimes I record lectures and if I don’t understand something I go back and listen to it again. I also record myself on things that I want to memorize and play it over and over again in my car on the way to school.

Buy a whiteboard

photo cred: http://senoranorquist.weebly.com/el-espejo/mid-term-exams-why-not-try-something-new

If you can’t remember words or meanings, write it over and over again. A whiteboard is great, I was killing so many trees by using up so much paper, at least I recycle after I was finished! I also print out diagrams from my notes, stick it on my whiteboard and see if I can write what each structure is off by heart.

Study with friends

Teach your friends what you have learned, and have them teach you. Ask each other questions. Teaching each other will help you remember and helps you realize what you know and what you don’t know.

Google Documents with friends

My classmate introduced me to this. We write learning objective on google doc and sharing them. Everyone pitches in on writing what they find important under each objective, this is a great study tool and saves on time (we all know how important time is).

Use the resources provided

Some of the teachers post podcasts, crosswords or practice quizzes/questions, use them! They are super helpful. The teachers are all there to help you succeed.

Most importantly take breaks and remember you have a great support systems, your friends, teachers and family. Get lots of sleep. Good Luck and Happy Studying! If you have any study tips that you find useful for studying midterms share below, I’d love to hear them.

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4 thoughts on “A Student’s Guide to Surviving Midterms”

  1. Great tips, Sarah! I’m sure you aced all your exams :). I really like the Osmosis videos on youtube! And I’m going to have to look into the chiropractor cracking videos… or maybe that’s not a good idea because distraction! 😉

  2. Hi Sarah, this is a really great post .

    How did you decide which lectures to record? I like the idea of doing this especially when a teacher gives detailed verbal information and not so many paper or visual learning aids, but re listening to lectures since there are so many could be very time consuming.

    Regarding study aids, did you purchase a printer for this program or did you find the campus printing shop to be adequate?

    I’m in a similar boat of having been out of full time school for a while, how do you juggle all the classes, do you make sure and touch each subject daily when studying or do you stagger your exposure to the content?

    Thanks for this post, its a great resource!

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed my post.

      I find that the review classes before midterms and finals are good ones to record. Review classes are always very helpful before an exam. Sometimes since I drive and it’s about 40 min I will listen to a lecture that I found difficult. You could record the lecture and decide after if you want to keep it or not, if you do not want so many recordings.

      I have my own printer and would sometimes print the lecture notes. In my program they actually provide most of the notes for the whole semester so I would use the campus printer. The problem is that colour is A LOT more expensive but it could be worth it. Especially for classes where we have images of colour doppler. To get around it I would use my gel pens and write down what colour it is on my notes.

      For studying, if there is something that I don’t understand or something that’s hard for me to grasp I usually will go over that. I have quizlet and use that to study. It’s nice to change it rather than always going over notes. I find homework very useful, when I do homework I don’t just try to find the answers. I try to go over all the material all over again. I find usually on the weekend if I don’t have as much homework I might tackle one subject and read those notes again.

      Don’t forget to take breaks. You do not want to get to the point where you just don’t want to study anymore. Be sure to spread it out and have time for yourself.

      Hope that helps!


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