Studying Tips and Tricks for Midterms

Nayely Espinoza-Perez, Co-Editor-In-Chief


   Midterms are just around the corner; we have two weeks before Christmas break, and then when we come back, LCN students have another two weeks before finals. This means that one should get a head start on studying for each class, for it can be overwhelming to come back from break, with packets stacked upon another. Trying to complete each packet while still keeping up with studying can get crazy. So, here are some tips and tricks that can go a long way! 


Flash cards: Flash cards are obviously a classic: they are simple and are the perfect size to carry along with you anywhere. For those that are taking A.P. classes, we know that there is a lot of vocabulary to memorize, so making flash cards is a great way for you to study at any place at any given time. However, going into more detail, there are different types of flashcards that are blank on both sides, are neon colored, and the classic flashcards that have blank side and a lined side on the other. All these index cards can help you and can differ from person to person. If you are a person whom the lines distract, the blank ones are a better choice. Knowing simple things like these can go a long way.   


Study notes: Study notes are very important. In fact, this is something you should be doing at the end of every section/chapter covered for a class. At the end of every unit, you should write down important things to remember for midterms. Your notes should summarize what was learned during that time and include things that you had trouble with, that way when midterms come around, you’ll know exactly what to focus on studying. Remember: study less, study smart.   


The Environment: This is a significant factor that plays a huge role when studying. The environment in which you choose to study is something to consider. Don’t like working at a noisy place? Then your better off not going to Panera, Starbucks, or any places where people hold conversations quietly. Need a background noise? Try turning on the TV, to something you don’t know about (that way it doesn’t distract you), and put it on low volume. If you are the type of person that needs to study in a quiet place, then going to the library is your best bet. Additionally, lighting also comes into play. Weird right? But very true. Studying in a brighter-lighting setting rather than a dim light can help one focus more on tasks, stay awake, and make your study session a better experience. 


Study Buddy: Sometimes teaching what you know to someone else helps you learn things quicker and more efficiently. Having a study buddy can be very helpful, especially if there is a lot of vocab to learn. Having someone to study with that is taking the same class, let’s say A.P. Biology, is a plus. Not only can you “teach” them, but they can also correct you if you’re wrong, and whatever you may know is probably something they don’t know (vise versa). It’s a win win. Having someone to review with you at the same time makes learning more enjoyable. 


Ask questions: Ask questions. It’s that simple. Asking your teachers what you should focus on studying can lessen your study time for a specific class, that way you can add more study time to another class that needs more attention. Even getting information about how many questions there will be on the exam, what vocab will be covered, or if there will be seperate parts, like an essay, will help you plan how much time you plan on spending per question. 


Tutoring: Not everyone is good at memorizing and/or grasping concepts, and that is totally okay! If this is the case for you, try getting a tutor. Tutors focus on what you  need help on; therefore, helping you become better at what you are having a hard time with. LCN even offers after school tutoring without a cost, and students are happy to help. 


Apps: What is the one thing you carry around with you on a daily basis? Your phone! What’s a better way than to study on your phone? Using apps like Kahoot, Quizlet, and StudyBlue are just some apps that most students can relate to and have had experiences with. Even downloading the Google Drive app can be helpful. Some teachers upload the notes that you’ve taken in class and sometimes even upload worksheets. Even though you can’t print the suggested worksheets, you can review the notes that you see and study any vocab provided. Now, if you really want to take it a step further, before driving to a certain place, put on a YouTube video where concepts that you are having a hard time understanding on and play it in the background while you drive. 


Theory Methods: Chewing gum while you study and then chewing the same gum while you are taking a test is said to help you memorize and remember what you studied. Most will say that it has worked for them, so why not try it yourself? In addition, when studying, try to make time to take a nap, and sleep on it. Sleeping right after you have had a study session, helps your brain analyze what you have learned.


Reward Yourself: This is one of the most important things you can do to yourself while studying! The estimated maximum of time a young adult can focus on something with full attention and awareness is 20 minutes. With that being said, reward yourself. After 20 minutes (and this means with no phone use during these 20 minutes), reward yourself with the things you like. Some examples are giving yourself a snack, watching a short YouTube video, or playing with your dog. Studying by sections and in intervals are extremely important. If you are in school, bring flashcards or your study notes and look over them during your five minute breaks. Just looking over them can go a long way.