Midterms. Every student knows what they are, every student has to take them, and every student will frankly tell you that “they suck.”

This week I had two midterms – One in my Introduction to Literary Fiction class and one in my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class. (Thankfully, my Freshman Year Precept simply had us write a paper (phew!)) Unfortunately, these two midterms only had a day in between them (Anthropology was Monday and Literary Fiction was on Wednesday) and so I had to be strategic in my study methods.

Now, for Anthropology, I took time to do what students should do when preparing for a midterm.
1. I started making my notecards at least a week prior to the test so that they would be done and ready to study.
2. I color-coded those notecards.
3. I organized those notecards into piles.
4. I was generally very OCD about those notecards.
5. I studied and reviewed for a few days (as opposed to studying only the day or night) before.

But it ended up being a great deal of help, because when the midterm came around, I was fully prepared, and kicked its butt (Well…. at least I hope I did… haven’t gotten those results back yet.)

For Literary Fiction, I did the exact opposite of what a student should do. I was so “tired” from all of my good-study habits that I had put to use for Anthropology, that I slacked off and ended up:
1. Using all of Tuesday (a day on which I don’t have any classes and should have been studying) to nap and do nothing substantial.
2. Going to the library for literally fifteen minutes before deciding that I was bored and would rather take a nap
3. Napping some more..
4. Panicking when 9 PM rolled around and I had barely studied or glanced at my study materials.
5. Staying up until 3:30 AM to study with a study partner
6. Waking up at 6 AM to study some more
7. Dragging myself to class (which starts at 8), taking the midterm, and sleeping through my next class.

Okay, so ….. maybe not the best study methods….

But it definitely taught me a lesson in what is ‘good’ studying and ‘bad’ studying. From now on I’ll be sure to try and start preparing for my midterms a week or so in advance. It’s what all of your teachers will tell you to do, but until you have a stressful night of last-minute studying, it probably won’t hit home.

Hope you guys learned something from this!

P.S. I ended up receiving an 85 on my Literary Fiction midterm, which wasn’t too bad for a night of last-minute studying, but, I know I could have done much better, and so I definitely suggest studying ahead of time!


About Isabelle Edwards

Student Blogger at Union College.
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