How to survive ‘midterming’ with the best of them 

It’s that time of year yet again, and I would argue that spring semester midterms are worse than their fall counterpart because of spring break we have coming up at the end of March.  

Have no fear, UCCS, because with these three tips, you’ll be sure to not only make it through this exam season but feel rested at the end of the studying marathon.  

Set aside study time every day.  

Studying is different for everyone and each person on this campus probably has a different method than the next. But this little piece of advice is universal.  

If you have more than two midterms this March, be sure to set up a study schedule. Take a little chunk out of your day to coordinate your study times in between other homework, classes, and/or work. The further you are away from the exam, study a little; the closer, vice versa. The goal of this tip is to put the procrastination demon back in his proverbial hole.  

Taking a little bit of time out of your day for upwards of a week before the exam will prevent you from having studying fatigue, which you’ll likely feel if you wait to cram a couple days before the test.  

Don’t listen to music while studying. 

I don’t know about you, but I pretty much listen to music whenever and wherever possible when I’m working on homework. However, I would forgo music while reading, editing a project or paper and especially studying.  

The idea of using music to study has conflicting evidence especially when considering what type of music you’re listening to. But according to Texas A&M, listening to music, like any other form of entertainment, is a different activity than studying and conflicts with your ability to multitask. If you think you’re good at multitasking, sorry to break it to you — you’re probably not. 

Humans are notorious for being bad at multitasking, and you’re not going to function your best while multitasking instead of just focusing on one thing at a time.  

Now, like I said, I am not immune to this, but it’s best to try and move away from this habit if you want to be successful on test day. In fact, here are a few songs I was listening to while writing this article.  

“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” by Simon and Garfunkel  

“That Lucky Old Sun,” by Willie Nelson  

“Unchained Melody,” by Elvis Presley  

“Try and Love Again” by The Eagles  

Take a break. 

It can be greatly beneficial to take a break from studying as well as homework when you have the time. This is not only good for your well-being, but also for you to retain information.  

According to Texas A&M, psychologists have found that spacing out your studying time, instead of cramming all at once, helps you to retain the information. So while watching a few episodes of “Regular Show” sounds irresponsible, it can actually help you soak up the information in an efficient manner. Just be sure to set a limit for yourself. I’m speaking from experience.  

Whether or not these tips help you depends on your own studying strategies, but hopefully these tips can help students who feel like they’re drowning in stress and waiting for the life preserver to come along. You’re not alone this tumultuous season.

Studying for midterms in the Kraemer Family Library. Photo by Meghan Germain.