top of page
  • Rei Pham

Midterms Mania: Smarter Ways to Study

“Study smarter, not harder.”

Hopefully, the above saying is half true, but the reality, you need to study hard and do it in a smart way as well. Balancing the two may not be the easiest feat, but these tips will help you find a study method that will work best for you.

1. Study as you learn

Yes, this is possible! By reviewing your notes every night of what you learned that day, your brain will familiarize itself with the information. This way, the information will stick and is more likely to stay in your long-term memory. Reviewing your notes everyday also breaks up the information into smaller chunks for easier processing. Love your brain! When it comes time for exam, all you need to do is a light skim through your notes and won’t have to cram in all the new information in one night!

2. Save your homework and quiz handouts!

Usually, your homework assignments and any chapter quizzes highlight the most important information you will need to know for midterms. Make sure you save these resources and refer back to them before the midterm! Most often than not, some of these questions will show up again on the exam, maybe even word for word.

We all know that flashcards are a great tool to use as you study, but Quizlet really takes it to the next level. Since it is an online resource, not only is it easily accessible, it can also be shared.

How it works: Students create flashcards for either a similar class or the same class you are in from another semester and this information will be saved forever. Flash cards have important vocabularies, but also concepts and short answers to question. You can view them as a list and even use the Quiz feature to test yourself!

Before your next midterm, try to look up a set of flashcards on Quizlet by typing in your class name on the search bar. If nothing pops up, create your own and share with others!

4. Form a study group

Two is better than one? Make that five! When you study in a group, it’s not just your head trying to figure out the answer, it’s a group of brains working together. Trust me, studying in a group will lighten up your load. However, before you meet with your study group, make sure that you have a good grasp of the materials as well so the group meeting can go smoothly. Another great thing about studying in a group setting is it can go a lot faster with everyone reminding each other of important concepts. Some of you may prefer to study independently, and that’s okay! Everyone has their own way of studying, just do whatever is best for you.

Ready to form a study group? Use WhenIsGood to figure out when everyone is available to meet!

5. Don’t forget to sleep!

Pulling all-nighters seem to have become the norm for college students. However, research has shown that having at least 8 hours of sleep after studying will help your brain absorb and retain the information a whole lot better. Since a good night sleep is the key to success, don’t skimp on the snooze button!

And there you have it, some simple tips to help you study harder AND smarter! It’s crunch time right now; but remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel! I wish you luck on your upcoming midterm exams and if you are feeling stressed, check out my College Frenzy article on ways to efficiently de-stress.

If you like stories like this, subscribe to Chopsticks Alley.

Rei Pham


Rei is a Psychology student at the University of California, Merced. As a Vietnamese immigrant, she understands the challenge of balancing both Vietnamese and American cultures. She is passionate about equality for minorities and wants to introduce the world of possibilities for first generation Vietnamese-Americans. Rei hopes to inspire the youth by sharing her stories in obtaining higher education and the resources available for them to achieve their own success.

58 views0 comments
bottom of page