Published: Sept. 26, 2019

female student studying on farrand fieldGetting ready for midterms can sometimes feel overwhelming. But it’s possible for students to prepare without pulling all-nighters.  With the right study strategies, your student can stay focused and organized. Here are some tips to help support your student as they get ready for midterms.

Plan study sessions

Sometimes the hardest part of studying is just getting started. Encourage your student to schedule out time in their week to study, and do their best to get started right away. If they haven’t already, they could find a favorite place that can become their study spot, like a coffee shop, library or community room in their residence hall.

It’s best to prioritize studying information that will likely be on the exam and any information they don’t know or feel comfortable with. For midterms that are more writing-based, your student could make outlines to help map out their ideas ahead of time. If your student isn’t sure what the focus of a particular midterm will be, encourage them to visit their professor’s office hours to get clarification.

Try different study strategies

Is your student a visual learner? Do they remember things more when they hear them? Encourage your student to find out their learning style – visual, aural, read/write or kinesthetic – by taking this learning style quiz. Depending on their style, here are some strategies they can try.

  • Visual – Underline or highlight notes. Look for videos, graphs or charts to further review information.
  • Aural – Read notes out loud and record them to listen to later. Talk over concepts with a classmate or study group.
  • Read/write – Rewrite notes. Look for less complex books or resources on the same subject to read.
  • Kinesthetic – Think of real-world examples when reviewing notes and how they apply to the topic.

Avoid burnout

Taking care of ourselves helps us stay balanced and maintain energy. Encourage your student to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, eat regular and balanced meals and make time for physical activity. Taking regular breaks when studying or working on projects is a great way to recharge and avoid burnout.

Find help

If your student is stuck on a problem or a concept discussed in class, encourage them to ask for help. They could ask a classmate, visit office hours or a help lab, or join (or start!) a study group.

They can also take advantage of other free resources as well. If your student lives on-campus or is a first-year student, the Academic Success & Achievement Program (ASAP) offers free tutoring support. If they need help writing a paper, they can visit The Writing Center. If your student has a big research project, University Libraries offers consultations to help them get started.