Photos by Esther Kang
There are no more chocolate-covered strawberries from Nature’s Edge left in the refrigerator, and spring break Project Serve trips to Mexico and Hawaii loom on the horizon –– for these next two weeks, it is time for students to get stressed and take on midterms.
Dreaded midterms, however, do not have to be so daunting. With healthy preparation, it is possible to steer clear of your roommate’s tempting Adderall bottles and get to bed before 7 a.m. With three and a half years of practice behind them, seniors are well aware of test-taking strategies to power through and dominate their professors’ favorite form of torture.
“Don’t procrastinate with your reading throughout the semester, as you’ll be overwhelmed when it comes to finally studying,” senior Alex Roberts said. “If you can make a few notes while you’re reading too, it reinforces the material. Make cue cards. They’re portable, so you can take your studying easily with you for whenever you have free time. Don’t show up to class too early on test day to ensure that people who are stressed and worried won’t psych you out. Be confident in your own abilities.”
For students battling cumulative exams, it can be tiresome to write hundreds of flashcards sporting the scientific names of plants decorating campus or the list of last names of Renaissance artists for everyone’s favorite GE, Humanities 212.
There is a beautiful solution called www.quizlet.com, a website that allows you to type online flashcards. This helpful site also provides you with different learning strategies, from definition review lists to timed games.
If flashcards are not your thing, typing review sheets from your notes can also be extremely helpful. The extra time taken to organize notes and translate it onto a Microsoft Word document can give you a preliminary review of information and help highlight the difficult areas you may need to focus on.
Study location can also have a huge impact on exam success. The cubicles on the first floor of Payson Library are a favorite spot for students needing a silent space to “get in the zone.” For those students who are actually diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, even the clicking of a pen can be distracting, an enigma easily solved with the orange earplugs dispensed on the far left of the library front desk. Arrive early because it may be difficult to find an unoccupied seat. Students looking for a more relaxed atmosphere can study in the ACE on the second floor of Payson.
“I think the most important thing is to know when you are the most productive and where and tailor your study habits accordingly,” senior Allie King said. “For me, that means the early hours of the day, in a quiet location and with a cup of coffee. But everyone is different; it is a learning process to figure out what works best.”
If Payson is too stressful, your dorm room, Starbucks or the Malibu Library can offer alternate study areas. The Malibu Library does not remain open until dawn, however, so if you are a night owl, that might not be the best place to locate. The Sandbar and Caf are great areas for group studying to take place, another great way to share and gain various perspectives on class notes with your peers.
Studying in the Sandbar also allows for easy access to a nutritious boost and energy enhancer, blended by our expert Jamba employees. Don’t forget to check out the secret menu by the cashier. Proper nutrition is imperative for exam success. Although it is painful to set your alarm an extra 15 minutes earlier, those unlucky students with 7:30 a.m. exams will greatly benefit from a breakfast plate of eggs, bacon and buttered toast.
It may seem insignificant, but keeping a positive attitude is obligatory. The morale permeating throughout campus is a contagious bubble of negative energy throughout midterm week, but it is important to block it out and infuse your bones with positive vibes.
“Keeping a good attitude is one of the most important things so you don’t burn out,” senior Stephanie Yakupitiya said. “Be confident in yourself that you will succeed.”
It will all be over soon, and you will soon be able to taste that homemade spaghetti dinner and flaunt those sexy sweatpants in front of the television. Remember your power pose –– deep breath, you got this.
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