How to prepare and de-stress for midterms


Jennifer Mancilla, Opinions Writer

  Can all the stressed-out college students, who sleep for four hours at most and have little to no social life because you breathe homework, please stand up? 

  Welcome, this is your safe haven for the next five minutes, depending on how fast you read, for I shall share my tips for preparing for your midterms and ways to destress before and after the exams.  

  My first tip is to map out your midterm schedule beforehand, which is simple yet helpful. Find out what days your midterms are due for each class and mark it down on your calendars. Planning ahead will give you an idea of when to start your exams and what to expect.  

  When professors begin to bring up the rubric and the layout of the exam, take notes so you can look back on them later. Knowing the difficulty of the exam will let you know when you should start studying for it and when it should be completed.  

  The author, Kamran Akbarzadeh, who founded Dream Achievers Academy, which helps and inspires people to achieve their passions, says, in his article, “Six Reasons Why Planning Ahead Matters” 

  “By planning ahead, we can identify the associated risks, weigh and categorize them, prioritize and create a response plan” (Akbarzadeh) 

  Give yourself time to mentally prep for the exams because if you work on it the day before it’s due, you might discover that it is more difficult than you assumed and will probably take you more than an hour or two.   

  My second tip is to study, study, study. I set a timer to one hour and fifteen minutes, and for that one hour and fifteen minutes, I solely focus on the subject in front of me. If I keep pausing and checking my phone, then I’m not studying for the time I set for myself but instead half of that time.  

  In the article, “5 Research-Based Studying Techniques” written by Edward Kang, who has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, says,  

  “Instead of spending a lot of time doing low-intensity work with numerous distractions, these students work for shorter periods at higher intensity, without any distractions from email, social media, etc. Their studying is more effective and leads to greater achievement gains” (Kang).  

  Set a timer and focus on studying. Make sure you study someplace you won’t lose focus easily. If your siblings are being loud then go someplace where they aren’t being loud, and if their loud everywhere then wake up early when they’re asleep or stay up a little late. Studying is crucial if you want to pass, and although it can be extremely boring, it will be worth it later.  

  My third tip is to relax and take breaks. After studying for an hour or so, take a break. Stand up and stretch or go outside and sit under the sun. Watch a movie or a YouTube video. Make sure you give your mind a break cramming your head with information.   

  Helen Scarr, a freelance travel writer from the UK, shares her tips to calm any stress for studying in her article, “The Best Stress Relief Methods For Studying At Exam Time”. Some of her advice is to cut out any distractions, take breaks outside, get your heart pumping, talk it out, make bedtime a priority, and get your study snack right. 

  When you cut distractions, make sure to clear your mind and keep your phone put away to stop you from reaching for it during your study time. If you get distracted, you’ll break your concentration and it’ll be harder to get back into your zone.  

  Take breaks outside — go walk your dog or ride your bike around the neighborhood. Get a fresh breath of air after sitting down and staring at your computer screen for so long. You can also workout for 30 minutes to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing…or just do what I do and jog yourself to the couch and watch TV 

  Talk it out with a friend, especially if you have a study group. Ask them how their doing with the assignment and share some tips or ask for some help. You can also call your friend and talk about something not school related 

  Having a bedtime can be difficult, especially if you’re working and going to school; however, getting enough sleep is important to concentrate the next day when you have to study. If you can, sleep early and try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If you must choose between going out with friends or sleeping early, choose sleep! 

  This one is important and it’s to choose the right study snacks. If your drinking soda and eating candy, then you’ll run out of energy faster. Drink water or even coffee. Grab a bag of baby carrots and a bottle of ranch, or even some pretzels and Powerade. Eat and drink something that will boost your energy and give you brain power.  

  Midterms are important but make sure you don’t stress yourself out. Your mental health matters, so try to follow my tips and you’ll do good. Goodluck to you all.  





Akbarzadeh, Kamran. “Six Reasons Why Planning Ahead Matters”. Dream Achievers Academy. 

Kang, Edward. “5 Research-Backed Studying Techniques”. Edutopia. April 4, 2019. 

Scarr, Helen. “The Best Stress Relief Methods For Studying At Exam Time”. Feb. 24, 2018.