1. Calories Don’t Count. (If food isn’t the first thing on your mind at all times then who are you?).
The best part of midterms week is that calories don’t count during it! (It’s a fact).You’re allowed to eat whatever you need to get yourself through that week of hell. Carbs on carbs on butter on more carbs on chocolate on cheese on carbs. Eat. It. All. It’s ok to eat your feelings this week (and trust me, you’ll have a lot of them)! The only thing I do recommend (Warning: I am about to sound like a parent or a teacher –reader discretion is advised) is that you eat filling breakfasts during midterms. AND BRING SNACKS!!! Nothing is worse than getting hungry during a midterm. Most teachers won’t let you eat during the test but you do have a lot of time in-between tests so make sure to stock up on goodies (I would suggest an apple and a granola bar –but remember, calories don’t count! So go crazy!). Above all, if you are some health nut and refuse to binge during midterms (or if you binged throughout them like any good high school student should) be sure to treat yourself to something at the end of the week!
P.S. The Round Table does not condone childhood obesity, so I guess I should tell you to eat a salad or two and go for a brisk walk at some point…
3. Take Breaks.
Lots of us get really stressed during midterms and try desperately to cram five months of material into our brains in the days approaching the tests. These are big tests and studying should be your priority. It is important, though, to take breaks in between pulling your hair out and crying in your textbooks. Go to the gym. Draw a picture. Play some music. Do whatever it is that best helps you relax. It may seem that there’s not enough time in the day, but trust me, that hour at the gym will serve you a lot better (both physically and mentally) than an hour of trying to study and banging your head through a wall.
4. Cramming Is Bogus.
Hours upon hours upon hours of studying does nobody any good. It is not efficient and is hardly ever effective. Many shorter time periods where you are more focused are much better. As lame as it may be, make yourself a study schedule. Write it down and plan out what classes you will need to study the most for and that way you don’t end up trying to shove everything in your brain at the last minute. Studying while you’re distracted will take considerably longer and have considerably less impressive results so be sure to stay focused. Try studying at the time of day when you are most productive (Are you an early bird? Night owl?). Take advantage of all the extra study time we get by having half days. When June and finals come around, you’ll be happy you studied a lot for midterms and did well enough that you don’t have to worry as much about finals. Remember, getting a good night’s sleep the night before is way better than cramming. If you don’t know the material by that point, then it is very unlikely that an all-nighter will do you much good.
5. Seek Help.
The best study technique is to ask your teacher for help in trouble areas. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help, and that’s what your teachers are there for. Some teachers have midterm study guides or study sessions; TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE. There is no better test resource than the source of the test itself! If you’re still having trouble, https://www.khanacademy.org/ (the most helpful thing ever), youtube videos (especially ones that turn the subject matter into catchy songs), and classmates can be great resources. Study groups can also be helpful, but be careful when choosing a group. It can be hard for a whole group to stay focused, and so, while it may be fun, it is often a waste of time unless everyone is very serious about getting stuff done.
P.S. Be sure to bring study materials (especially ones from your teacher) to school the day of the test. Again, there is a lot of time in-between tests, so you may want to do some last minute studying.
6. Say Bye-Bye to Wifi
As painful as it will be, resist the urge to go on social networks. Log yourself out if you have to. Disconnect your WiFi. That way it will take more effort to go back on. We all know that “just quickly checking instagram” can lead to hours wasted procrastinating. Also, please keep the whiny tweets to a minimum –we are all suffering equally, and while it is nice to bond over the pain on twitter, it’s nicer to have a midterm-free twitter feed. AND WHATEVER YOU DO, JUST REMEMBER, THIS IS THE ONE WEEK OF THE YEAR THAT NETFLIX IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS. IT WILL BRING YOU NOTHING BUT PAIN.
Open up your iTunes library or (if you keep your WiFi on) turn on your favorite Pandora Radio and start jamming out. I don’t recommend rap because it will have your mind more focused on deciphering the rhymes and wishing you were a “Rap God” like Eminem, and less focused on that history textbook in front of you. If you are one of those annoying people who don’t like to listen to music when they do work, suck it up and turn on some Mozart (there are hour-long videos on youtube). It has been proven that listening to Mozart while studying or doing other work can improve test scores, reduce errors, raise IQ scores, and much more! So open those textbooks and crank those tunes!
Calm down. Relax. Do some yoga. Take some deep breaths. In the grand scheme of things, midterms are so vastly unimportant. (Having said that though, be sure to have some pride and self-respect and do the best that you can do). If the score isn’t what you wanted it’s ok to be upset, but then move on. It’s a midterm. Yes, they are big and stressful and sometimes scary, but it is just a midterm. If the worst thing that happens in your life, or even this year, is that you bomb a high school midterm, I’d say you have a pretty good life.