As a college student, I spend a large amount of time taking and preparing for midterm exams. Although there's no way to make taking midterms enjoyable, I have a few tips for taking and preparing for exams a bit less stressful.
- Prepare Early (as in not two days before):
I know it can be easy to fall prey to procrastination; however, I would recommend beginning to think about your midterm about two weeks in advance. Find out when and where it will be held, how long it will be, what topics it will cover, and what types of questions will be asked (multiple choice? essay? short answer?).
- Only Study the Material You'll Need:
For this, I recommend looking through your lecture notes and doing example problems that are similar to the ones in these notes. If your professor took time to cover it in class, it's probably important. It's also a good idea to look through your textbook for the class to find even more practice problems similar to the ones in your notes.
- Make Sure You Understand Concepts:
Just because you can plug numbers into equations, doesn't mean you're prepared for your test. If you're still foggy on some concepts covered in lecture, review them in your textbook. If you're still confused after you review your notes and textbook try Googling your class online. You might be able to find courses similar to the one you are taking at other universities and you can use their resources for extra practice and review (Khan Academy and YouTube usually have helpful videos covering specific topics).
- Still Need More Resources?:
Attending offices hours and asking your professor for help or advice in preparing for your test is a really good idea. No one will know how to prepare for a test better than the person who wrote it. Also if you can't make it to TA or professor office hours, USC has other amazing resources to help you prepare for tests. One is VARC free peer tutoring where students who have already taken classes work one-on-one with students who are currently looking for help mastering course material.
Hopefully you found these tips helpful! Reach out if you have any questions!