Midterms, Tests, Quizzes, OH MY!


Helping students help themselves


By: Deja Green


January is quickly approaching which means midterms are right around the corner. Whether you are a freshman and this is your first time experiencing midterms or a senior and just need to brush up on your studying skills, this article can help you in many ways. A special thanks to Ms. Ann Bartus, AVID teacher, for sharing her tips with Spectrum.


  1. Eliminate distractions: Eliminating distractions is a big part in preparing for midterms. One of the biggest distractions that students have is social networking. FocalFilter, distracting site blocker, can come in handy. With this software, you can choose what sites to block and for how long you want to block them. In order to get this software, go to www.focalfilter.com/ and simply click the download button.
  2. “50 on, 10 off” Rule: When it comes to studying for any test—big or small—breaks in between your study time are crucial. Studying for a long period of time without breaks can be very tiring and the student may feel like they are not soaking up enough information as they could if they took breaks. That is why the “50 on, 10 off” rule works. Study for 50 minutes and take a 10 minute break, during your 10 minute break, it is important that you eat, drink, and do something physical. Using your phone or computer during a break is not beneficial because it doesn’t give the brain a rest.
  3. Budget your time:  Having study time on your calendar can be very beneficial for all students. In order to have time to study all of your subjects, having everything planned accordingly reassures all of that. If students only have their homework time planned out, they will never have time for studying. Planning your study time in between your homework time makes sure that you are getting ample studying time as well as getting all of your homework done.
  4. Appropriate places for studying: The ideal place for a study session to be held varies from person to person. Where ever the studying place may be, it is best to keep the distractions to a bare minimum. To reiterate, everyone is different. Some need complete silence in very neutral rooms, others may enjoy the comfort of their own room, and some may like the library or a coffee shop.
  5. Studying with partner vs. alone: Different people have different opinions about studying with or without a partner. Jianella Macalino, junior, thinks “studying with a partner is more beneficial for me because if I miss something in a lesson, my partner can fill me in on it. We can compare notes. In general, two brains are better than one.”  But there are other students who prefer to study alone. “I like to study alone because if I am studying with another person I can’t as well as I would if I were by myself”, said Tara Naoum, junior.
  6. Music: According to the Phoenix Forward magazine, it has not been proven that studying with music tremendously affects test grades. But, it can help. It really varies from person to person. Hunter Griffin, sophomore, likes “to study with music because it helps me focus more.” Some students do not like studying with music because it confuses them with what they are studying. They begin to focus more on the song they are listening to than the material they are supposed to be studying. “I can’t study with music because I get too hyped when I am listening to my songs. I begin to sing the song and forget about what I am studying”, said Morgan Neal, sophomore.
  7. 7.  Identify your learning style: Determining you learning style can help students pinpoint exactly how they should study. The four learning styles are verbal, physical, aural, and verbal. If a student is a visual learner, they prefer images and colors to help them learn. If a student is a physical learner, they prefer hands-on activities, movement, and touch in order to learn.  If the student is an aural learner, they prefer to work with sound and music. If the student is a verbal learner, they learn by both written and spoken word.  Students can figure out what kind of learner they are by taking learning styles inventory quizzes at http://www.learning-styles-online.com/inventory/. You can also find more information about the learning styles on this website.

These few tips can really help you prepare for midterms without cramming and stressing over not knowing if you are going to get everything done.pictures