Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam

It's the middle of the semester; you have nine weeks behind you and nine weeks left to go. The only thing standing between you and total awesomeness is that midterm. You need some tips for studying for a midterm because, without them, you're going to mess up that GPA because the midterm is worth so many points. You typically give yourself about six seconds to prepare, but not this time. Now, you want to change your ways. It's time to get serious about those grades.

If this sounds anything like you, then pay attention. The following tips for studying for a midterm are only good if you actually apply them.

Clean Out Your Locker

Clean out your locker before your midterm!
Getty Images | Emma Innocenti

Why? You probably have piles of miscellaneous papers, notes, and quizzes filling up your locker at the end of the nine weeks. Homework gets jammed behind the books, assignments get stuck on the bottom, and all of your projects get squished somewhere in between. You're going to need those things to prep for that midterm, so going through it first makes total sense.​

How? Start by emptying everything out of your locker into your backpack except for the books you don't need that night for homework. Yes, your backpack will be heavy. No, you can't skip this step. When you get home, toss the gum wrappers, old food and anything broken. Go through all of those loose papers, assignments, and quizzes arranging them by subject into piles. Put them all in the folders or binders for each class neatly. You'll need them for studying.

Organize Your Binder

Why? You have to have your binder organized for class so you'll know if you're missing anything pertinent to the midterm. Let's say your teacher has given you a review guide, and on it, you're expected to know the list of terms for chapter three. However, you have no idea where your notes are for chapter three because you loaned them to a "friend" and he hasn't given them back. See? It makes sense to organize everything prior to studying so you know what you need to locate.

How? If you didn't do this at the beginning of the year or have gone astray from your organization at this point, get on track by arranging your binder by content. Put all your quizzes under one tab, notes under another, handouts under another, etc. Group according to content, so you'll easily be able to grab whatever you need.

Create a Study Schedule

Why? Creating a study schedule is key to getting a good grade on your midterm, but it's one of the tips for studying that kids often overlook. Don't miss it.

How? Start by checking out your calendar and figuring out how many days you have prior to your midterm. Then, set aside 45 minutes to an hour each day prior to the test, using the time you'd usually spend watching TV or messing around on the computer. If you only have one night, you'll have to block off more time than that.

Start Studying

Why? You'd like to get a good grade, and more importantly, the colleges you want to get into actually take a peek at your GPA. It's kind of a big deal, especially if you're not planning to study for the ACT or SAT. A good GPA can help balance a poor college admissions test score, so it's imperative that as early as ninth grade, you're thinking about your GPA in very real terms. Your college admittance could depend on it.

How? There are different things you need to do to prepare depending on how many days you have prior to the exam. So, to start, check out these study instructions which give you exact step-by-step procedures for studying for a midterm whether you have six days before the test or one. Choose the number of days you have prior to the exam and follow the instructions word for word. You'll find out exactly which items to study from your binder, how to quiz yourself, and how to memorize necessary information. You'll need your review guide if the teacher gave you one, all of your quizzes, handouts, assignments, projects, and notes from the content being tested.

When you sit down to study, be sure to choose a quiet place, maintain your focus, and stay positive. You can get a good grade on your midterm, especially if you're following these tips for studying.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Roell, Kelly. "Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Roell, Kelly. (2020, August 27). Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam. Retrieved from Roell, Kelly. "Tips for Studying for a Midterm Exam." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).