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How to Study for Multiple Midterms in College

by Shelley Frost, studioD

Having a study plan for midterm exams often means the difference between feeling unprepared and dominating the assessments. A midterm often accounts for a large portion of the semester's grade and could cover all of the topics from the class up to that point. With so much material to study and only a limited number of study hours in the day, using the time efficiently is key to passing all of the midterm exams.

Write in the time and date for each midterm exam on a calendar so you have a visual timeline for the tests. This helps you break down and prioritize your study time.

Gather information on each of the midterms. Ask each professor if the exam is multiple choice, essay, fill-in-the-blank or a varied format to guide your studying. For example, a multiple choice test means you'll need to memorize facts and details to answer accurately, while an essay exam means you'll need a more analytical and general knowledge of the subject. Determine the range of the material and specific topics, if possible.

Check on study groups for each of your classes. If no formal study groups are organized, invite a few classmates to study together. Working through the material with others in the class can help you better understand the material, but give yourself time to study alone as well.

Allocate a certain number of study hours to each exam, based on how much studying you think you'll need. A class that comes naturally to you may require less study time than a subject you're not familiar with or don't understand as well. Schedule blocks of time to study for each midterm during your free time.

Outline a study plan for each midterm. Include the breakdown for chapters and information you need to study for each test. Plan for fact memorization, practice tests and outlining essays, depending on the format for each midterm.

Gather all of the necessary study materials ahead of time so you're ready for the study sessions. The time spent digging around for materials takes away from studying.


  • Start your study sessions for midterms early. Waiting until the week of the exams leaves you with little time and may force you to cram or feel unprepared.
  • Eating well, exercising and getting sleep are key ingredients to staying alert for more efficient studying.
  • Give yourself breaks during your study sessions. Get a drink, do a few jumping jacks or walk around the dorms.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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