Hot off the heels of my Chemistry midterm this morning, I figured I’d give you a look at my process of preparing for a midterm.

Phase 1: A Week in Advance

This is around the time that everyone starts to say “there’s a midterm coming up.” It’s also around the time that you start cracking open the books in your free time to get a glimpse of the material that’s going to be on the test. Is it time to go hard? No, we’ve still got a few phases to go.

Phase 2: Three Days in Advance

This is when crunch time starts. The midterm takes full priority, and its time to put all hands on deck. You’ve still got a fair amount of time until the midterm, but as a rule of thumb, it’s good to feel ready to take the test on the day before the test is given. That way you’ve got a whole extra day during which you feel fully prepared.

Phase 3: Two Days in Advance

Break out the practice tests, forget about socializing, and get all your food to-go. It’s time to head down to B-level (the really quiet one) in the library and drink ridiculous amount of coffee to make sure you’ve got a handle on the material. This is your last chance to stay up all hours of the night to study.

Phase 4: The Day Before

Today you shouldn’t be seeing the outside world unless you absolutely have to. This is the do or die time, and it’s all hands on deck with studying. This is the final push to get all the material understood. Is this the night you should be staying up until 3 in the morning studying? No. This is the night you should end early and get a good night’s rest. Make sure you set like 5 alarms just in case. Missing a midterm because you overslept = you’re screwed.

Phase 5: The Day Of

Panic that you might have woken up late but realize you actually woke up two hours early. Get some last minute review in, but for the most part, just go in and knock the test out of the park. You’ve spent all this time studying, now it’s time to put it to use.

*Disclaimer: This method only applies to one midterm. Multiple midterms are an issue for another day.