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How Can I Best Prepare for College Midterms and Finals?

College midterms and final exams can be tough! But there are some ways successful students get through it all. See what our experts have to say on the subject.

Silhouette of person sitting at desk with laptopJim Terhune
VP of Student Affairs
Swarthmore College 
The best way to manage midterms and finals is to stay on top of your academic work throughout the semester. Do the reading when it’s assigned. Speak to the professor or teaching assistant if you encounter difficulty in a class. Start working on papers, labs, and other graded assignments well early and make sure you hand them in on time. When it comes time to take midterms and finals, study hard but avoid cramming and all-nighters. It’s far better to get plenty of sleep, eat well, and carve out time for exercise in ways that are consistent with the rest of the term rather than trying to adopt some frantic exam schedule where you’re sleep deprived, hopped up on caffeine and cold pizza, and glued to a study carrel in the library. This is one of those hard and immutable truths that we all have to come to accept eventually: When it comes to doing your homework, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well, your mother was right.

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