1. Plan Ahead: The worst thing you can possibly do is to not show up for your exam or getting there late. Make sure you have exams penciled into your calendar from the first day you get your syllabus. Being premed you probably have a busy schedule so you don’t want any unexpected conflicts or lapses in memory to disrupt your exams.
2. Speak with Your Professor: Take advantage of office hours. Your professors will direct you in the right path. Of course you don’t want to bug your professor so make sure you go there with specific questions in mind.
3. Get Active: Physical activity is just as good for the mind as it is the body. Put away the books and audio recordings and go for a walk or nice game of tennis or basketball. Don’t let the studying turn you into a stiff robot… get up and move.
4. Eat Well: Healthy eating will give your body the proper nutrients and energy to keep it going and keep you from getting sick. Most students don’t find the time to cook during midterms but remember, this is the best time to use the “mama I’m starving over here” pity card. There is nothing like good home cooked meals or care package to prepare you for an exam. Just don’t experiment with foods before the big exam or else you may have a rough test.
5. Jam Out: Relax your mind and let the music move you. Music is very useful in that it ingrains memories into your head. Certain songs remind us of specific moments in our lives whether the memories are wanted or unwanted. Some can listen to soft music in the background (instrumentals or classical) and some need total silence. Regardless, taking a break to jam out is always a good thing.
6. Laugh Out Loud: Give yourself 10 minutes for a little laugh session but don’t get too carried away. Read some jokes or make some jokes about what you have been studying. Youtube clips are great escapes but very easy to get addicted to.
7. Hang Out with Friends: It may be a great escape if you spend some time with others who are not in the same classes but be careful as they may keep you away from your books too long. It’s good to spend some time with other premeds in your classes as well so you can share study experiences briefly before having fun. Again, time yourself.
8. Catch Some ZZZZs: Sleep well. There is no need in studying when you are sleep deprived and not retaining the material. It is all about the quality of your studies rather than the quantity. You will not get a reward or pity for studying 20 hours a day if you don’t make the grade. Sleep well and be efficient with the remaining 16hrs of the day.
9. Get Help: A wise person seeks counseling when needed. Don’t play superman or superwoman, otherwise the exam will be your kryptonite. If you are struggling with your studies speak to your professor, a mentor, or a school counselor early. It is better that your weaknesses are addressed or noted prior to the exam.
10. Pray: Publically, meditation is promoted but I am a personal fan of prayer. Prayer has become taboo in classes and many public places but from my personal experience a faithful prayer (specifically for God’s will and strength in my studies) along with hard work goes a long way.
Image from: http://www.mumbairock.com/profiles/blogs/when-i-was-studying-my-mom-was-calling-me