1. Have a clean workspace
If you’re studying at home, make sure you have a place set aside where you can really focus on your work. A messy desk or table will distract the clean freaks among us, and at worst, encourage a similarly scattered mind. Clear a space for yourself, and once there, concentrate.
2. Draw up a schedule
You don’t need to outline every minute of every day, although I have friends who’ve done that. But you should know exactly when your exams take place, and how much time you need to dedicate to each. Work backwards from your exam dates, schedule blocks of time when you’ll work on a specific subject, and don’t forget to factor in time for eating, sleeping, and taking much-needed breaks.
3. Take breaks
Speaking of breaks: do take them. It’s better to really work during your work time and let your brain rest in between, rather than half-heartedly gazing at a textbook before surfing Facebook for 45 minutes. Discipline justifies chill-time later—what reason do you need beyond that?
4. Eat regularly, and right
Before you’re in all-out studying mode, stock up your refrigerator with good, healthy, easily prepared foods. Brain foods, like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein, not frozen pizzas and Pop Tarts. Make your apartment a haven of healthy snacks, and your tired mind will thank you.
5. Make a plan with your roommates
If you share an apartment with flatmates, now’s the time to remind them about midterms, and make a plan. If you want to study at home, let them know, and perhaps outline some quiet hours when you can do so. Even if you’re studying away from home, you’ll need to be able to rest, so loud amorous encounters and 3 a.m. pool tournaments will ideally be put off until after exams end.
6. Use the library
Maybe the best way to do well on your midterms is not to use your apartment—at least, not for studying. If you create study places away from home, at the library, a café, or the house of a study partner, you’ll more easily move from work to relaxation mode and back again. Studying in your bed, on the other hand, can result in sleepy non-retention and a bad night’s sleep.