Midterms can be intimidating, whether you're a first-semester college student or getting ready to graduate. Being as prepared as possible is important for your success because your grade might be heavily dependent on how you do on your midterm exams. But just what are the best ways to prepare? In essence: how do you study for a midterm in the best way possible? Go to class regularly -- and pay attention. Your class attendance might seem pretty disconnected from your study plan in case your midterm is over a month away. But when preparing for a midterm or other important exam, going to class every time, and paying attention while you're there, is one of the most effective steps you can take. The time you spend in class involves you learning and interacting with the material after all. And it's much better to do so in shorter snippets over the course of a semester than to try to learn, in just one night, all of the things that have been covered over the last month in class. Stay caught up with your homework. Staying on top of your reading is a simply but highly important step to take when preparing for midterms.

How to study for a college midterm

In case you really focus on your reading the first time you complete it, you can do things -- like highlighting, taking notes, and making flashcards -- that can later be transformed into study aids in addition to this. Talk to your professor about the exam. It may seem obvious or even a little intimidating but talking to your professor in advance of the exam can be a great way to prepare. He or she can help you understand concepts you're not totally clear on and can tell you where to best focus your efforts. In case your professor is both the writer of the exam and someone who can help you be efficient in your preparations, why wouldn't you use him or her as a resource after all? Begin studying at least one week in advance. You're not really studying -- you're cramming if our exam is tomorrow and you're just starting to study. Studying should take place over a period of time and should allow you to really understand the material, not just memorize it the night before an exam. A smart way to reduce your stress, prepare your mind, give yourself time to absorb and remember the material you're learning, and overall do well when exam day finally arrives is beginning to study at least one week in advance. Come up with a study plan. Planning to study and planning how to study are two very different things. Instead of staring blankly at your textbook or coursereader during the time you're supposed to be preparing, come up with a plan. For example, on certain days, plan to review your notes from class and highlight key elements you need to remember.