Photo by Marian Hill.

Midterms can be a nerve-racking time for any student — and when you only have 10 weeks of school at a time, it comes by faster than most. Suddenly, it’s midterms this upcoming week and you don’t know what to do. It happens to everyone at every grade level, not just the first-year students. Being at an art college can sometimes throw us off for when it comes to tedious research papers or exams. If you are worried about midterms and feel lost on how to organize yourself for the work yet to come, here are some tips for you.


Review your classes

Go over all the assignments that you’ve done, and organize the information you already received in each course. When reviewing, write down connections between assignments. This could come in the form of vocabulary words, key concepts, techniques, materials and historical context — which is something a lot of people might over look. Knowing how certain forms of art are created can lead to interesting connections across the curriculum that your professor could quiz you on or help you in a presentation of a project.

Make study guides, review your notes and make a summary of everything you’ve learned. Make a digestible set of points for a study guide you can follow for any exams or quizzes that may come up. Not only is a study guide helpful to review, it is helpful to make. The act of just writing down your notes can be the best way to actually study for those tough lecture exams.

Prepare for upcoming projects 

For any upcoming projects this week, make sure you have all the materials you need before Monday. The big projects you’re making in studio courses require a lot of time and effort in researching material, development and construction — and certain projects should be happening now and finished before Monday.

Preparing gives you time to plan out your project and how much time you may need — it’s always better to overestimate than come up short or run out of time. Prepare yourself for everything to go wrong, like it so often does. Don’t wait until the last moment.

Sleep while you can 

Telling a SCAD student to get enough sleep during midterms may go unheard. Sometimes, an all nighter is necessary. That being said, sacrificing sleep is never a good thing for anyone. The best thing to do is get enough sleep this weekend and hopefully Monday night too. Save the sleepless nights for when you desperately need them (though hopefully you’ll listen to our advice of preparing so pulling and all nighter doesn’t happen).

Give yourself time to sleep while you can. If those all nighters do come around, drink water not coffee. Coffee will dehydrate you and cause more fatigue the next day. If you do drink coffee, drink enough water to flush out the caffeine before you go to bed.