Five Tips for College Students Facing Their First Exams

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Despite some students’ intellectual gifts, test-taking involves a different set of situational adaptive skills. Performing well under fire is different from purely storing information. Plus, performing poorly on tests can delay your future career prospects indefinitely. Here are seven tips for college students coming up on their first midterm exams.


College seeks to prepare you with the information you need in your field of expertise and the adaptive thinking skills necessary to maintain your career. Get out of the habit of procrastinating early on and confront your responsibilities head-on. You know when exams will be every semester, so try to reframe your constant reviewing of information as practiced, active engagement with your field of interest. This way, its importance to you never fades.


Take full advantage of the opportunities your university offers you. The university library is rich with resources and is a perfect zone to focus. 

When you enter the library, feel the vibe and participate. Chances are that everyone will be focused and ready to tediously and painstakingly engage with the niche details of their field of expertise. 

Get in motion with this social-psychological group activity and use the momentum to propel yourself into your studies. Join social clubs associated with your interest so that you can make friends for study partners. People with the same goals push each other forward!


Be active in your engagement with your craft or area of focus. Try your hardest not to procrastinate, shirk your responsibilities and duties, or allow avoidant tendencies to take the wheel. The latter means getting off social media come study time, as it can be the ultimate procrastination and distraction tool. Use your phone to build a study schedule instead of checking social media apps.

Do your best not to forget your responsibility for yourself, your future, and your psychological well-being. This way, you’re more compelled to study Remember your career as a part of all of those things. 

Eat right

Your mind can’t perform properly without the proper fuel. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout your day. Start your day with a big glass of water and try not to eat too close to bedtime, as doing so can cause digestive issues and issues resting. Be sure to get the nutrients you need by making smoothies at home or taking herbal supplements rich in vitamins necessary for everyday function.

Meet with professors

Your professors have more to share than just the source material. Teachers think about how you’re experiencing their mentorship as a student, and a good professor wants an active role in actualizing your potential. Be sure to check for your professors’ office hours whether you’re struggling with the material or not. 

You can also turn to your teachers’ assistant, who’s probably a grad student or professors-in-training dedicated to your field. Learn how they teach to try and get an early advantage yourself, as teaching material requires a more thorough understanding and ability to recall data. An uplifting, philosophical conversation with a respected superior who engages their craft with the utmost seriousness is worth more than any tuition payment.

What are your favorite tips for getting ahead in school? Sound off in the comments!

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