It is a fact that an object in motion stays in motion, according to Newton’s first law of motion (or law of inertia). It is also known that a student who is stressed tends to stay stressed unless acted upon by an outside force (food, Netflix, cats, etc). Because midterms are just now leaving our rearview, I find it helpful to have some quick and easy methods to help prep for the more dreadful tests of your college career.

First I must state that any method that has helped in the past will most likely prove most effective in studying for your tests. The most common study procedures are flash cards, Quizlet, and the most dauntless method: rewriting your notes. I am here to tell you that there are a million ways to prep for any test. Some can even be fun. Yes, fun.

My favorite little study secret involves food. To begin, you take your favorite snack (marshmallows, gummi bears, goldfish, or M&M’s work well). It should be a snack that brings you optimal joy. Then, if you have large chunks of reading material or if you’re reviewing your notes, place pieces of the snack strategically around the information. So you could place a piece of candy at every start of a paragraph or at every important bulletin point in your notes. Once you understand the information or have read the material, you eat the snack as a small incentive. In my opinion, it proves beneficial because after I do a small amount of work, the snack is a bit of a reward. Like a little, “YAY me! You were productive today,” sort of thing.

For those of you that don’t include junk food as a major food group, I would suggest you check your priorities. For you, I have something completely different from gorging not only your brain, but your stomachs as well. Recording yourself saying your notes out loud can be useful. Being able to hear yourself and being able to pause or repeat can prove to be effective in the prepping process. I personally find that this specific technique is very mobile. The one thing that almost everyone has on their person is a phone or an iPod. Listening to your notes while you walk to class or when you exercise is easier than lugging around a hefty notebook all day.

The last technique that is the most important and is universal to everyone is the tedious balancing act of handling stress. To truly be a pro at prepping for any test (let alone midterm or final) is to balance your stress. Because no two humans are the same, we all don’t handle stress the same way. Some carry it well while others, frankly, don’t. Finding an activity that relieves stress is only half the battle. It is almost like a checks and balance system. Once you metaphorically check all your stressors off your list then you can truly have a balanced life.

The other half of the battle is actually finding the time and energy to relieve your stress. This is the hardest part for me. I find it is easier to say something than it is to follow through with it. I’ll be the first to admit this is one of the many thing I struggle with when it comes to being a productive student. I am forever saying I’ll finish homework or I’ll study, and I always end up waiting for the last possible minute. Do not be like me; do not be lazy and wait. It is never a good idea.

My last piece of advice is to just be positive. Nothing good ever comes from being negative. Being positive is the greatest gift that you could ever bestow on yourself. And I am POSITIVE that you’ll do great on your tests from this point forward!