Bascom flamingos

Ahh, midterms. For most students at UW Madison, midterms are when sh*t starts to get real. You’ve been gliding by in class so far, but midterms are when you really have to start proving yourself. Preparing for quizzes, essays, and exams is not easy, but when you’re in the right spot you can accomplish a whole lot.

Memorial Library Cages

The cages are notorious at UW Madison. You can literally lock yourself in a cage in the library to get things done. It can be scary at first to study in the cages, but ultimately you’ll be extremely productive. I mean, you’re kind of stuck there.


The SAC, or Student Activity Center, is an ideal place to study for midterms. Even better: it’s super close to the dorms! Overlooking East Campus Mall, you’ll have a stellar view of Sellery and Witte to people-watch when you need a study break.

Second level of Starbucks

Every coffee-enthusiast knows where the Starbucks is on campus, but not many people know that it has a second level! The second level of Starbucks has comfy chairs and an outdoor patio, and they play the best indie music to get you in your study groove. And, of course, they have coffee to keep you awake when you’re on your 12th straight hour of studying.

Grainger Hall

Whether you got into the business school or not, Grainger Hall should be your sanctuary. It has a clean and modern look and even has a cafe and dining mart inside of it. Plus, being surrounded by B-school students wearing suits and blazers will inspire you to get down to business.

Chazen Museum of Art

What could be cooler than being surrounded by art and statues? If you are lucky enough to get a table at the Chazen Art Museum, it can be a really quiet and inspiring place to study. The eyes of the paintings will watch you and make sure you’re staying on track.


SoHe, or the School of Human Ecology, is probably one of the most gorgeous spots on campus to study. With indoor and outdoor options, making the trek to SoHE will be worth it when you’re cramming for your tests.

UW Historical Society

If you’re looking for the classic library vibe, then look no further. The UW Historical Society building looks like it could be right out of a movie. You’ll definitely find the peace and quiet that you’re looking for.

Shannon Sunset Lounge at Memorial Union

If you want to study in style, then you need to check out the Shannon Sunset Lounge. With a fireplace and a beautiful view of Lake Mendota, the sunset lounge will make it feel more like you’re on vacation, and less like you are having a mental breakdown. Just try not to be distracted by the views.

The Terrace

When the weather permits, the Terrace is an amazing place to study. You can sit on a famous Wisconsin Terrace chair while you work, and treat yourself to some Babcock ice cream once you’ve finished. Because let’s be honest: you deserve it.

Midterms are indeed stressful, but when you find the right study environment you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Good luck on your midterms and exams!


Allison Jensen

Hi, my name is Allison! I'm a sophomore studying journalism and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When I'm not writing, you can find me with a coffee in hand binge-watching Game of Thrones.

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