How to Succeed on Your Midterms
It’s that time of the year again: MIDTERMS. Yeah I know, I can already hear you groaning at the thought of spending those precious nights sitting in front of a pile of flashcards and study guides, wondering how you will be able to cram all of the information of 5+ lectures into one night. However, with the right mindset and preparation, you might just be able to ace those midterms.
Tip #1: Study
Ok, I know this is an obvious one but you’d be surprised at how many people consider simply showing up to lectures as “studying” without actually taking notes or going over the material. This is a crucial tip, especially when it comes to acing the exam. If you are not confident if your study methods that is okay! You are not alone, but you can definitely get some help to improve your skills. There are also great resources on campus that can help you out, such as tutoring from the Academic Success Center. Also, if you’d like, study with your friends! It will be a great method for you to learn other study methods. Make sure you focus on actually studying, instead of chatting about your spring break plans at the library. Finally, remember not to cram everything the night before. I know most of us do this, but it is a really inefficient method of learning the information. It’s always better to study everyday for 1 hour until the exam comes, than to pull an all-nighter and study for 5 hours the night before.
Tip #2: Talk to your professors
This may sound shocking but -GASP- not all of your professors are awful! Seriously though, they may actually be pretty great once you get to know them. One way to simply increase your chances of succeeding in your midterms is to consult with your professors. Some of them may actually hold study sessions so that they can help out their students with the material. Also, don’t be afraid to personally talk to them. Make an appointment and visit during their office hours. Additionally, ask them if they will provide a study guide for the exam so you can know what to expect. If they decide not to do that, at least ask what chapter or section of the textbook or material will be covered in the midterm so you can go over them and prepare yourself accordingly.
Tip #3: Actually show up to class
Seriously though, if you are paying thousands of dollars to attend this university (unless you are not, in that case: lucky you) why would you take time to skip your classes? It is very very very important that you show up to the lectures that lead to the midterms. Some professors base their exam entirely on their lectures, so don’t be that fool that does not show up to class and ends up failing. This is also a great time to ask your professors any questions that you might have regarding the exam. Additionally, make sure that you are actually listening attentively in class and taking some great notes. If you can, talk to your professors and ask them if the notes you took are accurate and will ultimately help you on the test. And remember ,next time you find yourself skipping class, you will only end up hurting yourself in the long run.
Tip #4: Prepare yourself physically and mentally
We all know how stressful midterms can be, and this stress affects our overall health, which will lead to a poor score on the exam. Remember to always take care of your mind and body. If you find yourself overwhelmed with studies, take a well-deserved break. However, use this time accordingly by actually taking care of yourself instead of wasting it on leisure. I recommend doing some meditation, or even better, go to a yoga or fitness class offered at the SRWC. Finally, once the day of the exam comes, please remember to get a full night’s sleep, preferably 8 hours. Always remember that our brains retain information better if they are well rested, so DON’T PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER. When the morning comes, remember to eat a good breakfast. If you are short on time, at least eat something small that is high in fiber and whole grains, which is better than not eating at all. Trust me, you don’t want to be that one person whose stomach makes whale noises in the middle of a quiet exam.
Tip #5: Positivity!
Remember to always be positive! I know that midterms are tough and we are stressed, but always keep a positive mental state. If you switch your thoughts from “I will fail” to “I can do this,” you will feel motivated and confident in yourself and that increases your chance on acing the exam. Count on the support from family, peers, coworkers, and most importantly from yourself. If you ultimately end up getting a grade you are not happy with, instead of beating yourself up, figure out what you did wrong and think of ways in which you can improve for the next exam. And even if you fail, remember that a test score does not define your intelligence, character, personality, love, and strength.
Overall, midterms can be overbearing. But with the right mindset, skills and attitude, they may not seem so bad after all. It is just another battle that we all have to fight. I hope these tips can help (I definitely will be using them), and remember to study, take care of yourself, and get some help if needed. You got this!
Alina Amat Perez, Sophomore
Hometown: Havana, Cuba
High School: Basic Academy of International Studies