Midterm Szn 101: A Survival Guide

BY: TRISTIN BROWN

It’s reached the time of year when chugging shots of espresso and studying in the library until 2 a.m. for the dreaded midterm exam rollercoaster is the norm. As freshmen embark on what could be the most stressful week of their college career and upperclassmen prepare themselves for another dreadful midterm season, The Blackprint has you covered on all the ways to survive the madness.

#1 Don’t Panic

It’s important to remind yourself that these exams are not the make or break moment of your class grades, but rather an opportunity to boost or maintain a strong grade as the semester progresses. It’s hard to study and feel confident about what you know when you’re constantly telling yourself “THIS IS THE END.” Remain calm and treat midterms as just a big test that can help propel your grade in the positive direction.

#2 Organize Yourself

It helps greatly if you lay out all the tasks you have to get done and evaluate what would be the most effective way to gets those them all accomplished. It’s always best to handle one thing at a time-- slowly, but surely, knocking down task by task. Planners are a student's best friend, so utilize it in every way possible. Don’t already have a planner? Hit the bookstore!

#3 Don’t Neglect Sleep

As much as we all think that studying all night will help increase our chances of getting a higher score on our exams, sleep is crucial. At some point, our brain starts to retain information much slower, causing a lot of material to be forgotten. Essentially, if you study until 4 a.m. the night before a test, there’s a strong chance that your performance during the test won’t be as high as it would be if you got some proper rest. So please, don’t overexert yourself and save some room for sleep.

#4 Create Study Groups

Remember, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical drumline). Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or classmates to form study groups. It’s always nice to struggle with a friend instead of alone. Study groups are a great way to prepare for tests and help one another slay the exam. Other’s individual strengths may be your weaknesses, and vice versa.  It’s also just a fun way to study.

#5 Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out to Professors

Their job is to help you succeed in college, so if you’re really struggling in a class and want to best prepare yourself for the upcoming exam, send your teacher an email, meet for office hours, and ask whatever questions you need to be answered.  You’ll feel much better afterward. Plus, professors like to see students take initiative, and that effort will be rewarded with good grades and a strong relationship with your professor.

#6 Take a Mental Break

Just like athletes need to have a day or two off in their intense weekly workout regime, our brains need breaks as well. Go to a movie with friends, go to a local theatre show, attend an art museum or enjoy some hot chocolate with a friend. Whatever it is, just make sure you allot yourself some time to breathe and relax. It’ll allow your brain to recharge and be ready to take on the next midterm that arises.

#7 Stay Positive! Good Vibes ONLY.

Although you may be truly and utterly freaking out about the number of exams to come, tell yourself that you’ll do great! If you have the right mindset, anything can get done. So be confident, don’t doubt yourself and push forward. It may be a stressful time of year, but if you keep a level head, before you know it, it’ll be over.