Achieving success: advice for acing the midterms
By Simran Singh, Online Contributor
It’s the night before the toughest midterm exam. Your mind continues to race through thousands of facts and formulas, in one last, desperate attempt to actually retain this crucial information. You think back to last Tuesday, when you were watching four consecutive re-run episodes of “CSI: Miami,” and wish that you had planned ahead and started studying then.
Procrastination is one approach to test-taking that, at some point, many students have fallen back upon. Although it isn’t necessarily always bad, it can have negative impacts if a student doesn’t complete their work–or thoroughly prepare for an exam. In the case of midterms, there are ways to plan ahead and ensure a stress-free, successful testing week.
Guidance counselor Misty Whelan recommends that students start early and budget their time. By creating a time management plan and allotting time for extracurriculars and relaxation, they can ensure that they are studying properly and efficiently.
English teacher Patrick Gately urges that students start preparing in advance of the night before the exam so that they can perform better.
“Start organizing early and spread out the studying over a longer period of time,” Gately said. “Cramming for exams just does not seem to work well.”
A certain level of stress can be a part of the midterm process, especially for students who are new to the concept of midterms. Freshman Sarah Matheny is one of those, and she fears that the amount of material that may be on her exams may be difficult to manage.
”Midterms are so overwhelming and so intimidating, because there is so much to study,” Matheny said. “Since I haven’t taken them before, I don’t know what to expect.”
For students like Matheny, Whelan recommends that they “put forth their best effort, and they’ll be fine.”
“Take three deep breaths, literally, and relax,” Whelan said. “We want students to take [midterms] seriously, and prepare in an organized way, but not to be so overwhelmed and catastrophize.”
Sophomore Dalia Al-Bataneih reflects the same sentiment, saying that confidence is crucial.
“Don’t worry too much [and] calm down,” she said. “You’ve already learned everything on the midterm. So just review and study and make sure you remember everything you learned.”
Gately said that for those that have put in consistent effort for the first half of the year, trusting their grasp of the material can make the exams less nerve-wracking.
“If a student has done well over the course of a semester, then I don’t think that exams should be a stressful time,” he said. “Be confident in your accumulated knowledge.”
Simran Singh can be reached at email@example.com.