If you are doing a summer study term, this is probably around the time that midterm season starts. Depending on your personality, this may or may not be causing you stress. Some people treat midterms lightly because they are weighted less than finals. Others find midterms even more stressful than finals. Here are a few reasons why some people find midterm season to be a challenging time of year. Note that the purpose of this post is not to cause you more stress, but simply to highlight a few reasons why midterms should be planned for, and taken seriously.
Midterms are your first performance
When it comes to midterms (especially the first midterm if your course has two), it will most likely be the first time in that course that you are seriously evaluated, and so, it will also be the first time you are called to perform. In many courses, this can lead to justified feelings of uncertainty, because there are many things you don’t know: What types of questions will they ask? How much detail should I know? How hard will the test be? and other such questions related to the testing style of the course. This obviously changes by the time finals arrive, because midterms are what give you the testing experience in the course, which makes you more comfortable in the finals.
Midterms set the pace
Has it ever happened to you that you have not done as well as you anticipated on your midterms? Then you might be familiar with the dark cloud that follows on top of you until finals, for that course at least. Similarly, if you did very well during the midterm season, you will probably find the rest of the semester much less strenuous, because you know that you have solid grades as a base moving forward. The point is that the midterm season can set the pace for the rest of your semester: Are you going to be stressfully playing catch-up, or are you going to be smoothly moving forward? It all depends on how you perform on the midterms.
Midterms and details
Often, the level of detail tested on the midterms is greater than that of the finals, because the finals have more breadth since they cover the whole course, and so they sacrifice some depth. Midterms, when done early in the semester when not too much has been covered, can be especially nit-picky; asking for details that you only wish were in some deep crevice of your brain.
To summarize, midterm season is an important time of year that should not be taken lightly, because of its potential to influence the rest of your semester, and its opportunity of providing you with a testing experience that will help you succeed in the rest of the course.