It’s that time of year again. Deadlines are looming, attendance is weaning, and tensions are running high, marking the beginning of yet another midterm season. University students can be spotted bustling around campus in a flurry of tachycardia and sleep-deprivation, frantically visiting office hours and review sessions. The first-years have already begun preparing for dorm room study-hibernation, putting on their freshman fifteen in anticipation of the meals they will soon forgo to cramming. Neither for the faint of heart, nor the weak of will, midterm season is truly survival of the fittest. But like all extremophiles, students have evolved a way of life that enables them to thrive in such harsh conditions. Here are the tips you need to know to survive midterm season:
Go to Class
For most students, midterm season feels like it lasts practically until finals. You may think that missing a few classes here and there to spend more time studying won’t hurt, but it’s a slippery slope. By the time midterms are done you’ll need to start reviewing for your final exams, and if you haven’t been keeping up with your classes it will be an uphill battle. You may have to resort to staying up all night studying, when you really ought to….
Go to Bed
Sleep is not important for learning, it’s essential. When you sleep you convert short-term memory to long-term memory. Have you ever studied a concept right before a test, had a question on that exact concept appear on the test, and drawn a blank? That’s because it was in your short-term memory, which only lasts for about 30 seconds at most. This means that it is utterly futile to attempt to study for your midterm on the same day you write it. Instead, study as many days in advance as is reasonable, do not sacrifice your sleep for additional cramming, and make sure you are well rested for the big day. I guarantee you’ll be ready to ace that sucker. Just make sure you. . .
After a successful midterm, perhaps the most foolhardy thing you can do is rest on your laurels. Acing a calculus midterm is in no way a good predictor of the outcome of your economics midterm next week; they’re different classes. Nor does it necessarily mean that the calculus exam, or second midterm (if there is one) will go as smoothly, because often when the class average on a midterm is high, the professor will adjust the next test or exam to be more difficult. So keep studying, and keep confident, but remember to stay humble if you want to keep the ball rolling. And lastly. . .
If you’re disappointed with your performance, just remember: failing an economics midterm is in no way a good predictor of the outcome of your calculus midterm next week; they’re different classes. After a rough midterm, you might feel down or give up on yourself, or start admitting defeat. But know there are still many marks to be had. If you keep your chin up and you keep studying, you stand a fighting chance of survival and even success on those next exams.
With these tips and having a plan, you are more equipped to handle anything this midterm season throws at you, prepared to fight tooth and nail for every mark in every class, and well on your way to midterm mastery, survival, and success. I wish you good luck!