I’ve been through two universities, three years, seven semesters, and too many Midterms to count. Finals are considerably the hardest periods of a student’s tenure in higher education, Midterms, however, are the forgotten hardship. They are the first litmus test as to where you are within a class; they come upon you quickly and subversively. I myself seldom feel ready, but it’s never about you being ready when occupying the role as a mildly engaged college student, it’s about surviving them.
- Practice grace under pressure
The argument can be made that other practices such as reading/studying ahead of time are the better course of action, but let’s be candid, we don’t always stay so diligent. Finding yourself in class underprepared and unenthused is the key to avoiding the fall into the mental void. The cliche “Fake it ’til you make it” is nothing if not your prerogative here. Remain calm, only a steady ship can sail a stormy sea.
- Take care of yourself, at all times
Take breaks while studying. It’s so important for us to take a break while studying. Use the 55:5 rule. Every hour that you study, take five minutes to yourself. Whether that’s to stretch your legs, grab a snack or use the bathroom, take those few minutes as a time to mini-reward yourself for the process. Just be sure not to get enveloped into distractions like social media.
- Get solid sleep
Of course, you’ve always heard “get a good night’s sleep” before a big test, but as college students, we often find ourselves up into the early hours of the morning finishing assignments and studying while half-asleep. I’ve personally found it best not to stray too far from my normal meal times and when I normally go to bed. Messing with either of these two important aspects can have negative effects on your body leading up to your tests such as headaches and trouble focusing on/remembering information.
- Talk to Your Professors
Most of the time your professors will be more than willing to answer your questions regarding the midterm exam. Whether it’s a question about content, the format of the exam, or clarifying information, the person with the most knowledge of the test itself will be your professor. Some professors even set up additional office hours before/during Midterm Week specifically for students to come and ask questions. Your professors want to see you do well on the exam, and they are willing to provide the resources if you ask.
- Drop out (optional)
I dropped out once myself, you gotta know when to fold.
(Disclaimer: please try your hardest to stay in school, it’s worth it.)