Midterm Survival Guide
December 7, 2021
Midterms are just around the corner and people such as myself are extremely concerned about what to expect. The fears rushing through the minds of sophomores and freshmen are overwhelming. Last year no one in St. X was required to take the midterms. Half of the St. X student body hasn’t ever even taken a midterm. If you are anything like me, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. What should I expect to see in the midterm? How much should I stress over the midterm? What do I need to do to be successful in my midterm? What are some of the best tips to survive midterms?
Luckily, some of the upperclassmen here at Xavier News have answered many of the questions and eased a lot of my fears.
Reece Sutton (junior)
Time is your biggest enemy when it comes to preparing for these exams. Any chance to reduce your stress you should certainly take, and I have one way you could certainly do that. By using your current class grade, the weight of the exam, and the grade you want to finish the quarter with, a computer program found online can spit out the score you will need to make in seconds.
This service is revolutionary when it comes to succeeding on your midterms and allocating your time appropriately in preparing for each test. In a class where your grade is right on the border of a low A and a high B, it would make the most sense to prioritize studying for this exam over another in which you already have a high A in the class. Midterms are all about maintaining the grades that you earned throughout the second quarter; it is very difficult to bump up your grade by more than a point or two.
I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the average person, including myself, avoids formulas or equations as often as they can. Conveniently, this website (click here) allows you to punch a few numbers in, and it will instantly spit back out the minimum score you will need to receive to finish the quarter with your desired grade.
Say that you have a 94% in your history class, and you want to ensure that you finish the semester with at least a 90%, the lowest score in which you retain an A. If the class is the entire year the weight of the exam is 10%, and if it is a class that lasts half the year the exam is worth 20%. Once the three values have been entered, press calculate and the website will spit out to you the minimum score that you need to get your desired grade. In the hypothetical case mentioned above, you will need to get a minimum score of 54% to maintain a 90% overall. Surely you can earn a 54%…
Joey Maier (senior)
I’ve never been a good test taker and I hate midterms, so here is my advice:
Get good sleep. Sleep is by far the most important thing for functions at your fullest potential. You won’t be able to score well if you aren’t getting a full night’s rest. Manage your time properly. You have to find a way to manage to study and to get enough sleep. This is easier said than done, so devolving strong study habits is super crucial. Talk to your teachers for any advice. Your teachers should provide you with enough resources, and if they don’t, reach out to them or your classmates. If you’re younger you may think all your teachers are evil and against you, but they want to see you do well.
Luke Napier (senior)
A few questions from each major idea in every class. Most of the questions will probably incorporate a variety of vocabulary words specific to the topic at hand — be sure to know the jargon related to each topic you feel is important. Some teachers will also recycle questions from previous tests that you have taken or questions from a study guide if they provide one. Be sure to know the answers to any questions that they provide you to study by heart and the rest of the information will work itself out.
There is no amount of stress that you should or should not have in regards to midterms. The good thing is that you get to decide how much stress you are going to have when you walk in on test day. If you do the work and put in the necessary studying to be well prepared and successful, then you should have little to no stress going into the test. On the other hand though, if you only study the night before and decide to ignore it until the last minute then yes, you should have a lot of stress because you’re likely leaving your grade completely up to chance.
If you want to succeed, make a plan and make it as soon as possible. The earlier you begin studying, the more time you will have to digest the information and figure out what you don’t understand. Once you pinpoint any issues that you do have, approach the teacher and ask for some more resources that you can use or do some work on your own and have them look it over ahead of time.
A tip I have is to figure out your target grade for the year and plug that into a calculator (see Reece Sutton’s section) to determine what you need to achieve for the midterm. If you know that you only need to get a 65% on one of the tests, but have to get an 88% on the other one that day, use your time wisely and primarily study for the more important one of the two. And when you do study, focus on the things you don’t know. There is no need to go over the same fact that you’ve gotten correct three times in a row when you could study something that you’re a bit shaky on instead. Finally, don’t forget to eat something the morning of the test and try not to sacrifice sleep for more cramming. If you put in the work ahead of time, you will surely succeed.
Jake Bennett (senior)
A midterm is a cumulative test over almost everything you’ve covered in the class thus far. You should and you shouldn’t stress. Don’t stress out because you’ve worked hard all semester and you know what you’re doing, but do stress because they’re worth a big percentage of your grade. To succeed in my midterm, I always just review my old tests from the semester. I study what I missed on those tests and just refresh my mind on the topics I did well on. A few tips I have are to get plenty of sleep and don’t stress too much. Eat a solid breakfast and know the big test you’re about to take isn’t as scary as you think it is. Never throw away any of your quizzes or tests. They will play a monumental role in studying for midterms and finals.
Josh Koetter (senior)
In the midterm, expect to see a test with everything you’ve learned from the subject in it, it’s going to be pretty long and tedious. Try to keep the stress levels as low as possible so you can stay focused when test time comes. It’s not as bad as you think. Make study guides, give yourself enough time to get everything reviewed, and take breaks when studying. Don’t allow the test to put a lot of stress on you, get good sleep and eat a good breakfast.
Clayton Jaggers (senior)
A midterm is a large test with everything already covered in the first half of the year. Expect a small portion of every chapter because the test still has to be finished within a few hours. Don’t stress because it will almost always make you perform worse. Keep in mind, though, that it’s a large percentage of your yearly grade, so take it seriously. Make a study plan so you know when you have to learn everything. Make sure you know everything on the study guide, obviously, because many teachers make the midterm and the study guide very similar. Go back and find your quizzes and tests to study off of. Get in the habit of storing them next semester so you have them when finals come up.
Owen O’Neil (senior)
A midterm is a test over most of the topics that you have covered and learned in the first two quarters. You shouldn’t stress at all, they are easy if you are focused throughout the year and are prepared come test day. To succeed you should study early and often. A tip I have is to study hard and don’t quit studying, along with doing it consistently. Study to the best of your ability but also don’t overwork yourself.
Good luck on the exams, Tigers!