Hello again. This week, we wanted to find out how classes were going for students, so far, this semester. It seems as though the students interviewed were struggling a bit this semester, with a main concern being upcoming midterms. I have some tips for how to stay ahead of studies and prepare for those exams.

I asked Sebastian Canales, a Junior here at CSI, how it was going.

“It is going pretty decent,” said Canales. “But some material is not sitting with me.”

We have all been there where you listen, but the material seems like it is going in one ear and out the other. My advice would be to form a study group. I am pretty sure you are not the only one who’s having a problem where the material is not sticking, so this can help keep the subject material fresh and can actually be quite fun.

Timothy Golumbowski is having some problems in Italian, not with the material but with the amount of homework.

“Everything is going fine,” said Golumbowski. “But the amount of Italian homework is pretty scary.”

This is normal, especially as you go farther into a subject because the amount of homework you get in the lower classes will pale in comparison to the homework you get in, let’s say, a 200-level class. So, my suggestion is to make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to do your homework. Falling behind in homework, especially in a class where there is a lot, is a bad move. You may do okay at first, but the quality will be substandard as you will be rushing to get it done and you will see your grade plummet. Homework could be 10-25% of your grade or more depending on the professor, so better to do it earlier and have more time. It’s way better than rushing.

Here are some tips for your midterms. I hope you find them useful:

  1. Speak up – Ask the right questions to get the information you need about the exam.
  2. Make a midterm study schedule – You can spend less time studying for midterms if you make a plan, especially if you have multiple exams.
  3. Study your notes and tests – Your previous tests highlight what the professor thinks is most important. Go back and look at notes. If your note-taking is less than stellar, it’s time to improve.
  4. Form a study group- As mentioned earlier this can keep things interesting and fun.
  5. Mix it up a bit – Everyone gets sick of their own handwriting, so ask a friend to quiz you, try putting history dates to music, or record yourself as you practice that Italian vocabulary.
  6. Change the scenery – Breaks are essential to retain what you’ve learned and keep your focus. No matter how hard you’re working, be sure to take some time to grab a snack from the kitchen or go for a quick run. It also helps to switch up your study space when reviewing for exams. Try studying in the Library, at a coffee shop, or at a study buddy’s house for a change.
  7. Get enough sleep – Do not pull an all-nighter. Start with a healthy sleep routine weeks before the exam. Trust me, good sleep is key.
  8. Finally, STAY POSITIVE – Test anxiety is a real thing. A smart plan, focused studying, and a calm morning are your best plan of attack.

It’s crunch time now, but the end is in sight!