Midterms for Dummies: The Guide to Help You Stay Alive


IMG_6600By: Paul Hotchkiss

Yes, it is that time of year once again! Midterms begin on January 20th. When you walk through the hallways, all you will see are bags under eyes and fingernails that have been chewed past the nubs. Even the word makes you want to break down and cry, midterms.

The weekend before a midterm we are all ready to do what everyone else does… lock ourselves in our rooms leaving only for food and drink and doing nothing but planting our faces in our books, previous tests, quizzes, worksheets and notes, just praying to the test gods to take it easy on us this ONE time! Could there be a way to avoid all this? Yes, there is. It can be so much easier. How you ask? Simple, study! Not at the last minute but now. It’s the most basic way to pass.

Take it from the mouth of babes, procrastination is the easiest path to go down. We all do it sometimes and that’s ok, just not on something like this. Our brains aren’t miracle workers. We cannot expect to remember all that information after one night of studying, so the first secret towards nailing these terrible tests is preparation.

Social Studies teacher Mrs. Shook said, “I begin my review about a week before the final. Usually we give the students a review sheet to help them see what will be on the test and that consists of a semester’s worth of information.” When asked if she thinks students should start studying, she said. “Oh, absolutely, students should begin studying as early as possible. If they study day by day, they will retain more information than they would by cramming the night before.”

Another strategy that works is getting sleep and eating a good breakfast. Sure it sounds silly… But is it really? According to “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience“,  Dr. William Sears says, “Kids who eat breakfast before school are more active in class and can handle harder problems.” . Freshman Aj Mastriano said that before tests he always eats as much as he can in the morning with a glass of orange juice to build good brain power. Do you eat breakfast every day? Or on some days do you feel brave and decide to try to survive on an empty stomach until lunch? Maybe you should look up the stats and see for yourself which idea is more helpful.

At the end of the day, midterms aren’t that scary. Sure its a big test which counts for 20% of your semester grade, but really think about it. It’s all just Information that you have already learned and been tested on. The only people who should be worrying are the ones who have just shown up to class and sat with a blank expression on their faces. But even they still have hope because of the facts stated in this guide. To recap, all you need to do is get your information together, study it ahead of time and eat well the day of the test. Seems simple enough, right?