Midway to Midterms

Midway to Midterms

by justinel

In some ways it feels like classes just started, but midterms are just around the corner.  Rather than wait for midterms feedback to see how you're doing, it's a good idea to check in with yourself now to see whether there might be practices or approaches you want to change as we move into midterm season.

Remember, you can absolutely do this.  Breathe.
after studying?

First, think big picture.  Do you have a clear grasp of course goals related to the first half of the term?  Individual classes often focus on the details, so it's up to you to synthesize those pieces into something larger.  How are your lectures and readings and precept discussions and problem sets (or response papers) connected?  Mapping out these connections is a great way to begin studying for midterms.

Then, consider your approach to the course elements and materials.  Is your approach to each of your classes in sync with the way you are being taught (e.g. Are you getting out of lecture what you want)?

Imagine what a test might be like.  Can you identify all of the major topics, themes, concepts and skills covered thus far that you'll be tested on?  How well do you understand those major themes and concepts?  Think about where your gaps are, and come up with a strategy to fill in the gaps in your understanding or in your practice.

Avoid cramming by planning.  Are you mastering course content as the course unfolds or are you leaving all of your studying until later?  Time management is one of the most challenging adjustments students have to make in college, across class years (because the balance changes every year).  If you're having trouble balancing everything, or using your time efficiently, it might be helpful to talk with a McGraw Learning Consultant who can meet with you one on one to help you come up with a plan that will work for you.

Get support.  Do you know about and are you using course resources (e.g. office hours, tutoring, blackboard) effectively?  Don't be afraid to use office hours and study hall.  For languages, inquire about language tables.  Think about your classes as experiences that transcend the boundaries of your classroom.

Breathe. Yes, we mentioned that already.  But seriously.  Taking care of yourself is your number one priority.  If you've fallen into some not-so-great habits (not sleeping enough, not eating regularly), now is the time to adjust those, too, so that you approach midterms with the a healthy body AND mind.  Make time for hanging out.  For a walk.  For watching YouTube with a friend.  Your brain will be better for the (reasonable) break.

If you're feeling overwhelmed or if you're struggling academically and want to talk with someone, don't hesitate to make an appointment with one of us at the College Office (call 609-258-3728).  We're here to help you thrive.