Midterm season can be rough, but a few simple tips can go a long way
Travis Rocha, Lifestyle Editor
Despite midterm grades being released last Friday, midterm season is still very much in swing at Christopher Newport as cumulative exams are still being assigned. Each professor decides how to schedule and organize his or her class, so “midterm week” usually looks very different from student to student. In some cases, a class might not have a midterm at all or require a project in place of an exam. Thankfully, many professors choose to give their midterm either before or after what is traditionally midterm week so students don’t become overwhelmed over a short period of time. Oddly enough, I didn’t have any midterm exams this semester so instead of spending my time studying as I normally would, I figured I’d share my best tips for surviving midterms as a seasoned senior.
- Talk to your professor: While this might be obvious to some, it’s not necessarily something that is always at the forefront of students’ minds when preparing for an exam. Further, some students experience anxiety in the classroom and don’t feel comfortable asking questions or emailing their professor at the risk of sounding foolish. At Christopher Newport, each professor could not be happier to take any and all of your questions. Due to our small size, students have the opportunity to truly get to know all of their professors so use that dynamic to your advantage and reach out to them!
- Hit the books: Personally, I struggle with completing assigned readings in a timely fashion. For the most part, I’m hurriedly skimming through whichever article or textbook chapter a mere 30 minutes before class. Cramming is better than not reading at all, but it’s not very conducive towards long term knowledge retention. Regardless of how you read for a class, one of the best things you can do is to review your readings prior to an exam to refresh your memory and hopefully catch anything you missed the first time around. It’s time consuming, but the results speak for themselves.
- Take notes as you study: It’s one thing to read information again and again, but it’s another to actually remember it so you can apply it on an exam. As you study, take notes on what you learn. Even if all of the information is a refresher, writing it down one final time before your exam can go a long way in helping cement the concepts in your head.
- Quizlet: I’m sure everyone knows about Quizlet by this point, but even when I knew about it, I wasn’t using it very often. That was definitely a mistake because as soon as I started creating my own quizlets it was an absolute game-changer. The “learn” function on the Quizlet website is so helpful for memorizing new terms, historical dates, and famous figures. It’s simple to use and the information is presented in a variety of engaging formats to suit your personal needs. After I run through a Quizlet a couple times, I never have any trouble recalling the information that was on there.
The most important thing to keep in mind during midterm season is that there’s only (at most) one per class. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, break down each class one by one so the workload feels more manageable rather than waste time stressing about what’s ahead. The best part about being a Captain is that Christopher Newport University is a community and your peers, professors, and administrators are all here for you. CNU provides plenty of resources for counseling and academic tutoring to help put you on the right track if you ever feel that you’re faltering so never be afraid to reach out!