Midterms: Coming to a high school near you

Jack Graziano, Editorial Assistant

It’s 3 AM. Five empty coffee cups surround you. Index cards are scattered around, lining your bedroom floor with regret the night before your midterm exam. You’re probably thinking a few things such as “How did I get here?” or “When will I ever even use calculus?”

Students are currently experiencing unprecedented amounts of stress from ages 11-18.  A series of finals, midterms, and SATs can determine a student’s future college— and ultimately career— opportunities.  Knowing that midterms and finals cause an egregious amount of stress, there are a few tips to prepare and manage your time and to de-stress in order to excel during midterms and finals weeks.

“Make sure you get enough sleep each night and are eating a good meal in the morning. You’ll be much more alert to study after you’ve had eight hours of sleep and an omelet than you would on three hours and a [doughnut].” Bessie Mazur, a former college professor from UC-Berkeley said in her blog on Cengage Brainiac. Getting proper fuel is essential to a steady and consistently motivated work ethic. Eating and sleeping properly rather than running solely on coffee, along with ample sleep, ensures no dips in your effort and no tiredness while studying.  

Establishing what is of the utmost importance is the key to time management and success. For example, if a student struggles with Algebra and their Algebra midterm is Friday, each day leading up to that midterm should be spent studying in order to maximize the information retained. The classes that you struggle with should be the ones that have the most allocated time.

Cramming the night before your AP Physics midterm puts you on a path where failure is the only foreseeable destination. The human brain is not built to simply take large sums of information, memorize it, and then spit them onto a piece of paper.  To maximize the amount of information absorbed, quick study sessions, lasting approximately 20 to 30 minutes, with 15 minute breaks each night for several nights are the ideal method for retaining information and ace that test.  

Studying and preparing for several different subjects at the same time is a tremendous task and extremely stressful. With that said destressing is an important and healthy part of coping with the stress of finals and midterms week.

“I think taking breaks is probably the best thing for me to do. I personally need something else on while studying, like music or a podcast, but that’s subjective to different people” Eli Shane, a freshman at Ames Campus, said.

Taking breaks and dividing your study time into small chunks is effective and limits how overwhelmed you may become. “My favorite way of destressing is meditation! Drinking tea, listening to music are also great ways for me to take my mind off of things.” junior Matthew Camisa saidl. Though midterms and finals can be extremely stressful hopefully there are ways that you find to efficiently prepare to not only score well but also manage your stress in a healthy way.

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