It is now the seventh week of Fall Quarter! Like most of you, I am always surprised at how quickly the quarter progresses. By now, we have all taken our first set of midterms and are most likely preparing for the second set. Many of us may be looking to improve our scores, since the first set of midterms is always difficult because we are unfamiliar with the class or the professor’s teaching style. Here are some tips I always try to keep in mind when preparing for my second set of midterms:
Self-Evaluate Your Work
Self-evaluating previous work is essential for improvement. Although the material from the first midterm may be different than what will be tested on the second midterm, reviewing your old midterm for errors can be very helpful. Under the pressure of taking an exam, it is common to make easily avoidable mistakes. Looking back on your work from the previous midterm can help you become aware of these mistakes and avoid making them a second time. It is also important to think about what worked and what didn’t when you were studying for your midterm. Did you study individually or in a group? Did you study at home or on campus? Did you go to office hours? These are important questions to ask yourself, because it will help you determine what works best for you. If something you did wasn’t helpful, try to change it. Taking the time to self-evaluate your work and study habits is always worth it!
There are so many resources on campus designed to help you succeed academically. For example, you can go to your professor or TA’s office hours, academic tutors in the SASC, or residence hall tutoring. Using any of these resources can be the difference between getting a B and getting an A. If you didn’t try out these resources when studying for you first midterm, you might want to consider trying them for your second midterm, or at least dropping by to see what they have to offer. I remember being disappointed by my first Chem 118A midterm score, so I decided to attend the weekly workshops at the SASC, and was able to improve my second midterm score. We all know practice makes perfect, and what better way to practice than with someone who already knows the material?
The SASC also offers Study Skill Workshops through out the quarter. These workshops cover a variety of topics, so you can pick and choose which ones you would like to attend based on what you think you need to improve on. There are sessions covering a variety of topics, including time management series, success strategies, and core study skills.
Always keep your goals in mind and remember what you are working towards. Doing this will help you stay motivated to keep up with your school work and do your best on your second midterms. I have always found it helpful to reflect on my goals and my future plans, because it keeps me motivated to do well and finish the quarter strong.
Remember to Stay Healthy
This time of the quarter is always stressful because the quarter is winding down and finals are just around the corner, so it is more important than ever to stay healthy. Getting enough sleep, eating enough fruits and vegetables, and remembering to exercise can go a long way. Although you might feel like you need to study all day, remember to balance your life and keep your body healthy. I always try to do this by going to the ARC to study. I like to use the quiet study rooms during the day, and when I need a study break I’m able to go exercise. I also remember to bring healthy snacks so I don’t resort to eating unhealthy. This keeps me feeling healthy and awake, so my studies end up being more productive.
When it comes to focusing on health, the Student Health and Counseling Services center at North Hall is a great place to go. They offer programs like “What is Wellness?” which describes the seven dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational) and how we can work to balance these dimensions in our lives to stay healthy.
Midterms can be really stressful, but remember to stay focused, positive, and healthy. Good luck!
BASC Peer Adviser