mid-terms - the semester midterms
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mid-terms - how to study

Mid-Term Exams : Coping With Pressure

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   In some classes and at some schools, mid-terms seem to be almost non-existent. The phrase is used loosely to represent a short period of time occurring closer to the first day of classes than to finals with no specific calendar segment allotted for it. Some classes require so many exams and papers that a "mid-term" never really happens. Other courses don't give any exams at all; they require written assignments only. Nevertheless, there still exists a sizeable number of schools and curricula that rely on the traditional mid-term/final peaks in the semester to assess student performance. At TheSemester.Com, we believe that mid-terms can create so much undue stress and anxiety that an extra bit of planning and strategy is required for some college students to get through them successfully!  

study tips for the semester  The mere fact that mid-terms are intended to monitor one's understanding of a subject mid-way through the term carries a heavy burden for most students. At one end of the spectrum, students who perform well on their mid-terms tend to then study with far less consistency for their final exams -- thus reducing their overall grade for the course. On the other end of that same spectrum, students who perform poorly on a mid-term often become psychologically negative; viewing the rest of the semester as a hopeless void. Almost immediately upon receiving their mid-term grade, they're already looking at the course syllabus...trying to compute what their final grade will be if only they can score __ on their final and ___ on other relevant assessments. Realizing that an "A" or maybe even a "B+" are no longer within their realm of possibility, these students put undue pressure on themselves and spend more time worrying about...than studying for...their final exams. It's only students with a rare form of resilience that are capable of bouncing back after receiving a less-than-adequate grade during this crucial point in the term...

   Of course, to avoid becoming a victim of negative mid-term psychology on either end of the spectrum, TheSemester.Com recommends working hard to do VERY WELL on your mid-semester exams. The mid-term truly is--- quite unavoidably-- at the center of the see-saw and as such-- it has the power to tip your semester grade in either direction. The effects of doing poorly on yourcollege resources mid-term are far worse than those that may result from doing especially well and becoming over-confident. Plan in steps. Too many students only loosely understand their subject material and then attempt to learn it all on their own one week or even one night before an exam. But this tactic rarely works! Ease the anxiety of mid-terms and spend less time studying the week before.... Before each class pretend you are going to be taking a mid-term that covers whatever you learned in the previous class and study THAT material... and ONLY THAT MATERIAL the night before! If you approach each class as though you're going to be taking an exam on just a few topics, you'll do MUCH better when the real mid-term comes along and you'll have far less studying to do. In the long run, this tactic really takes less time than the infamous "night before cram session"-- and certainly produces less stress and anxiety. The "trick," however, is whether or not you can motivate yourself to do it!!! 

Recommended reading: Iowa State University's daily newspaper published 
a great article on the stress surrounding mid-terms... Click here to read it!


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