Midterms – Preparing for Academic Success!

Hi pals!

So last week I talked about one of the most wonderful times of year, Fall Break. This week I’ll be talking about what usually immediately follows – Midterms!

I know, a very scary subject. Being some of the first exams you’ll be taking at W&M, it can be quite nerve-wracking, not truly knowing how to gauge the academic rigor in comparison to your previous institutions until that exam is put in front of you. But never fear, I’m here to help you out:

Set Proper Expectations & Have Confidence! Honestly taking your first midterm on campus can be quite a different experience, so be prepared as much as possible. Even if you think the class/exam is easy, or you’ve taken a similar subject at your previous institution, don’t set your expectations too low or high. Each professor and course is unique so go in prepared and confident to do well!

Be Prepared- Schedule Out Time To Study! Definitely schedule out time a couple days prior to the exam for studying a few hours each day. I’ve made the mistake before, and I would not recommend waiting until the last day to cram. Rather do 2 hours a night of review for 4/5 days before that test. Breaking up the workload, and taking personal breaks for yourself really makes an impact!

Know What Study Methods Work For You! If you do best studying by yourself- power to you! I would recommend a quite study space, like a private study room or the third floor of Swem Library. If going solo isn’t your thing, find a study buddy or a group to work with. Regardless if it’s an individual exam or a group project, having another person(s) around to share study guides and notes, review terms, or do practice problems together can be super beneficial. I recommended booking out a group collaboration room in Swem or the Business School for these.

Stay Healthy! Knowing when to stop and take a breather can be vital. It reduces stress and improves efficiency. So, if you’re on that grind, make sure to eat a balanced meal, don’t drink too much caffeine, and get some sleep. Find an activity (outside of studying) to relax with too: play a sport with some friends, watch a quick TV episode, go to the Rec Center, take a nap or a long shower!

Using any combination of these tips can be incredibly helpful when dealing with your first set of Midterms. And remember regardless of how you do, it’s just one exam, it won’t make or break you. Now go out and get that Midterm Success!

Until next time,
Megan Stumpf ’19

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