Are You Ready for Midterms?

Olivia Sabini-Leite

Just as we come all come back from a, hopefully, relaxing vacation, we are immediately pulled into the crazy whirlwind that is high school through classwork, homework, sports, and…. most important, midterm exams.  Midterms are scheduled to start Thursday, January 21 and end on Tuesday, January 26.  Period A is scheduled for Thursday, periods F and G for Friday, periods D and E for Monday, and periods B and C for Tuesday.  Although freshmen will be experiencing midterm exams for the first time, sophomores, juniors, and seniors all know that midterms week can be daunting and nerve-wracking.  So, here are some tips from the University of St. Andrews to combat the stress:


  • Plan your study time.  You don’t want to start studying the week of exams otherwise you’ll become anxious.  Instead, begin the week before, make a timetable, and stick to it.  It may be hard to begin studying so early, but in the long run, it will prove to be rewarding.  
  • Problem solve.  If you find that you don’t understand the topic you’re studying, plan to meet with your teacher or a friend who really knows the subject to talk you through it.  Sometimes, it’s also helpful to form study groups.
  • Keep things in perspective.   Although it may seem that your whole life depends on passing these exams, remember that they are small compared to the grander scheme of things.  Also, stop negative thoughts because they will only create a block in your mind.  Instead, say, “I can do this”, “I know this”, “I am capable”.
  • Avoid stressful people or events on the day of the exam.  The last thing you need is something that causes you to doubt yourself or lose self-confidence on the day of your exam.  So, stay away from talkative or anxious friends for the day and make sure to arrive on time.  Instead, focus on positive thoughts and relaxing.
  • During the exam, believe in yourself.  Tell yourself that if you’ve done this once, you can do this again.  If you’ve studied and prepared yourself adequately, don’t psych yourself out.
  • After the exam, reward yourself.  For example: plan something with your friends, listen to music, watch a movie, exercise, buy yourself a nice gift, or read a book (not a textbook!).  Do something that you find pleasurable even if you have other exams for which you need to study.  It’s especially important to let go of stress of a previous exam if you have other exams.  
  • Lastly, respect yourself.  As the University of St. Andrews says, “respect yourself for taking this course and getting this far, regardless of the outcome”.  This may have been the hardest class you took this semester, so be proud for having challenged yourself.  


For more tips about studying for exams, managing stress, and taking exams, click here.