Midterms and Exams: What You Need To Know

Happy Midterm season!

Midterms and exams can be extremely stressful, especially if they are your first ever college exams! I was able to come out of my first exams with my head above the water, but there is major room to improve my understanding for my courses. Today I am going to talk about a couple things that have helped me succeed inside of the classroom, but also many programs that U of I offers to students to help them succeed.

Attending Class and Taking Notes

One of the easiest things that you can do to help yourself succeed in a course is simply attending class. There is so much valuable information that you are able to get from a lecture or a discussion, that it is always in your best interest to attend. Only miss classes if you have to, and even then, make sure that you contact your professor or TA to make sure you understand the material that you missed.

Along with this, taking good notes is very important. Not every word in the presentation is necessary to write down, so always differentiate between the information that is important from “page fillers”. Summarizing is a very important skill to have, along with a quick hand, in order to get all of the notes in.

Side note: Most instructors either record their lectures, post the information they teach (such as PowerPoints or note pages) on ICON or their personal teaching websites, so always keep an eye out for that.

Study Guides and Practice Tests

Study guides are another great way to review and remaster different concepts learned throughout the semester. However, not all teachers release a study guide for every chapter. I have found it beneficial to create my own study guide, based on the notes and information I’ve been given. Not only does this help you retain information by doing it, but it ensures that you know how to study for the test.

Another great way to study for success is through practice tests. Many professors and TA’s are able to upload exams from past semesters, as long as they are creating a new one. Practice exams give you a real opportunity to witness what past exams may be like in order to prepare you for the real exam. I find these the most helpful, mostly because you are able to understand the potential format of the true test.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

One of the most important things that you need in order to succeed in an exam is how you take care of yourself. Here are some quick things to remember.

    • Set a sleep schedule!!
    • Fuel your body with healthy brain foods!
    • Always remember to stay positive when preparing and taking a test!

Good luck on midterms and GO HAWKS!

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