Doing Your Best Work on Midterms and Finals

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Sierra Benjamin ’18 in the living room, studying for a midterm. (Photo: Kelsey Bannister ’17)

For the 2016-2017 school year at Northwood, there have been many changes, including administering midterm exams before the start of the Holiday Break rather than after, as it had been done for nearly two decades.

The two-to-three hours a student spends on a midterm exam can be worth as much as twenty percent of a student’s semester grade, so doing well is important to maintaining good grades. Here are some tips to get the most out of your preparation for midterms.

Students should know what content is covered and what content is not covered, exactly how the test is structured, and how much each question type is weighted. Pay close attention to when their tests are and and create a calendar depicting how each day of the week is going to go, according to their testing schedule. Students should also be aware of their teacher’s review sessions, and come to review sessions ready with questions.

A study schedule should be created where time is built in for exercise or spending time with friends to eliminate the stress towards the tests; students need to take care of their bodies in order to perform well on the tests. Sometimes students deactivate their social media accounts in order to stay on top of studying and not to get distracted while studying.

Most Northwood students think that the changed Midterm Schedule will help them achieve their goal of a high grade on the tests. Sabryna Strack, senior and four year student at Northwood, said, “I think the testing before break is more stressful initially, but it will be better for when we return from holiday break.” Sierra Benjamin, a junior and three year student at Northwood, agreed: “I think it’s better to do the tests before break because everyone will forget everything they’ve learned during break.  I think it will give the students a better opportunity in really understanding and grasping the concepts. I bet you will see better grades because the tests are before everybody goes away.” Aiden Smith, sophomore and second year student at Northwood, also likes the new test calendar. “I think it’s good to have the tests before Christmas break because we don’t have to worry about studying over the break and we can catch up on sleep and relax,” said Smith. “I think it’s more beneficial to have the tests before break rather than after.”

For most ninth graders at Northwood, this will be their first time taking a longer exam that will be weighted more than the tests that they take in a classroom. Tommy Bannister said, “I am not looking forward to midterms because I’m really nervous. I do like having them before break to get the tests done and over with. I think they will be harder than normal tests because it’s more than just a week’s information.” Lexi Hooper, also a freshman said, “I think the tests won’t be too bad because we have an entire week of review to prepare. I’m just worried because I don’t really do well with tests but I’d rather have them before break when everything is fresh in our heads.”

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