Surviving Midterms – Methods from Prominent SJ Students

Matthew Martinez ’19

Though this article is being published for midterms, it’s advice is valid for testing situations throughout the school year.

It’s that time of year again; the stress, the anxiety, the cramming. That’s right folks, it’s midterms! And before our minds can go on Christmas vacation, we have a lot of studying to do. Don’t know where to begin? Well, I went around campus to get the scoop on the best ways to prepare for midterms. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior you can benefit from these study tips from renowned SJ students.

#1 “Get sleep. We are fortunate enough to get out after we take our finals so that we have plenty of time to study which should result in good sleep as well.” – Felix Read ’17 (Student Body President and SJ Quarterback) Yes, sleep! Study hard for finals but don’t forget that to be at your best you need at least eight hours of sleep. So if it’s 11:00 P.M. and you’re debating going over notes one more time or calling it a night just think what Brother Casey would have to say (it would entail a lecture).

#2 “Plan ahead. Make a schedule before finals week of when you will study what and stick to it.” – Felix Read ‘17(Student Body President and SJ Quarterback) Time management is essential going into exams week. Take it from a man who has to know a thing or two about managing his time as our beloved President/Quarterback/hero.

#3 “Go to dead day. This is an easy way to ask any questions you want to your teacher and maybe even get test questions from them.” – Felix Read ’17 (Student Body President and SJ Quarterback) In other words go to dead day or lament the death of your grades.

#4 “Even if you have a good grade in a certain class, don’t get lazy and not study. There is a lot of information over a whole semester. Even if you think you know all of the info the odds are you don’t. And finals are worth a lot, they can bring your grade down very easily.” – Felix Read ’17 (Student Body President and SJ Quarterback) Never underestimate the power of the midterms. You can’t expect to fully grasp a concept you learned in August without studying.

#5 “If my teacher has provided the class with a study guide, I’ll go through that a few times and compare what’s on there to what’s on my more-detailed notes.” – Will Ledig ’17 (Our Magis President with a perfect ACT score) Clearly Will knows how to prepare for a test. He explained that the goal should be to get to the point where you know the concept well enough to teach it yourself.

#6If the teacher didn’t make a study guide I’ll make my own study sheet by going through my notes and copying down any relevant concepts, equations, etc. so that I can easily organize and study everything that I need to know to get an A.” – Will Ledig ’17 (Our Magis President with a perfect ACT score) Will stresses the importance of organization and old notes during exams week, which is of supreme importance now so more than ever.

#7 “The greatest advice I can give to students going into finals is to not procrastinate when it comes to their studying.” – Jason Bugg ’17 (Cross Country Captain) Ah procrastination, an old friend I must admit. And to those of you who claim to put the PRO in procrastination (which I myself do), this week, will likely be finding themselves putting the PRO in problems–summer school being one of them. Trust me every flappy golf game and YouTube video this week is putting you one step further from an A on your exam.

#8 “When it comes to math literally the only way to study it effectively is to work out all the problems. It’s the only way.” – Alex Mercaidel ’19 (4.4 GPA) I’m sure the entire math department would agree with Mr. Mercaidel and his methods (also very much applicable to studying scientific equations).

#9“Best possible studying technique that almost always guarantees an A for me is to create a practice test/tests and complete them as if you were taking the exam; helps to mimic the situation of the exam and helps me keep my cool and answer quickly and effectively during the exam” –Alex Mills ’19 (Varsity XC and Track, 4.45 GPA) Mr. Mills proves to know his stuff. After all, what better way to study for exams than to become your own Quizlet?

#10“Never assume you know enough about an exam because you do not. And do not underestimate asking a teacher questions because it could mean the difference between an A or B” – Alex Mills ’19 (Varsity XC and Track, 4.45 GPA) Now is definitely not the time to be shy with questions. If you don’t understand something your teacher will be your greatest resource, seeing that’s where the exam comes from. Remember there are no stupid questions and the teachers want us to feel prepared going into midterms. Best time to ask is Dead Day! (Refer to #3).

We are just a breath away from Christmas, but before that we have a lot of studying to do. The days ahead are likely to entail stress, anxiety, and cramming (but hopefully not too much cramming). It won’t be easy but maybe these tips can aid you in your studious endeavors.