Upperclassmen Give Advice to Younger Students for Their First Midterm Season


With her midterm coming up soon, senior Molly Phelps works hard to study for her math test. Phelps has always worked hard to get her good grades and hopes others will as well. “Seriously don’t put off what you need to know for your tests, make sure it is fresh in your mind,” Phelps said.

Brooklyn Sauer, Copy Editor

It’s the most stressful time of the year.

With midterms now upon us, many students, especially underclassmen, are stressed.

While all students are stressed this time of year, both freshmen and sophomores are particularly worried as this is the first official midterm they’ve ever taken. Upperclassmen would like to pass down their tips to any anxious underclassmen worried for their first midterm season. Additionally, there are other things that worried students should try to keep in mind during and after their tests.

Due to COVID-19 and quarantines, midterms and finals for last year were canceled. This means that half of the student body has never taken a midterm before, causing a bit of confusion and anxiety among the underclassmen especially, but also for the upperclassmen as well, as they also have not taken a proper midterm in two years. “If you do bad, it could pull your whole grade down, even your GPA,” junior Skylar Braden said.

Real game-changers like midterms that can have drastic effects on grades are a worry for many of those who like to plan into the future. Scholarships and colleges may use Grade Point Averages (GPA) as one of the big deciding factors between one student and another, which can cause a lot of stress for those that need those acceptances. “I am very worried that it’s going to ruin my GPA, which is gonna mess up my KEES money, and I really don’t want that,” junior Grace Strobel said.

However, there are ways to deal with and manage grades and emotions when students are so high-strung during this time. A key first step is to plan before the day of the test actually comes. “You should take it a day at a time, because the tests are split up across each day, so I suggest making a plan on when to study for each day,” Braden said.

Another step that not many people take into consideration is using their resources. The greatest of these resources is the person who made the test themselves. “If your teachers want to tell you what your midterm is, definitely ask them. A lot of times, they’ll tell you what they are, tell you what the subjects are gonna be so you know what to study,” Strobel said. A different way of using the resources available is access to the internet. “If you can find it, they’ll have those final grade calculators, where you can plug in your grade and it’ll tell you what you need to get, like the lowest grade you need to get,” Strobel said, “It’s really nice to know that you only need, like, a 50% to pass to keep the grade you want. It helps a lot with nerves.”

The final step is the most daunting one, which would be actually taking the exam. While the strategy for this can vary widely depending on the exam, there are some general tips that can help keep a level head in the testing room. This all begins with your mindset walking in. “If you stress then you’re gonna overthink, and then the test is gonna be a lot worse than it actually is,” Braden said. Oftentimes, when taking big tests like these, your brain can be your worst enemy. Anxiety and stress can impair your thinking and slow you down during your testing time, and anticipating that anxiety can help battle against it easier. “You’re not going to be any better if you worry about the test while you’re doing it. Might as well just get it done and you’ll be a lot more relaxed,” Strobel said.

After each day of testing, students are advised to relax and destress after the worrisome days to prepare for the days ahead, which looks different to each student. For some, it’s as simple as “I’m just done studying, that’s what I’m happy about,” Strobel said. Students can also listen to music, talk to their friends, watch a Christmas movie or hang out with family.

As a final reassurance, these upperclassmen have urged as much relaxation as possible during this chaotic time in a student’s life. “It’s ok to take things slow, especially when you’re studying and worrying about tests,” Strobel said.