The Struggle of Midterm Prep


Bella Adjei-Owusu '22, Community Writer

The holidays are soon approaching, which calls for one of the most hectic times of the year: Midterms. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many students at Friends have never experienced exam week before. They may not know how to prepare for a midterm, or even what to expect from these tests. Don’t worry though; even if you haven’t taken scrupulous notes throughout the school year, there is still time to prepare for and ace these exams.

It is strongly recommended not to procrastinate. The busy life of a Wilmington Friends student can promote this kind of behavior as it is so easy to say “I’ll do it later.” This kind of mentality is the reality for Madeline Osbourn ‘22. She said,“I feel as if I surrounded myself with people who can actually get away with procrastinating, yet I knew at the time that I wasn’t one of those people. Over time I picked up these habits but noticed a lot of things going downhill from there. Procrastinating is definitely a real problem and I think a lot of kids at Wilmington Friends School could use some help. I think a lot of them could agree that when Covid hit, it made the issue even worse: having more time at home you were more likely to slack off. ” This comment by Madeline is a very relatable issue, as it’s understandable how easy it is to fall into a cycle. The trouble of balancing busy school schedules with life outside of these brick walls is evident. There are ways around procrastination when it comes to studying for midterms, which do not include cramming for hours the day before exams. 

One recommended method that works for any test is to study early, while limiting the number of hours studying. One of the hardest parts of exam week is forcing your brain to remember class material you haven’t discussed in months, but it isn’t necessary if you manage time properly when reviewing test material. Studying as early as possible is ideal when reviewing for a big test like Midterms, without making your study sessions too lengthy. Long and tedious study sessions promote burnout and can increase stress levels approaching testing week, with no great benefit from the extra time. This is why its important to limit your study sessions to only an hour or two at most per day. This may not seem like a lot, but when the work material is reviewed over a long period of time in short intervals, the information is retained for a far longer period of time. 

Even if you have your study methods under control, finding places and motivation to study can mess up all your plans. Daniel Selkman ‘24 personally found trouble with this, noting that “While studying for midterms I often get about 30 minutes of studying done before I get distracted by the little things and somehow end up rearranging my room. I have a lot of trouble staying focused because the freedom of being at home kind of takes over.” This is a common theme amongst people who want to do well in tests, yet can easily be distracted by their environments. Another acclaimed method when it comes to studying is to mimic a testing environment. Unfortunately, a testing environment does not equate to the comfort of your bed or a noisy living room. Try to find a quiet place to study, and keep away distractions like your phone or even your computer. Dedicating time towards simply looking for quiet environments which may remind you of the nature of a testing room will be helpful when studying. Consequently, this method will help you trust the effectiveness of your study session, knowing that there are no apparent distractions when trying to absorb useful information. 

Midterms can be extremely tough to face, especially when it’s your first time dealing with a test like this. However, if you follow these tips and study well, there’s no reason why you can’t ace these tests! Don’t forget, immediately after, you can forget everything you’ve crammed into your head; the holidays are near!