Midterms are over. Now what?: How to get back on track after midterms
By Alexandra Bosco, 2nd-year Concurrent Education – Life Sciences student
For many students, midterms are over. You’ve studied, studied, and studied some more… congratulations, you have made it through your first set of midterms! Like myself, you may find yourself thinking, “I’ve jumped over this hurdle, now what? Where do I go from here?”
While preparing for midterms, it may have been difficult to stay on top of current lectures and course material as they may not have been your top priority while assessments where fast approaching. Here are a few tips to help you get back on track:
Create a “To Do” list
In order to create an effective “To Do” list you should review the syllabi or class calendars for each course and determine if there are assignments that you weren’t able to get to during midterm season. List all of your tasks on a “To do” list as this will clearly outline what you must accomplish. This list will help you prioritize your tasks and also ensure that you don’t inadvertently miss anything.
If you find that you have a little catching up to do, it is important that you prioritize all your tasks. Take into consideration when the task needs to be completed by and how important it is. Learning Strategies recommends using the ABC method of prioritization. Look at your “To Do” list and assign A, B or C to each task. Assign a task “A” if it is extremely important and must be completed urgently. These are the tasks you complete first! Tasks assigned “B” are important and should be completed as soon as possible, but can wait another day. Finally, tasks assigned “C” aren’t as immediate or pressing and can wait until a later date. Each day you should reevaluate your “To Do” list and re-prioritize as necessary in order to catch up and stay on top of your assignments.
Create a weekly schedule
Whether you are attempting to catch up or simply staying on top of your assignments after midterms, creating a Weekly Schedule can be very beneficial!! Weekly Schedules can help you build confidence about your workload, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed! If you would like to give this a try, print off the Weekly Schedule template. If you have any questions, or need some guidance in completing this, feel free to stop by the Learning Strategies Office in Stauffer 143.
Get back into your routine
During midterms it is very easy to have all your spare time monopolized by studying. You may have given up some important activities during this time, such as socializing, physical activity and relaxation. Midterms are a busy time, so when your exams are over, it is important to get back into your routine and make time for some of the activities which are important to you.
Reflect and evaluate
Reflect on your midterm experience so that you can ensure your next exam experience is even better. Think about what went well and what didn’t. Are there any learning or study strategies that you would use again, or are there things you want to improve on? Congratulate yourself on what you did well and don’t stress about the things that didn’t go so well. There is always room for improvement and everyone is capable of making positive changes and gaining new skills.
Seek help and use resources
If you feel like you need some help developing good strategies for exam preparation or studying in general, you can attend one of the many workshops offered by Learning Strategies or you can meet with a Professional Learning Strategies Advisor.
Finally, makes sure to take a break! Take some time to recharge and unwind after midterms, you deserve a break! You may want to catch up on your favourite TV show, go out with friends, or treat yourself to a piece of CoGro cake. Most importantly, make sure that your break doesn’t become a holiday! School doesn’t stop after midterms finish, so take a break, but get back into the swing of things sooner rather than later!
Photo courtesy of Kelly Hunter under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.