Midterm Survival Guide

Emily Viterbi Class 0 Comments

Midterm season has descended upon USC. Depending on your schedule, your midterms can be spread out over the course of three weeks or, as in my case this semester, one. Three midterms in one week seems like lot. And, okay, maybe it is (especially since Netflix added Gilmore Girls to the list of the TV shows they steam). But when you think about it, midterms are actually nicer than a lot of “big things” that happen in “real life” as opposed to school. Here’s why:

  1. Your midterms are scheduled from the first day of class. They’re never a surprise (I mean, as long as you’re keeping track of what day/month it is). I have a calendar app on my computer and my phone that will remind of when they are. My teachers remind me about them around two weeks before. Unlike in the “real world” you get as much time as you want/need to prepare for midterms.
  2. There are so many old midterms on line. A lot of professors will put PDFs of their old tests online for students to use to study. In Chem105a & b I got practice midterms that they wrote specifically for us to take and practice with. Teachers will post review and hold review, and they ALWAYS have office hours.
  3. Going to class and doing your homework are actually preparing you for the midterm. Strangely enough, the things you’re tested on are covered in class or homework. Get enough sleep and pay attention in lectures and it’ll keep you from cramming right before a test.

When dealing with more than one test a week, it can be pretty stressful. As long as you know when your tests are and start doing extra studying when you know will keep you calm and feeling prepared, you should be ready. Obviously, everyone studies differently so find what works for you. Personally, I always take advantage of the weekend before a test. Studying when I don’t have to worry about going to class or being on time for things that are scheduled for me is so much easier than studying between classes. Of course, between classes I generally go to the Seaver Science Library on campus to do my studying. It’s a smaller library and close to a lot of my classes so I don’t ever really feel like I sit down and then have to get right back up to go to class. And I sleep. I try to take naps or average around 8 hours a night the days leading up to a midterm. It’s possible to over study and I’m one of those people that has to sleep. Sleep and coffee are two of the biggest non-studying things I do.

But really, relax. I’ve found it’s never as bad as I think it will be and if you don’t do as well as you want on one midterm, there are always others.


May the odds be ever in your favor.



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