Midterms: The Do's and Don'ts That Will Save Your Bacon

Posted by David


Midterms are coming up, and if you’re currently a student at UAF like myself, you’re probably groaning and scratching your head.  If you’re a prospective student you’re probably relieved you don’t have to deal with it now, but don’t worry as your time will come. Either way, these tips should help with preparing for, and more importantly, surviving finals.


Call of Duty, Smash Brothers, Halo or whatever your game of choice is will still be there when you are done studying and midterms are over. Some courses base the entirety of the grade on exams, so studying well in advance is important.

   2.       Check the weight of the exam.

Not all exams are created equally. A midterm for a class can be 5% of the total grade or 50% of the total grade, and when balancing studying for 5 separate midterms, it is important to take that into account.  Definitely take each exam seriously, regardless of weight, but when allotting time devoted to studying for each subject, it is advisable to take the academic weight of the exam into account.

   3.       Focus on Your Weaknesses.

Determine if there are any subjects that you are struggling with and devote extra time to study for them. Some classes have concepts that are more difficult to grasp than others, and it is important to take this into account when studying for midterms.

   4.       Put Facebook Away.

One might argue that this is redundant of the 1st tip, but considering the sheer magnitude of study hours that I and others have lost to Facebook, I felt it was deserving of its own category. Social networking is advantageous at times, but the night before a midterm you’ve barely studied for is not one of those times. It is okay to take occasional breaks, but when the books are out, close that browser and post about the 95% you got on your Chem midterm later.

   5.       SLEEP!

I know, easier said than done, but believe me when I say that it is doable. Try getting the bulk of your studying done a couple nights before the actual midterm. That way, instead of cramming the night before the exam, it’s mostly just a review and then you can get 8 hours of sleep and be ready and alert the day of the midterm.

Exams are a part of college life that not many people (including myself) are particularly enthusiastic about. But as a student at UAF, I am very appreciative how helpful many of the professors are at helping students prepare for exams. Many classes offer supplemental instruction or pre-exam study sessions, and professors at UAF are really good at answering questions that students may have about the material. Overall, I would say as much as I dislike midterms, I’m thankful for the help and resources offered by UAF.

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