By Rishi Ghorad, 2019-2020 SCS Student Advising Leader:
First Midterm Down - On to the Second
We all have shared this experience. Cramming in all your free time during the week and dealing with homework or projects as the first exam reared its ugly head. Sometimes this manages to work out and a sigh of relief is the only repercussion. But in some cases, the first midterm may not go as you wanted it to, and everyone experiences this to some degree. Here’s what you can do to get yourself back in gear.
First off, don’t hit the panic button immediately. There is nothing wrong with you not doing well on a single exam, it happens more often than you think. Everybody has their highs and lows, and becoming frustrated and upset about your performance is much worse than keeping a calm head. It will never be the end of the world with how many chances you still have left. There are at least two more exams and plenty of chances to earn points. Just focus on improving yourself and being ready for the next challenge.
Now to work on getting yourself aware of what went wrong. Talk to your TA either during discussion or when they have office hours. Don’t ever be afraid or nervous about going to ask for help. Not only are the TA’s happy to help and hope that you ask them, but as a student, your job is to learn and question. The same goes for your professor, who is definitely even more knowledgeable about specific problems and issues you may have with understanding the material. Reaching out is the best action any student could attempt, no matter if they are doing well or struggling in a class.
Of course, if you are finding that the first midterm did not go well because of problems you faced with understanding the material or how you were approaching the class, a big change needs to be made. Try to talk to your classmates, friends, or upperclassmen about better ways to take notes or remain updated with a course. If you have different inputs on ways to keep everything on track and remain in the loop, it is easier to develop your own strategy to do well in a course. Retaining and learning the material efficiently is the key to being able to perform well on the exams. Keep working hard, remain active when interacting with others in the course, and continue to question, question, question.