The best ways to keep stress down and productivity up this midterm week

Sydney Kass, Contributing Writer

For some students, midterm week can be stressful. But with the proper mindset, goals, organization, tools, and motives, you can work your way to success.
It’s no secret: the more you study, the better you’ll do.  But of course, if the path to success were this simple, every student would make the high honor roll.  So then how can students score higher on their upcoming exams, which will test the entire curriculum from September to present?  How will students manage the inevitable stress that is sure to follow at the thought of this week?
Make a plan.  Doing well on midterms is without a doubt a strenuous effort, but if students preemptively and positively attack it with grace, positive results are sure to follow.
First, assess yourself. How do you “study,” on a basic level; define what “studying” means for you.
Be honest with yourself. Do you study actively and take practice tests, read the textbook, and make flashcards? Or do you simply sit and stare at your notes daydreaming?  Do you study passively? And does your current method of studying work for you?  Are you getting the results you’re hoping for?
If your scores are unsatisfying or you’re studying passively, it’s time to try something new. Secondly, allow yourself sufficient time to study.  Right now, time is your best friend, so use it, and spend it wisely.
“Don’t leave everything to the last minute,” said junior Emma Klein.  “Scheduling is very important, so pace yourself, plan ahead, and do your best.”
For some students, making a study schedule is a perfect way to stay organized and remain calm.
“I study for 15 minutes a day, 4 weeks before midterms,” said sophomore Ian Biesowsky.
Students who wait until the last hour to start reviewing are simply setting themselves up for test anxiety and ineffective cramming.  This testing season, cramming is not on a student’s path to success; it’s too risky.
When it comes to actual study tips and strategies, students have many options and should explore them until they find the right fit: make flashcards, review notes, read the textbook, take practice tests, form study groups, make Quizlets, etc.
“I usually make flash cards and review notes,” said sophomore Mark Paillex.
Be proactive. When in doubt, ask the teacher. Oftentimes, students are afraid or embarrassed to admit that they are confused and have questions, but teachers are happy to help clarify and explain the material. Go to review sessions, extra help, or just raise your hand in class. Don’t be afraid: teachers don’t bite.
Midterm week can be nerve-racking, but stress can be avoided. Studying in a timely fashion and developing mechanisms to cope with test anxiety is imperative. Reading a book, going for a run, doing yoga, and taking study breaks can be helpful when dealing with stress.
“I make sure I have something fun to do on weekends. That way, I make sure that I’ll have something to look forward to and something that will relieve me of my stress,” said freshman Trey McDermott.
Sleep is also very important when it comes to success. Try and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night (especially the week of testing).  With more sleep, students are more focused, study more effectively, and perform better on exams.
Some students find going to bed early to be a hassle, but the allowing the body to properly rest will pay off in feeling better and scoring higher.
Midterms are not something to fear. For students with the right approach and mindset, this fateful testing week will run smoothly. Good luck!