Depending on where you’re at, midterms can be just beginning or concluding. There’s no better way to gauge your academic understanding (or misunderstanding) than by taking the good ol’ mid-semester review exam to see what you know. Preparing for tests and exams is is something you should have been doing all along, but sometimes you don’t realize that you’re in bad shape until after the midterm. Here are some precursors that serve as a warning: it’s time to get help in this class!
1. Copying a classmate’s homework
Sometimes balancing classes, work, and your social life can be tough. Having to cram in an assignment and rush through the work is stressful; however, if you’re relying on others to do your work when you’re in those situations, it should serve as a red flag for upcoming trouble. Come test time, you will regret having used your peers as a crutch before. It is also a terrible practice that won’t prepare you for life after college.
2. Your online homework grades are on the decline
Many classes in college have online homework assignments that are instantly graded and provide feedback. Avoid the thought that “the test won’t be anything like the homework,” because there is certainly a direct correlation between the two. If you don’t do well on the online homework and quizzes, you won’t do any better on the tests. Practice quizzes and extra problems go a long way in preventing the procrastination epidemic.
3. You’re scratching your head way too much in class
If you attend class on a regular basis and find yourself lost in lecture, consider yourself at risk for falling behind. College is vastly different from high school; it’s much tougher to catch up after a week of college classes than it was to catch up after a week of classes in high school. Get to class early and often to seek assistance should you notice you’re lost during the lecture. The sooner you take care of it, the faster you’ll get back on track. Avoid the snowballing effect at all costs.
4. You’re skipping or ignoring the “easy” college classes
Each semester, you try to find that one “easy” class that everybody gets an “A” in, but just remember to keep up with the class so it doesn’t end up evolving into a difficult one. If you’re overcompensating in other classes, you may neglect the workload of your simpler course, which can really come back to bite you. There’s no worse feeling than failing an exam in what you had considered to be your “easy A” class.
5. You bomb the midterm
The beauty of midterms is- well… they’re right in the middle of the term. Just half the course’s grade is complete, so you can still control your own fate, though you’ll have to act fast. If your grade is slipping after the midterm, be sure to use that as a motivator for moving forward. This will help you remember to approach professors after class when you’re not seeing things very clearly.
Part of your tuition is going to your professors so they can assist you, so never hesitate to utilize their services. And, of course, don’t forget: the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.