One of the biggest differences between high school and college is the tests. While your tests in high school may be hard, often in college you only have 2 or 3 tests and a final determining your grade, which means the pressure is on. This can be especially difficult when you haven’t had any assignments in the class before the test; figuring out what you should focus on studying becomes a real challenge. To top things off, since all of your classes meet roughly the same number of times the midterms for those classes usually come all at once.
This past week I had 5 tests in 6 days. That’s Thursday through Tuesday, 5 tests. It was incredibly stressful, but at the same time I think I did fairly well. One of the things that I really like about SMU is our LEC (Learning Enhancement Center). They have a lot of different ways to help students in terms of organizational skills and study techniques, as well as a full tutoring center. One of the study planners I used is called a 5 day test prep; it maps out how you should break down the studying for a big exam starting five days prior, and it helps an incredible amount. So, armed with five 5 day study guides (a total of 25 days of studying packed into this period, if you want to look at each class separately, which I do, because it sounds more impressive) I faced my midterms and aced the ones I’ve received back.
My favorite thing about midterms is the feeling you get when they are finally over. There is a sudden lapse in your schedule, as most classes don’t have much busy work. Everything seems so easy by comparison, especially here as after midterms we have fall break. Fall break is a four day weekend, and I’m so glad that SMU has one. It’s a great way to relax after some stressful studying, or if your midterms happen to come after, a great way to get some extra time to study. I know a lot of people went home for the break, but I took advantage of the down time to watch some movies, read some for pleasure, and this afternoon I’m taking a trip to the State Fair of Texas. All in all, a good reward for a lot of hard studying.