How to prepare for midterm exams

Julia Steinberg, Staff Contributor

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With midterm exams coming up, it’s essential for Windsor High School students to begin to take steps to ensure that they perform to the best of their abilities.

Following Martin Luther King day, midterm exams will occur over the four day week of the 22nd through the 25th of January. The tests, which will each account for 20% of students’ semester grades, are a measure of the students’ learning through first and second quarters. The tests hold  heavy weight, so preparation should begin weeks before the test dates.

To begin, students can gather their notes, worksheets, and previous tests from the semester in order to study. Notes can be helpful to find individual snippets of information that students might not recall from units that happened early in the school year. Students can also utilize worksheets to practice problems and skills necessary for the exams. Furthermore, tests are key to studying for midterms to pinpoint exact mistakes made and prevent them, as well as to weed out information that might have appeared in notes but aren’t pertinent to the midterm exam.

The actions made twenty-four hours before each exam can also positively or negatively affect the outcome of the tests. Below are some “do’s” and “don’ts” for the day before the test:

Do: Get a good night’s sleep. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, teenagers need about nine to nine and a half hours of sleep per night. It’s a good idea to start going to bed at least fifteen minutes earlier than the night before a week before your exams in order to adjust to a new sleep cycle.

Don’t: Do not use electronics for an hour before you go to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation states “careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness.” Using a phone or a computer before bed can mess with the circadian rhythm, which includes the biological clock for sleep.

Do: Eat a nutritional breakfast with enough food to last you until your break, and not much longer than that. Princeton Review writes “brain-boosting meals like yogurt mixed with granola and blueberries or scrambled eggs and a glass of orange juice will give you energy and you won’t be distracted during your test by a growling stomach.”

Don’t: Overeat. Foods containing protein and ones rich in carbohydrates have tryptophan amino acids which will make you fatigued. In the test setting, it’s important to be wide awake and focused.

Do: Make a sheet of the most important information in each subject and review it before your test to keep it fresh in your mind.

Don’t: Leave your studying to the last minute and cram. The information is less likely to stick in your brain.

During the test, you might be faced with multiple choice answers or written responses. When dealing with multiple choice answers, use the process of elimination strategy to narrow your answers down. For instance, if there are four choices and the answer clearly isn’t C or D, the chances of guessing and choosing the right answer go from 25% to 50%. If the exam contains written responses, quickly jot down an outline to gather your thoughts and make sure that you cover the topics you need to.

Midterm tests account for one fifth of semester grades, so the weeks leading up to the exams are very stressful for students. Stay calm, prepare well, and give your best on these tests!

Windsor Public Schools issued midterm exam schedule

Julia Steinberg, Staff Contributor


Julia Steinberg is a freshman at Windsor High School, marking her first year as a staff writer for the Tomahawk. She is interested in human interest...

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How to prepare for midterm exams