Self-Empowerment

Tackling midterms season at QC

Midterms week. Those two words are daunting enough, as they most likely evoke flashbacks of studying endlessly night after night. There’s no avoiding the anxious feeling of sitting in a lecture hall, waiting for the proctor to deliver the exam one has been dreading. However, one tends to forget that the original purpose of an examination is to ensure that one has retained the info necessary to proceed onwards in the course (or so it is said). Ultimately, there are a variety of things that can be discussed.
It’s a given that as you go through life, you eventually gain experience in a variety of things. Senior students are the perfect examples of such expertise. Biology major Wafaa Elmanasir had plenty to say on the topic of midterms. Her advice to freshman just beginning the grueling process of midterms week was to study well in advance, as well as to study in groups. Elmanasir explained that studying in groups allows for you to see things in a perspective that is unique to only that person. Additionally, she explained that “A positive mindset is crucial, as too much stress on the body can lead to a negative impact when the day of the test hits.”

Similarly, Senior Joel Grunhut said, “Study, a lot harder than you ever have, and the exam is going to be a lot tougher than you ever had before in high school.” Joel wants freshman to embrace the gravity of an exam because he knows how much each grade counts towards one’s G.P.A.
Freshman, as new as they are, know they have a lot to learn going forward. Victoria Lombardi, Freshman and Physics major at CUNY Queens had much to say regarding midterms week. “From midterms week, I hope to learn time management for the upcoming midterms that I will face over the years, as well as enhancing my methods of studying.” Lombardi went on to discussing exam content, and how exams should be strictly relevant to the course. For example, science classes will tend to give exam questions that will help one for graduate school exams such as the MCAT.

Like Lombardi, freshman Geraldine Giraldo stated that she would like to learn time management skills from midterms week. She discussed how midterms week made her realize her shortcomings in terms of being not fully prepared for exams due to slight procrastination.

Calculus professor Sharon Erlbaum offered her view on midterms week. She teaches most calculus courses offered at Queens College and, as such, she sees a variety of students ranging from freshman to seniors. Erlbaum explained that, “The key to success is to keep up with your work all semester and not let it pile up so you have to cram and pull all-nighters. It is difficult and even impossible in some cases to learn all the material well in one or two nights.  This is especially true of many math and science classes.” Additionally, when asked whether freshmen and sophomores do better than the upper level classmen, Professor Erlbaum said that whereas upper level classmen are very familiar with exams and the systematic process of college, “freshmen are more likely to be diligent about completing assignments and showing up to class.”

The main takeaway is that when it comes to midterms week, be prepared. Study in a way that benefits you. Realize that there are more tests (not to say that you should be too relaxed for the first test) on the way. Lastly, believe that getting a good grade is well within the realm of possibility.  

Good luck to everyone on midterms!

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