No longer rookies in the midterm, test-taking world, the sophomores have learned what does and doesn’t work to prepare for finals. Many of them recall the stress they felt leading up to exam week, and connected it to the stress that they expected themselves to feel in between exams. Having not experienced finals before, 9th graders may find themselves over-preparing and stressing when hearing about the specifics of their midterms. That’s exactly how the current sophomores remember feeling in the weeks leading up to their first set of midterms, but now they are offering their expertise to the 9th graders who are about to begin their first exam week.
Sophomore Olivia Szaj reflected on how much she ended up enjoying exam week despite the stress she felt leading up to it. She said, “Don’t stress out about it too much. It’s actually a super fun week because it’s just open campus and you can just kind of hang out with your friends in between exams. It’s really not that bad and it’s only like what 10-15% of their grade.”
Although stress is normal, a lot is not going to help the studying process. Balancing stress levels is the key to success. Sophomore Mason Brooks said, “Stress, but keep it healthy. Keep your stress healthy. You don’t want to feel too stressed.”
Many sophomores recognized that preparing yourself is the best solution to relieve stress. Sophomore Kishori Patel said, “I would definitely say to come prepared with questions for review days so you know exactly what you want to ask your teachers about and what you’re confused about.”
Sophomore Emily Gisser said, “Make sure you stay organized when you’re studying.”
Besides studying, another important factor that affects your ability to perform well on tests is simply sleep. Sophomore Ruth Mellin said, “Get a lot of sleep for sure. There’s less time at school so use that to get enough sleep so you can mentally be ready for the exam. And also just don’t stress too much, it feels like it’s going to be this big daunting thing but it’s just a test. It’s just another test that you have.”
No matter who, exams stress everyone out. But when it comes to what benefits your performance on the midterms the most, stress is not on the list. Stress is always expected and in healthy amounts, can be used as motivation to begin preparing yourself. But as the sophomores have learned from personal experience, balancing your life with sleep, friends, and preparation is the best way to remain happy while still succeeding during exams week.