Halfway There

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

How to succeed during midterm season


Before students are all released to enjoy the freedom that spring break offers, midterms must be dealt with. The beauty of midterms, though, is that they are the best chance you have to save a less-than-desirable grade. It may be easy to fall into the habits of ineffective studying, or worse, procrastination. Yet with the resources that Mason has to offer, any student can get the grade they want.

Public speaking is one of the most common fears as well as one of the most useful skills to have in both college and life. A midterm may have a presentation component that requires students to present in front of the class and professor. Have no fear, for the Fenwick Library is there to help. Throughout the month, Fenwick is hosting several workshops on research and presentations. The series “Research Your Way to an A: Strategies and Tools for Synthesizing Sources” is useful for any student that must complete some form of research or presentation for a midterm.

Also, for those late-night study sessions, the Fenwick lobby is open 24 hours and has a few study rooms available.

The Writing Center also has workshops for students, such as “Five Techniques for Clear Writing” and “From Casual to Scholarly: Strategies for Elevating Your Prose.” The Writing Center also offers face-to-face tutoring that can be scheduled online. Students looking to improve their writing across all disciplines can find an array of guides on the Writing Center’s website as well.

Check out the Math Tutoring Center in the Johnson Center room 344 for help with any math courses. There, junior and senior tutors welcome walk-in tutor sessions for free.

The Modern and Classical Languages department also has a list of tutors for many different languages. When it comes to learning a new language, there is no better way to practice than speaking with a fluent speaker, so it is important to utilize these resources.

For other departments, check out their websites because it is likely that there are tutors and learning services available to help students.

If you have any doubts about class material, it can also be very useful to go to office hours and ask the professor before the exam. Many times, professors are happy to clear any confusions as well as provide extra practice. No better person to talk to than the person who makes the exam.

It is also important to discuss class material with fellow students. Studying for midterms and exams in a group of a few fellow students in a distraction-free environment, such as the Fenwick study rooms, can be extremely helpful. During these sessions, students can share notes and work through problems together. This way, students are not alone in their struggles to prepare for midterms.

Finally, it is crucial to remember that self-care is more important than any midterm. During cram sessions, take breaks often so that your mind is not overworked. Mason departments such as The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being host several events throughout the semester meant to help stressed students take care of themselves. Often students focus on their studies solely and set aside their mental health without thinking about the adverse effects this can have on not only their studies but also their overall health. Take time for yourself this midterm season.

Though this time of year is tough, think of spring break as the reward for all your work. Take advantage of what Mason has to offer its students and succeed this midterm season.