High Grades Without High Stress

Preparation for Midterm Exams Begin


Sean Ayoub

Extra Credit: Senior Melissa Connelly reviewing her notes.

Sean Ayoub and Bella Mema

     As midterm exams approach in mid-January, students may begin to feel the pressure. A week of testing can be daunting when experiencing it for the first time. To ease the stress, Foran seniors and teachers detail methods to lessen any anxiety and improve study habits. 

     Often, academic performance relies on wellbeing. Taking care of oneself, both mentally and physically, improves energy and focus. 

     “Make sure that you get enough sleep so your mind and body are 100% ready to take on the day. Make sure you get two good nights of rest before the test. If you are not fully rested, it may be more challenging to stay focused during the testing time,” comments math teacher Ms. Abbigail Blanchard.

     Effective studying requires a good understanding of personal boundaries. Students should know that, while studying is important, allowing their brain to process what they have learned is also crucial. 

     Guidance Counselor Ms. Kelianna Bonn explains discovering what works best for you is key. Using planners or setting timers to track time spent studying lessens stress. In fact, finding a study partner to increase accountability may be beneficial.

     Studying does not have to be boring; in fact, it can engage creativity. Psychology teacher Mr. Todd Williams details that, “The most effective way is to ‘tell the story’ of the information you are trying to retrieve, known as application of the desired material, [it allows] you to have a conversation regarding [it].” He agrees with Bonn, saying, “Organized study groups are a great way to go about this particular study method.”

     “Teaching” the material to friends can make the exam preparation process far more enjoyable and ensures that no concepts are missed because there are others to bounce ideas off of. 

     Having completed several years of exams, the senior class is well-equipped to begin their studies. Senior Arezoo Ghazagh prefers to rewrite notes from class in a more complete, organized manner, similar to a one-pager. It helps to identify tricky concepts and allows a student to dedicate their time effectively. 

     Color-coding a complete study guide can also be helpful. By highlighting known topics in green, less known in yellow, and unknown in red, it is easier to budget time by focusing on concepts that are less understood, and briefing over the ones that have already been covered

     Melissa Connelly, senior, says, “Get on the ball early. There is a lot of material that you’ll get well before the exam that is foundational for understanding later concepts. The more time you have to prepare, the better you’ll feel.”

     For many students, these may be tweaks to a current system. For others, however, there can be a feeling of helplessness surrounding academics.

     Williams comments, “If a student suppresses their shortcomings, they will never truly know what they are capable of… Learn from the negatives to experience more positives.”

     With a solid effort comes an improved sense of confidence and determination, besides the benefit of knowledge. Bonn says, “It is important to set high personal and academic standards for yourself and then work hard to live up to them. Believe in yourself, lean on your support when needed, work hard every day, and everything else will fall into place.” Most importantly, “Enjoy your four years of high school!”

     Above all, midterms are an inevitable part of the high school experience. Ghazagh says, “Teachers are always willing to give extra help if you need, don’t be afraid to ask them! Have fun, don’t stress, and enjoy learning!”