“I have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays,” said Anna, junior at CCNY. “But for this whole week, I have been coming every day to study for the midterms.”
CCNY students and faculty had varying views on how do well on midterms. Some thought students need to do more than just study a week before the exams. A Sophie Davis of Biomedical Education sophomore, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, “Study a bit of the material daily. Read for each lecture the week it is assigned.”
“No partying during the midterms and finals week,” said another student.
Georgia Scott, who taught a journalism course in fall as an adjunct professor, had a different opinion. “I would never suggest that a student remove all distractions from his or her life, or stop having fun and going to parties. But the key to doing good on an exam is being able to weed out the distractions and focus when it’s time to study,” Scott said.
She thought that the single most important quality to ace in any exam is the ability to focus. “Whether it comes natural for the student or the student achieves it through practice,” she said, “focusing is paramount.”
Another Sophie Davis sophomore, Maria Constartinidis, agreed. “If I did poorly on Midterms,” she said, “it was usually because I did not study positively and with a positive attitude. I probably let myself distracted easily by YouTube, texting, and Facebook. I also probably did not pre-read or review lecture material.”
Melanie Lorek, sociology professor at CCNY who has been teaching about five courses per year since 2009, agrees that studying well in advance, attending all lectures, and reading whatever is assigned are necessary prerequisites to acing an exam. “But it is important that students understand what it is that will be expected from them on the exam,” she said. “I think, for the students, it is very important to make sure they understand what they’ll be expected to do for a good grade. I’m always surprised by how few students meet me during my office hours to go over the material they didn’t understand, or to ask questions on how to prepare for exams. So, to sum it up, students need to make sure they understand what the assignment asks them to do.”
Good time management, ability to focus and prioritize and asking the professors questions related to the coursework can help students champion the much feared midterms.