The Rambler (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 98, No. 7, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Page: 4 of 6
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4 March 7, 2007
s to surviving mid-term madness
v.: STAFF WRITER
It's that dreaded time of the semester again. Students and faculty alike are
busy trying to make plans to enjoy their spring break, but there is one hurdle they
must all cross before reaching the finish line...midterms.
Some students say that with the increase in their workload and the excitement
of the oncoming break, it's hard to stay focused.Thc challenge becomes even
more difficult when a person is taking more hours than the average student, like
senior liberal studies major Sarah Kelly.
Kelly, who is taking seven classes this semester, one of which she said there
is luckily no reading or studying for, fortunately, does not have to work. Even so,
six lecture classes are equal to six or more textbooks, six professors and six sep-
arate sets of notes.
•'It depends on the class I have to read for," said Kelly, referring to the
amount of reading she has to do. "I have to read for English and cultural anthro-
True, there are some classes that only require a student to show up for class
and take good notes, but many classes test on both textbooks and lectures.
For those, she employs various studying techniques. Kelly skims the chap-
ters, uses tabs to mark pages, highlights important information, writes in the mar-
gins and uses note cards as a memory crutch.
* "I live and breathe on note cards," said Kelly.
Dr. Michael Sewell, professor of mass communication, however, recom-
mends reading the entire content of the chapters. He said a student should read
the assignment once quickly and ^n read it once again, more slowly.
The first reading should familiarize the student with the information that is
the most important and the most difficult. Then, the second time the stucfeni
should concentrate more on those important and difficult sections:
Even if a student is not taking a load like Kelly's, they do still have other
obligations like sports, extracurricular activities, families and jobs.
Whitnee Lowe, a junior and member of the Wesleyan women's basketball
team, said she dreads midterms. With the increase in the amount of studying she
must do, she hardly has the time to read the texts word for word. She also likes
to highlight or write out the important information.
"I hit the key points," said Lowe. "It's easier than reading the whole thing. When you read
the whole thing, it's hard to retain all that information." §
A similar way to do that, another student suggested, is reading the first and last paragraphs
of each section because these usually give the main points. Then, go back and highlight or take
notes based on the reading. *
■ ; Camille McDermott. a senior mass communicationaliajor who works a total of about 30
to 35 hours per week between two jobs and is a member of a sorority, said her reading depends
on the class. #| f " .
If she needs clarification, needs to know definitions, or is doing a case study, she will read
the text. Otherwise, she outlines. jj
"I make an outline and read
over i|" said iMcDermott. "1 just
need" to know the basic tacts."
She also likes to talk the
material over with another student
so she comprehends it better.
major Bob Norris said, when
studymg for midterms, lie doesnot
do anything different than he nor-
mally would for the whole scmes-
"As I go through my classes,
! underline or highlight whatever
the professor is talking about and
then restudy that information for
the upcoming test." said Norris.
It is much easier to keep up
with the information all semester
instead of cramming, according to
"If your study habits are
good to begin with, cramming does
no good except to confuse the situ-
ation," he points out.
Dr. Donna Stringer, assistant
professor of management, agrees
that the best thing you can do is to
keep on top of your studying
throughout the semester.
"If you approach each class
as if the knowledge gained will be
valuable to you throughout you life
and career, you will be able to
retain more of the topics," advises
Many students employ the
use of caffeine and other energy
drinks to help get them through the
day, but Stringer said that is not a
"Get enough sleep, take
some time to relax and do not over-
do the caffeine and energy drinks,"
she stresses. "If you think you need
extra time to study, consider taking
time off of work during your busy
Dr. Ben Hale, professor of
mass communication, offered his
own study tips. He said for a stu-
dent to not do all their studying the
night before the exam and that
short study periods are preferred to
longer ones. Plus, a student should
not get comfortable.
"It's better to study in bright
lights," he said. "The less comfort-
•*••• stress behind
Stress management is the ability to maintain con-
trol when situations, people and events make exces-
sive demands. What you can do to manage your
stress? Here are some strategies offered by
There is always another person struggling; take com-
fort that you are not alone. Also look to see if there
really is something you can change or control in the
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Tiy to prioritize a few truly important things and let
the rest slide.
Do something for others.
This will help get your mind off yourself.
Try to 'use' stress.
If you can't fight what's bothering you and you can't
flee from it, flow with it and try to use it in a produc-
tive way. Channel your emotion!
Avoid extreme reactions.
Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate
anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when
anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you
can just be sad?
All-nighters aren't all that fun anyway.
Avoid self-medication or escape.
.Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help
deal with the problems.
Don't converse with any fellow students who have
not prepared or who express negativity; they will dis-
tract your preparation and focus.
Set realistic goals for yourself.
Reduce the number of events going on in your life,
and you may reduce the circuit overload. And
remember, you aren't perfect.
Expect some anxiety before a test.
It's a reminder that you want to do your best and can
provide energy. Just keep it manageable. Use it as a
tool to succeed.
Change the way you see things.
View the exam as an opportunity to show how much
you've studied and to receive a reward for the study-
ing you've done.
Especially when other students start handing in their
wor.. There is no reward for being the first one done.
Have hope and confidence.
Even if it doesn't seem like it, there is an end to the
"misery" of studying for and taking a test. If you are
prepared and do your best, no one - including your
critical self -- can ask for more.
Photos by Zainah
Grad students David Barfield and Orlagh Lynch collaborate on a homework assignment. According to m?n>: <
students and professors, studying is easier and more productive when done with a partner.
jltble you are, the easlerd| is to study." ' .
In addition, Hale and Stringer also sajd it js better to study with someone else.
"If you can teach it to someone else, you end^^fnowlng it better than you did be for?.'"
encourages Hale. 0f
Today, there are various electronic sources students can use to help with their studying.
Junior finance major Kevin McHenry said he us£s not only the textbcffficS, but also the Web
sites that go with the books. ^
He takes the online pop quizzes orpractice tests and then focuses oiyitudying the ques-
tions he irrissed. Besides the tests, there are a number of online student study aids available; if
your text offers such resources, take advantage
Dean of Students Cary *Poole, who is also a studgpfc^corking on his 'doctorate from Dallas
Baptist University, offered his advice.
Poole holds that readings should be done qn a daily basis. To keep up with
projects, like many studetots have, he uses a djy erase board, On the board be lists things like
the project title, status of the project, andjboihjiuejfl^bmplption dates.
tline^lwts?!^!^^ 1 y
and ready. You get settled into your
What about actually
You have done all thafsfticfying, you |rciaot£
desk and then come the butterflies.
Not to worry. ""
"If you have studied and are ready for the exam, don't get caught up in test anxiety,"
"Your recall of material will be greater if you relax an^feel confident that you have done
what you could to be prepared." 1 I I f ' 1
McDermott says she will put t|e bask information down first, then go back and add .the
detail. For the last test she took, wmcfi happened to be anj^say test, she used an acronym to
aid her in remembering the facts, which made filling in thenoles much easier.
Amanda Winkelman, senior art major, studies in a computer lab surrounded by mounds of
Acronyms, according to Hale, are a good way to remember a long list of terms. He^
mits actually memorizing the first five terms are OK, if five terms are all you have. If thct;
more than five, you start forgetting some. He also recommends using odd acronyms bed
they are much easier to remember.
Sewell also offers advice when it comes to taking exams.
"When you have your first exam, note whether the instructor asks questions that
from class, the text book, or both—and in what proportions," said Sewell. "Adjust your $
sources accordingly for future exams."
McHenry also notes that how he studies for a class' tests depends on that class' initia^K!
"I take the first test and get a feel for how I study," said McHenry.
Carefully reviewing returned exams and noting what you missed is also helpful acco?~
to Sewell. Try to figure out why you missed the question, observe comments from the in$
tor and use that to strengthen your studying and test taking skills.
Students know that efficient study and test taking skills are a must. Each and every p^itfli;
has their own methods, and what works for one person may not work for the next. It is
each individual to find what works best for him or her.
0 ' • )
Norris claims his good study habits come from years of trial and error.
"Being 50 years old, you learn a few things along the way," he jests.
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Wylie, Chad. The Rambler (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 98, No. 7, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 7, 2007, newspaper, March 7, 2007; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth253388/m1/4/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Wesleyan University.