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Midterms Are Coming-Preparations for Finals

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Mark Schmidt/UAlbanyphotos.com : Midterms have already commenced and the library is a good resource for students to study and prepare for any upcoming exams.

By Kevin Mercado


We have arrived at the halfway point of the semester: midterm point.

All of the students at the University at Albany are dusting off their textbooks and penciling in review days to get themselves prepared for the upcoming exam hell.

Now I am not going to say that midterms are a joke and that we don’t need them. Quite frankly, we need midterms. At this point students realize how well they’re doing in their courses. Midterms are a microcosm for final exams and final papers.

I like to know how well I did on a midterm because it lays out for me where I stand in class, and in turn how much effort I need to put in for the rest of the semester. Midterms give me a direction to go when, up until then, I have generally no idea where I’ll end up.

“It is important to keep midterm grades in perspective.  They provide valuable information to students at an important point in the semester.  Students who make sure to check these grades, and who consider what they mean, know whether they are advancing smoothly or whether they may need to make some changes,” Vicki Nelson says on her website, collegeparentcentral.com.

Midterms are a necessary facet of any college course and I greatly appreciate what a midterm does for me in theory. What I will say is that, while midterms are important to have, they are most certainly not fun.

Who enjoys sitting for an exam that’s worth about a quarter of their grade, shaking with nervousness thinking about the great pressure to do well?

At the same time, there is usually more than one. I have four midterm exams and essays this week alone. This multiplies the pressure immensely.

“It’s so stressful, there’s so many things you have to do. [Exams] all happen at the same time.” Fiona Wang, a senior at UAlbany, says. “No one likes midterms.”

Midterms are a bit of a drag. They are exhausting, sometimes hard to manage and just plain awful. And at the same time, if students think like I do, then they are already worried about finals, because finals are midterms times two.

Essentially midterms are the experiment of the semester, showcasing how well one will do on the final. And once they are over, there will be some reprieve knowing that half the semester has gone by and we are still alive after it.

But, midterms are a key part of the semester for the same reason: half the semester has gone by and that only means that the workload for a class will only increase as we near home stretch––finals.

Yes, they suck, and yes, no one wants to take them, but it’s not like they are going anywhere any time soon. The best thing that any student can do is suck it up, study hard, and make it through the exam. I can’t imagine that the exams or papers are that hard, at least if students properly prepare for either.

We shall take this opportunity to learn and understand what the professor expects out of us and just how the next exam or paper will work. It might actually help in the future.

In a nutshell, this exam, although is not pleasant to think about, will act as a formation of the rest of the semester. Take this time to fully craft how the rest of the semester will go because this paper or exam is going to extend beyond the parameters of the week and will reflect on the final grade for the overall course.

But, I do and always will sympathize with all of the students at UAlbany and on other campuses around the world who will be taking an exam or several exams this week or in the weeks to come. Push on and stay strong, it’ll be over soon.

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