student studying

Tips to make the most out of midterm review sessions

student studying   Midterm review sessions are a great way for you to identify and reflect on your mistakes.  I have spoken about why you should go to midterm review sessions but here’s how you can make the optimal use of them --  
  • Make sure you have your basics - t card/a form of ID, a notebook to write down your mistakes and a pen. You might also want to consider carrying your textbook or notes so you can refer to them as you are going through the question paper.
  • Go at the earliest time possible.  From my experience most people come in later and things start getting rushed. There are limited answer sheets which other students might be using and most classes don’t have more than about 3 TAs who will be occupied if there is a large group with many different concerns. Another benefit of going early is it gives you more time to identify where you made a mistake. And identifying the problem clearly is the first step to figuring out what you should do right -- developing a strategy for your next midterm.
  • Take note of your concerns and go to office hours - if you’re confused about an essay question and need more help with understanding where and why you went wrong, the midterm session probably won’t give you enough satisfaction. Plus, it might be unfair to deprive other students their chance to ask smaller and more direct questions. I’d suggest making a tiny note of your problems and then using office hours to have a good, detailed discussion that not only helps you understand what you did wrong in your first midterm but helps you understand what to do right for the second one.
  • Ask the TA before you take any notes! A lot of profs reuse question papers and wouldn’t want anyone copying the questions. Which is why it’s always better to ask before you make a note of anything.  They probably won't let you click any pictures but if you show them you're writing a more personalised note as opposed to  a direct copy of the question it should be fine.
  • March 14th (yesterday) was the last day to drop a course or to add or remove a CR/NCR section courses so if you missed the deadline but intended on dropping the course I would recommend going to your registrar for advice or developing a studying strategy with your professor to know how you can pull your grade up.
  • Midterm review sessions are also a great place to form study/discussion groups for your next exam or final. One of my study groups last year was formed at a midterm review session after a couple of classmates and I discussed how we did on the exam. It's a great opportunity to discover what concerns other students have and express yours so you can help each other with weekly discussion groups
  The most important thing to keep in mind though is to NOT get demotivated if a midterm didn't go as planned. There is plenty of opportunity to improve so don't study for the next one thinking it's a course that you won't do that well in. Midterm review sessions are the perfect place to determine how the rest of the course is going to go so don't underestimate how well you can use them.  In fact you're doing much more than you know simply by showing up and identifying the kinds of mistakes you made. I hope these tips help with the next review session so you can develop a strategy that helps you ace your finals!

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