Why You Should Take Midterms As Seriously As Finals

            Whenever midterms come around and I don’t see people studying, I always wonder, “Why do students not take midterms as seriously as finals?” I think the answer to this question is simply that most students don’t feel like they need to study for midterms because it doesn’t matter how they do since they can always “fix” their grade by doing well on the final. I believe this is a serious flaw in how people study and that it is just as important to do well on the midterm as the final. Here are some reasons why you should care about midterms and put in just as much effort (if not more!) than you do on finals:

1) Midterms are usually a fairly large percentage of your grade, sometimes even as much as the final. A common mistake students make is saying, “It’s just a midterm.” Midterms are often 15-20% of the grade in a given class, usually compared to 20-25% for the final. Should this slight 5% gap make the difference between studying and not studying, between doing well and saying, “Oh, I’ll just do better on the final”? I don’t think so.

2) You should always try your best, and how you score on a midterm is an indicator of how well you can do in the course. Often I hear students saying things like, “I only got a 75 on the midterm, but I can still 4.0 the course.” Well yes, theoretically, if that midterm was worth 20% of your grade and you somehow manage to get 100s for the other 80% of your grade, you could get a 4.0. Is that likely? No. If you had actually put in some effort and tried your best on the midterm, you might have a realistic idea of how you will do in the class. Don’t just procrastinate trying hard because you can, “still pull off a 4.0.”

3) Midterms show the professor how much you care about the course and set the tone for your relationship with that professor for the rest of the semester. If you don’t study for a midterm and go into it with the attitude of, “It doesn’t matter how I do, it’s just a midterm,” your professor is going to know and not like that you were lazy and didn’t study. Also, when you go to your professor’s office hours and say something along the lines of, “I only got a 75 on the midterm, what can I do to improve so I can get a 100 on the final,” your professor will laugh at you and say, “try studying.”

4) It would reduce a lot of stress come finals time if you had actually prepared well for your midterms. The reason people are so frantically studying for finals is that they need to achieve a perfect grade on every single one because they didn't do well on the midterms. To reduce the stress of finals, simply try a little harder on the midterms, and then repeat your *reasonable* study process again for finals.

5) Midterms are your chance to show off a little! Since most people don’t seem to care about midterms, this is your time to shine! Show your professors that you care and that you are willing to put in the effort to succeed in your classes. Then when your friends say, “I got a 75, but it was just a midterm,” you can feel very proud and say, “It might have been just a midterm, but I got a 100!”


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