How to Bounce Back from Midterms

My second semester freshman year I looked at my midterm grades and remember staring at them in shock. The previous semester I made dean’s list and received a 3.6 GPA, but after a successful first semester my grades took a turn for the worst. I had C’s in all but one of my classes. I was terrified. I realized that if I didn’t turn my grades around I would lose my scholarships and be put on academic probation. I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I was struggling in all of my classes, I had overloaded my schedule with a lot of core classes that required a lot of reading and memorization, but I never thought my grades were this bad.

After receiving my midterm grades I knew I needed to turn around my work ethic for the semester and be more on top of things. I was worried to tell my parents how much I had been struggling with classes that semester, but I knew that they would be supportive and help me in anyway they could. The steps below were the ones I took to bounce back from my midterm grades.

1. Tutoring

  • One thing that’s great about Kent is the multitude of tutoring options they have on campus. There’s e-tutoring, drop in tutoring and scheduled tutoring. My most difficult class for the semester was Intro to Statistics. I’ve always struggled with math so I knew that this class was going to be difficult for me. After midterms, I signed up for a scheduled tutor where once a week they helped me with my homework and we would go over practice problems for the exam. At midterms I had a D in the class, and I was able to turn around that grade to a C.

2. Time Management

  • Something I struggled with was managing a busy workload. My classes first semester didn’t require any reading and were mostly project based classes. The biggest thing I had to adjust to was having to do the textbook readings for all my classes and having to study for exams. In the beginning, I focused too much on definitions in the textbook and although those are important, the professor goes over them in class. I started to focus more on details in the readings I felt would be on quizzes and exams, knowing the professors would cover definitions and key concepts in class.

3. Setting up my schedule

  • I always filled out my planner with great detail but second semester I realized that I had to break up assignments. After midterms, I began to plan out my week in regards to homework and extracurricular. I stopped trying to do all of my reading in one night because I realized I wasn’t learning anything that way. I broke up my readings for classes over a couple of days, so that each day I would read about 15 pages a day instead of 45 at once. This helped me focus more on the main points of the reading instead of reading it just to get it done.

The main thing I got out of this was that you can’t study the same way for each class. Some classes focus more on key concepts and definitions, others you never have to pick up the textbook and are opinion based questions. It’s not easy to turn around your midterm grades, but following these tips combined about the amount of effort you put into your work will help you bounce back. I was able to turn around my 1.9 GPA to a 2.7. This didn’t happen overnight, but I learned a lot more about myself and how to be productive.