It’s midterm season again, and learning how to revise for them is an essential skill.
By now, you may be aware of the Tri-Mentoring Program at Ryerson University. For the uninitiated, “The Tri-Mentoring Program’s (TMP) educational priority is to mentor each student using their individual experience to find their sense of belonging on campus.” According to their website, the TMP pairs first-year students with upper-year peers who will teach new students how to thrive in the campus environment.
Sadia Mehmood, who earned her degree in June from Ryerson’s biomedical sciences program, was a lead science mentor at the TMP for her final two years of schooling. She would supply her mentees and friends with coping strategies for learning within the duration of the semester and managing their personal time. This was done through email and a selection of other mediums, such as articles and YouTube videos.
“It really kind of boils down to basically having a system of organization,” Mehmood said. She would encourage her mentees to make monthly calendars and daily to-do lists.
Slotting periods for travelling to and from school, class times, etc. within a weekly timetable is another way Mehmood recommends students manage their time. “At least block out all the non-negotiables,” she said. This includes hours when students may work at a part-time job or otherwise. Then students can schedule around that for when they should study. A personal schedule, Mehmood said, is the best way for students to succeed both in and out of the classroom.
Fatima Ateeq, a third-year chemistry student and lead mentor for the TMP, also encourages her mentees to establish personal relationships with their professors. “That could help you out in a long way because if you do decide to go in a research stream, the professor basically has to know you in order to choose you for their research,” she said.
Ateeq additionally encourages her mentees to participate in pursuits outside of studying. A stability between mental health and education is key, said Ateeq. Partaking in campus groups, such as the Chemistry Course Union, was a part of the direction Ateeq provided to her mentees.
In order to prevent students from burdening themselves a few hours prior to their midterm, Ateeq said she would guide students to initiate their studying much earlier than the date of the exam, such as allocating two weeks to review one course specifically. This is to prevent students from physically and mentally draining themselves when cramming for exams, she said. “I know a lot of people stay up the night before or they’re completely struggling because they end up doing it so last-minute,” said Ateeq.
Evita Pinero, a fourth-year occupational health and safety student currently in her third year of being a TMP mentor, offered the same study advice.
Ryerson resources, for example the fourth floor of the Student Learning Centre (SLC) where math support is present, is additional guidance she informed her mentees about, Pinero said. She also encouraged her mentees to ease up and relax when it came to their midterms
“Honestly that it’s not that scary,” she said. “I feel a lot of first years, they never had a midterm like that, and usually the weight of the midterm is a lot too,” said Pinero. “It’s just not that bad, and for us, it’s multiple choice.”
“Just relax. Do your best here, and there’s lots of other opportunities in the course to improve your mark in the worst case scenario,” Pinero said. “I would tell them it’s the same as a high school exam; no different.”
Even if you’re not a mentee of the TMP at Ryerson, connecting with people, such as your peers, professors, and the services at Ryerson to help students improve and excel, such as writing support, can assist you in triumphing over your exams.