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How to Bounce Back After a Tough Midterm

We’ve all been there. You study all day and all night, and yet the test is so much harder than you could have ever imagined. Tough midterms happen to all of us, and it is a horrible feeling to leave a test knowing it didn’t go quite as planned. But, the midterm isn’t everything, and you can bounce back after not getting the grade you hoped for.


1. Go to Office Hours

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If your final is going to be cumulative, go to office hours to look over your midterm to see where you went wrong, and the types of questions that confused you. Being able to see exactly where it went wrong and to talk through these problems with your professor or TA will make a huge difference for your final.


2. Do the Readings

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If you haven’t been reading the textbook for your class, start immediately. It can help explain concepts more, and there is a good chance if it’s been assigned it will show up on the test in one way or another.


3. Focus on Other Ways to Raise your Grade

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If there are other ways to earn points in the class (participation, attendance, or papers) focus on doing well on those. Show up to class, ask questions, and get your writing looked over by a friend, professor, or TA.


4. Actually go to Class

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While it may be tempting to skip class, spoiler alert, going is actually incredibly helpful. If you haven’t been going to every class, get going.


5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

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We all struggle at times, and that is okay. If you are struggling in a class don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a professor, TA, or tutor. Everyone wants you to succeed and there are so many resources on campus to help you.


Finally, treat yourself a little bit. Midterms are stressful and we could all use some self care to help us through the tougher times!


Lily is a senior at UC Santa Barbara studying Communication and Education. She loves making lists, minimalism, public media, and breakfast foods. Her planner is her best friend.
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