by Kyle Leahy Walsh

Midterms ~ oh boy! Sometimes just saying the word makes my anxiety level go up just an itty, bitty bit! I don’t think there’s anyone who really enjoys taking exams and I’m no exception. I really struggle when it comes to tests!

For most of my Digital Media classes, I haven’t had to deal with mid-term exams. Most of those classes have had projects instead. Projects with deadlines can add their own kind of stress and pressure to student’s lives. I have had mid-terms for my other academic classes. They were stressful for me, but they can affect students in different ways.

There are some students who just seem to be so good at taking exams. If they prepare well, they tend to do well. While waiting for their mid-terms to start, they are the picture of “cool”! Their nerves just don’t seem to get to them. It’s hard not to be jealous of these confident students.

Other students seem to be serious procrastinators when it comes to quizzes, projects, and tests. They leave everything to the last minute. Some students think this helps them, but it often times puts them in a stressful situation. Waiting until the night before your mid-term and then cramming is not usually a good plan. Sometimes you might be able to pull one out of the fire, but most of the time it’s going to leave you like toast!

Students are probably not the only ones who find mid-term season a little stressful. Our professors have to be experiencing some pressure as well. Preparing, administering and grading the mid-terms on time and dealing with students who need to take make-up exams have got to add some pressure for them as well.

Most students probably fall into the hopeful category. We do the work, prep for our exams, meet with our study groups, try to stay as calm as possible and hope we do well. There is a certain amount of stress involved in taking exams. It’s a challenging situation to be in.

A tiny amount of anxiety could actually be helpful in focusing your attention. However, some students experience anxiety so severe that it affects their performance. “Test Anxiety” is a real disorder and can affect anyone. The Mayo Clinic website has some good strategies to reduce stress and overcome crippling anxiety.

  • Learn how to study efficiently.
  • Establish a consistent pretest routine.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.
  • Don’t forget to eat and drink.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Talk to your teacher.
  • Don’t ignore a learning disability.
  • See a professional counselor, if necessary.