With students entering week seven of the semester, midterms are fast approaching; however, there are many on-campus resources at Alma College intended to aid in stress reduction and increase exam preparedness.
In preparation for midterms, students are encouraged to employ the multitude of academic resources available to them; it is recommended they should first and foremost utilize the most class-direct resource: their professors.
“You can think about preparing for midterms in lots of ways, but go to office hours for sure. No other faculty at any other school is going to work with students the way our faculty will. They love fielding questions [and] they love working with students. It’s just always great to have that sort of resource,” said Dr. Phillip Andre, Director of Student Success.
Students can find the office hours of their specific professors within their class syllabi that were distributed at the forefront of the semester. Often, if students are unable to attend specified office hours, professors will be willing to meet virtually or coordinate a different time to discuss questions.
Peer-to-peer academic resources available on campus include things like tutoring, supplemental instruction sessions, the Writing Center and more. While it can be intimidating to make use of these resources, the student workers are nothing to be afraid of as they are here to help.
For example, “the Writing Center is an accessible and free resource for the use of the entire student body that is valuable. We are specifically here to help [students] in any way we can so there’s no reason to be afraid to utilize the Writing Center,” said Alex Herin (‘24).
Students can make appointments with peer writing consultants by visiting alma.mywconline. Furthermore, students can reach out to professors and Student Success for tutors specific to their classes or fill out the form found on their Inside Alma portal.
When it comes to individual studying, which seems to be the most daunting task for students in their preparation for midterms, there are many ways to make it more manageable.
“Establish study times and places. Get out of your room, [and] find that place where you’re comfortable. If you like activity, try a place like Starbucks or a lobby. If you like silence, like me, find that study room or an empty classroom,” said Andre.
The Learning Commons is also a great place to study as it is the hub of student academics where students can find that bustling and busy study environment while also having an abundance of study rooms available for reservation that offer a quiet study environment
“I would also say bring friends with you… it’s kind of like having that training partner at 6 a.m. Being able to have that support, that accountability, that comradery when they’re getting work done makes it easier for you to get work done, as well,” said Andre.
For those a part of an athletic team community, coaches and captains often hold study tables that provide a focused environment full of the camaraderie and support Andre mentions as studying aids.
Ultimately, midterms are not end-all-be-all for the semester, but can instead be used as a good self-measurement. “I would say, because we’re at that halfway mark, to use it as a self-assessment. Ask yourself if you are really doing everything you can right now to be successful in these classes,” said Andre.
As busy as the midterm season can get, remember to “take some breaks [and] take some mental health time. Make sure you decompress a little bit, too, and have that time where you can do you,” said Andre.