Upperclassmen offer midterm studying advice



Although final exams can be a stressful time, there are tricks of the trade for how students can earn a top score.

Kyra Horvat, Staff Writer

As exams come for everyone, many freshmen are preparing for their first midterms of their high school career. Since upperclassmen have taken their fair share, they have some tips that can help the Class of 2023.

Lots of classes revolve around one type of skill: Memorization. Everyone memorizes in their own way, but senior Yash Gosh especially suggests the tactic of repetition. He said, “Doing something over and over again or saying it over and over again really gets it into your head.”

Sometimes all it takes is time management in order to memorize information, as senior Johnny Ceraolo thinks it’s best to make a plan of when you study specific information. He said, “If you are trying to memorize things, start early and divide up what you have to memorize. Only do small sections each night and end each night with a review of the stuff for that night and the ones prior.”

Each subject can be different to study for as the content and question style changes. For math class, Ceraolo studies by using old tests. He said, “Look over all of your old test and rework random problems from each test, then write down topics you don’t remember and then choose review questions that are about the topics you need to work on.”

On the other hand, senior Zach Fong suggests to talk to the teacher. He said, “Do lots of practice problems [and] ask the teacher if you are confused about a concept. They will be happy to help [but] not during the test.”

However, history involves a combination of memorization and analysis. Junior Johnny Gaudio uses his first semester notes to study. He said, “History is a lot of memorization so mnemonics and games is what I use to get good scores, as well as looking over my notes that I took.”

Fong feels that using review guides given by the teachers is the best option for studying for History. He said, “Read through past notes, a lot of the time you’ll get a study guide for what to look at so utilize those heavily. “

English class is normally just reading specific books or working on grammar, so there can be many different ways to study. Gaudio said, “If it’s (the exam) on a book I use Spark Notes to remember the summaries of the chapters. If it’s reading passages, I recommend doing practice readings while studying so it improves focus.”

Although everyone can have different tactics in general, science is very different from other classes like English, especially with the way one studies for a science exam. Ceraolo believes that practice makes perfect when it comes to science. He said, “Look over your old test and notes and find topics that you need to review, write those topics down and look over notes and in your textbook to review those topics.”

Sometimes all it takes is a fun way to study for subjects to make sense. Both Gaudio and Gosh use games or activities to help themselves study for science exams. Gosh said, “Use Quizlet to remember vocab words.”

Some high schools require students to take a foreign language course, and some can find it difficult to study for a foreign language exam. Gosh feels that translating in your head is a way to prepare, as he said, “Try thinking about how you would say certain things in the target language throughout the day.”

Foreign Languages also have different conjugations than English and those different conjugations are a large part of language classes. Both Fong and Gosh practice conjugations in preparation for exams. Fong said, “Use Quizlet to review vocab, and practice verb conjugations.”

Aside from the subjects themselves, there are other aspects to studying like staying focused. For example, Gosh prefers to study in a peaceful environment and said, “I try to keep my phone away and work in a completely quiet environment devoid of any distractions. Headphones work for some people.”

Others like Gaudio use music to benefit their level of focus as music can have many different genres that can either relax or distract the listener. He said, “While studying I use music, I know some people don’t like it but I think as long as it is background music it helps keep me focused.”

During exams, there is always a chance of stress even if one studies. Gosh takes a more relaxed approach to handling stress, he said, “Make sure to schedule breaks and don’t be afraid to study with friends at the library or Starbucks or something.”

However, even with constant studying testing can give students anxiety either way, as Fong said, “For me stress is inevitable but the more you study the less stressed you’ll feel on test day.”

In the end, a student should always just put in effort when it comes to preparing for exams. Gaudio’s strategy is just to have time management and it will be less stressful. He said, “Study one subject a night. If you try to cram everything in overnight you will be very stressed out, breaking it down into smaller parts helps.”