Calm Midterm Nerves with These Simple Steps

by Alyssa Sileo

3 mins read
white pebbles
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

Midterms season is upon us. For many Drew students, this will be their first time having a midterm in college, or the first in-person exam in a while if they’ve been learning virtually for the past couple of semesters. 

These tests and essays may be daunting, so here are five practical tips to calm your nerves and achieve success: 

white pebbles
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on
  1. Make studying enjoyable – Midterms might be a drag, but studying doesn’t have to be! Grab a coffee at Starbucks or Peet’s, buy your favorite snack from the C-store and put on your favorite non-distracting music. Sit outside at the tables in front of the EC or the courtyard outside Haselton and Baldwin to enjoy the fall weather, but remember to bring layers! You will study more effectively if you are enjoying your time, so incorporate what you enjoy when hanging out with your class notes.
  2. Break up your assignments into bite sized pieces – Writing three essays, memorizing 20 vocabulary words and analyzing 30 charts all sound like impossible tasks. But writing one essay introduction, memorizing a few vocabulary words and analyzing one chart is a bit more reasonable. A little bit of progress made a couple of times turns into a lot of progress eventually.
  1. Get a clear idea of all you have to prepare – It’s hard to study when you don’t know what to work on. Try creating a list of all of the tasks and topics and using highlighters or other visual cues to emphasize the most important parts to review. 
  1. During your in-person exam, take your time, and encourage yourself along the way. Take it page by page, question by question. It never hurts to write encouraging messages or smiley faces on top of your exam, just be sure to use a pencil and erase them before handing in your exam! Don’t forget to leave time to review your answers as well. You might catch something you didn’t notice while first engaging with the material.
  1. Make an appointment at the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) at Drew – The CAE offers academic coaching for time management and study skills, peer tutoring for specific course content and writing support. These services are free for students and are conveniently located at the library. You can make an appointment at or email with any questions.

Hopefully these tips will lower your stress and boost your confidence. We’ve got this, Rangers!

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