The breakdown on how to avoid a midterm breakdown
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 18:10
This time of year, many Roosevelt University students are taking midterms for their fall semester courses. This could potentially mean an increased workload with limited time to prepare. That is, unless students don’t let procrastination prevail and, instead, use time to their advantage.
“Time is probably the most precious resource that students have,” said James Orbesen, a senior staff tutor at the Writing Center. “I would say the best advice is just get started early.”
For those with limited time, Roosevelt offers a selection of free resources for students, including the Academic Success Center and the Writing Center, allowing access to tutors, laptops or just a quiet space to study. Both organizations take appointments, as well as accept walk-ins.
“It’s always there and always a quiet place to study,” said Annie Kelly, a peer mentor at the Academic Success Center. “If you’re there [studying] and have questions, there’s always people around to help.”
Mentors and tutors at the Academic Success Center are available to help with homework, projects or essays, regardless of the subject.
Erika Huber is the assistant director of the Academic Success Center. Students are also welcome to come in groups and sit at what she calls “study tables.” Whether students are having trouble with economics, biology or any subject in between, a tutor will be sent over to aid and work with the groups.
“We can help with just about anything,” Kelly said.
At the Writing Center, students are able to sit with a tutor and speak at length about their writing, whether it is their first or final draft, or no draft at all.
“It lets students have a second set of eyes in a non-classroom setting,” Orbesen said.
He said that students who may be intimidated to talk to a professor or peer are encouraged to come in, as they don’t have to perform for a grade.
“In that way, it’s helpful putting people at ease,” he said.
Some Roosevelt students are taking alternative routes in studying, particularly with independent study groups. Peers and classmates are able to share ideas and work together, sometimes over coffee or food.
“We can do so much more,” said Kendra Thomas, a journalism major, about
working with peers. “We break it up into sections, so everybody can help each other out.”
Thomas and two classmates met at Panera Bread to not only study for a midterm that was taking place that day, but also to share their ideas for an essay that was due later in the evening.
“Being one on one with a tutor, you’re not able to get a chance to cover everything,” she said.
Regardless of the venue, tutors and faculty alike stressed the importance of not only putting in the time, but studying actively.
Cathy Evins, professor of mathematics and actuarial science, said that students cannot passively stand by if they expect to excel on their midterms.
“Don’t just read over your notes,” she said, “pick up your pencil and do problems. Even rewriting problems from class will be more beneficial than reading them.”
And, as for test anxiety, Evins said, “The best way to combat anxiety is preparation.”