Demystifying the Midterm Challenge: Expert Strategies and Student Stories
Midterm season is a formidable challenge for students, a labyrinth of stress, late-night study sessions, and looming deadlines. In this feature, we delve into the experiences and perspectives of those who tread this path. What insights can they offer to help their fellow students navigate the midterm maze successfully?
Insights from Wizeprep (Wizedemy Inc.)
Amidst the flurry of exams and assignments, the Wizeprep online tutoring service stands as a guiding light. Founded in 2017, the Wizeprep team has dedicated itself to helping students overcome academic challenges during critical times like midterms.
Chloe Cabral, one of Wizeprep’s marketing managers, recounts their mission: “Wizeprep recognizes that all students learn in different ways and at their own pace. While some students may be visual learners, others may learn auditorily, and so on. That’s why Wizeprep offers resources which cater to all learning styles, combining numerous study methods through offerings of video lessons, practice problems, mock exams, weekly tutorials, and more.”
Chloe further elaborates on the company’s deep understanding of the subjects that students commonly find perplexing. “Today’s generation differs from previous generations in that they have everything at the tips of their fingers. Technology has advanced drastically; thus, modern-day students are accustomed to being able to access all things quickly and easily. Many students struggle with short attention spans as a result of the information overload and fast-paced nature of the social media platforms which dominate today’s social landscape.”
The Wizeprep Plus Subscription is a comprehensive toolkit for midterm exam preparations. It equips students with a range of resources, including exam-like practice questions with step-by-step solutions access to:
- top-tier instructors
- detailed course notes
- bite-sized video lessons
- unlimited 24/7 Q&A with expert course tutors.
Moreover, Wizeprep values feedback from their students and actively seeks input through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and more. Through these channels, they’ve gathered stories of students whose academic performance was significantly improved thanks to their services.
“Not the teacher, nor the powerpoints or book helped me pass. After failing 2 times, I heard about Wizeprep and not only passed, but also enjoyed the class!”
Bounce Back and Jump Start
As first-year students embark on their post-secondary educational journey, they often face substantial challenges in preparing for the midterm season. However, they are not alone in this endeavour, as a supportive lifeline known as the Bounce Back program comes to their aid.
This program is thoughtfully designed to assist students who may be struggling with various facets of their academic and personal lives, and it takes a holistic approach to promote student success.
Comprising six one-hour sessions, this program at the University of Windsor addresses not only academic performance but also factors that can challenge first-year students, including social adjustment and mental health. Bounce Back is an ideal choice if students find themselves seeking someone to lend an ear, require guidance on their next steps, feel alone in their academic journey, or wish to overcome the difficulties of their first semester.
Joyceln Lorito- Bounce Back’s program coordinator, further elaborates: “The Bounce Back program looks at where students are at in the academic cycle, focuses on the student’s whole mental health, and helps to emphasize the student’s ‘whole self’.” The program takes the initiative to help students understand the importance of taking breaks and taking care of themselves. Bounce Back also gives students the opportunity to share the skills they have acquired from the program through activities and discussions with other students.
In addition to Bounce Back, there is the JumpStart program, which serves as a preparatory program for first-year students and is designed to be taken before enrolling in Bounce Back.
JumpStart, introduced last year and revamped for the current academic year, offers a series of sessions that concentrate on various academic skills. These sessions provide students with the opportunity to apply these skills in practical activities within the first six weeks of classes. The program covers critical areas such as:
- time management
- study strategies
- multiple-choice test-taking techniques
- addressing procrastination
- fostering student engagement
Megan Elliot, Jump Start’s program support and evaluator, shares how the evaluation results speak volumes about the effectiveness of these programs.
In the case of JumpStart, a remarkable 100% of participants responded, affirming that the program significantly aided them. Students reported that they have been utilizing valuable procrastination tips and finding evidence-based study techniques incredibly helpful.
For Bounce Back, the impact is equally noteworthy. Students who completed the program witnessed a substantial 5% improvement in their academic performance during the academic semester. They not only learned how to balance their social lives better but also evaluated their capacity to be resilient. Before their participation in the program, there was a 12% increase in students struggling with academic and personal challenges, demonstrating the positive impact of Bounce Back on student well-being and performance.
Students who have experienced the Bounce Back and JumpStart programs have shared their personal insights.
One student shared, “Learning effective time management allowed me to spend more time with my loved ones without isolating myself.”
Another student stated, “I broke bad habits I’ve had for years and realized I am more resilient than I thought.”
A Master’s Student’s Midterm Experience
In the quest for a deeper understanding of the strategies and techniques that can significantly benefit undergrad students grappling with midterms, there’s no better source of wisdom than Vanessa Bumanlag.
As a dedicated master’s student in Criminology, Vanessa not only draws from her current master’s program but also her undergraduate years. For undergrad students, listening to advice from a master’s student like Vanessa offers valuable perspective and guidance rooted in both academic experience and current knowledge.
Vanessa emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s learning style and tailoring study techniques to individual preferences. She finds creating outlines for each topic and subject highly effective, and in her master’s program, she utilizes the Cornell note-taking method to extract main ideas from her studies. Additionally, creating notes alongside readings has been instrumental in helping her comprehend the material.
She suggests a study method that limits study sessions to 2-3 hours at a time and recommends the Pomodoro technique, which uses a timer, such as the one available on Google Chrome’s Extension, to alert students when it’s time to take a break.
Balancing academics, work, and personal life is a challenge many students face. Vanessa shares her approach, which involves scheduling her time each week. Acknowledging her own busy schedule, including three jobs, she manages her responsibilities by setting specific times for studying and breaks.
In addressing the common aspect of stress in the student experience, Vanessa encourages students to schedule destressing breaks and pursue activities they enjoy. For her, hobbies like stitching during Pomodoro breaks or recreational activities like playing video games, going to the gym, and taking yoga lessons have served as effective stress management tools for students facing the pressures of midterm season.
“Something I always tell my students as a teacher’s assistant is always to schedule breaks and to prioritize a hobby in order to de-stress. Make sure you also schedule a self-care day each week, and to save room for socializing with family and friends.”