A Senior’s Guide to Midterms

Leland Spangler, StuCo Correspondant

Editor’s Note: This article is the first installment of a column written for the Prospector by student council members. Keep an eye out in the future for other articles submitted to the Prospector by our StuCo correspondents.
     We get it. We have all been there. You were just simply “getting in the groove” during the first weeks of school. It is completely understandable that you got a bad grade on the first quiz. After all, it is extraordinarily difficult to return to academics after three months of watching Netflix and wiping Doritos residue from your fingers to the couch (much to your mother’s chagrin). The next few weeks were only a slight improvement. “I have plenty of time!” you told yourself. “I’ll just check Powerschool in a week or so, my grade can’t be that bad.”
     The problem perpetuates. Instead of completing the square, you completed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy… for the eighth time. Although that little voice deep in your soul advised otherwise, Spanish took a backseat to refreshing Instagram again, and  again, and again, and again. Procrastination blinded you, and by the time you actually got around to seeing what your GPA was, five more weeks had passed.
     Now you are here, and those three Ds and an F don’t just have you grounded, but they force the entire fate of your quarter one grade on midterms. This pivotal moment in any student’s high school career is often irreversibly botched. So follow these steps and see if just maybe you can pull yourself out of that hole you dug for yourself, genius.
  • Check Assignments on Powerschool – Want an easy way to turn an F into a solid C? Look at the assignments on Powerschool. If there are any assignments with a big fat 0, ask your teacher if you can make them up. Zeros kill grades, and more often than not teachers will work with you. Anything is better than a zero, and taking care of those can often have a larger effect on grades than midterms do. This is especially useful if you find yourself saying “I left it at home” a lot. (Disclaimer: Teachers get disgruntled when you overwhelm them with make-up work; I would suggest a food/coffee incentive to boost your chances.)
  • Do Well the Last Week – Many teachers purposely give worksheets and completion grades the last two weeks before the big test in the hopes that you just might do them, and pull the C to a B-. Most of the time it consists of review, which will help on the midterm. (Some of the exact same review questions might be on the test itself).
  • Check For Extra Credit – Extra credit is often hit-or-miss. Some teachers will offer it, most won’t. Don’t do extra credit instead of making up zeros! Word to the wise – judge the effort vs. reward. Do you really want to do 200 problems for five extra points? I think not. If you were relying on extra credit, I have some bad news for you: You will fail!
  • Go to All Study Sessions – Math Review night especially. If you’re lucky, a pi/3 size slice of pizza may be waiting for you. Pro-tip: Get there early when less people need help, and you will have the teachers all to yourself.
  • Study – Yeah, it sucks, but just commit. Delete Netflix, drop your phone in water, and tell your dad that in fact, you can’t take out the trash. You have studying to do. Does the trash show up on a transcript? Only for homeschooled kids.
  • Don’t Stress – Don’t worry. It’s only midterms, which will make or break your grade, which will be shown to every job or institution of higher education henceforth. Teachers design their classes for you to pass, and they honestly want to see you succeed. Or don’t. Whatever.


A Final Word of Wisdom:

Remember skippy, C is average!” – Coach Q