What the midterm schedule looks like and useful stress reduction tips


Ofelia Mattingly

Ms. Cecil and Ms. Robinson (History) discuss geographical terms with a student. Photo by Ofelia Mattingly.

Ofelia Mattingly

Midterms are set to occur the week of December 13, 2021, which is the week before winter break. Midterms will span across four days, Tuesday through Friday, with only two classes to give their tests per day.  

Finals week will take place the week of December 13. Graphic by Ofelia Mattingly. (Ofelia Mattingly)

This is a time period where educational pressure heightens, as does the anxiety and stressors that come with being a student. Manual’s staff has taken student stress levels into consideration and will implement Stress Less Week the week prior to midterms. Teachers too understand the stress that comes with being both a full time student and teenager in general. 

Four teachers share advice and their top tips for how students can keep their minds at ease and do well on these upcoming exams.

Mrs. Robinson (History) encourages students to be more open-minded and less black and white in thinking. These are only midterms and students still have a whole other semester and much more to learn and accomplish. 

“Instead of seeing finals as a time of pass/fail, it is important to take a growth mindset approach. Instead of seeing exams as a threat (fail), see them as an opportunity to grow (pass),” Robinson said.

Some teachers, like Mrs. Kederis (History), encourage students to inquire about the format of the exam. Knowing what’s going to be on the exam, as well as how it will be laid out, can help students understand what and how to study. 

“They [students] can start mentally preparing,” Kederis said. 

She also believes students should practice good time management to prevent stress from getting worse. Mrs. Bickel (English) also suggests proper time management and organizational skills. This may look like keeping a to-do list, having a set study routine to rotate subject practice or ensuring students carve out time for self-care activities and not just overload themselves with school work. 

Mrs. Cecil (History) agrees that students should prepare well in advance before finals week and should try to stay on track. Having a distraction free environment is critical for assimilation and retention of material. Study methods, such as the Pomodoro Technique, have been scientifically proven to increase productivity. It may also be encouraging for students to reward themselves for meeting any goals they set.

That being said, basic self-care tasks are not rewards, they are essentials. Teachers agree that students need to sleep and eat well so that they can do the best that they can on their exams. Do not feel guilty for taking a short nap when tired, eating when hungry, taking a shower or time to positively engage with family or friends. You are so much more than merely a vehicle for studying or achieving a certain educational standard. Skimping on these basic parts of life is just as detrimental as taking them in excess, so make sure to employ the time management and organizational skills emphasized by your teachers for optimal well-being.