Midterm stress: Keep calm and study on

Illustration Andrea Godoy | The Ranger

February 29, 2012

By Brooke Self | Ranger Reporter


Illustration Andrea Godoy | The Ranger

Students may begin feeling stressed and overwhelmed as the semester carries on. Studies have shown that college exams, especially important ones, cause some students “test stress.”

Because midterms are right around the corner, there are some things to know about stress, how to deal with it and how to get study help.

Undergraduate students are more likely to experience hopelessness and even thoughts of suicide, according to the American Psychological Association.

According to www.preventsuicide.net, suicide is the leading cause of death in students, and the leading cause of suicide is untreated depression.

Depression stems from stress, but things can be done to avoid getting to the point of stress in the first place.

“Students need to realize that a test is not a panic situation,” said Margaret Vitale, a senior advising associate.

“As long as you have kept up every week with the assignments, you review and you practice and are thoroughly prepared, it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

Some students may have midterms in only one or two classes, while others may have a test in every class.

There are several things students can do to prevent stress and certain things that can be done to help prepare for a test.

“What I would say to most students is just remember you’re not going to die from this test,” Vitale said. “Deep breathing will also help you relax before a big test.”

Vitale suggested that students who are experiencing stress visit www.dr-bob.org for solutions to stress and for several relaxation techniques.

“Students should also make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before a test and eat a healthy breakfast the day of the test so they aren’t thinking about how tired or hungry they are and will have an easier time focusing,” Vitale said.

She said the best thing a student can do is be well-prepared for a test.

For some students, that means hours of studying and less sleep than usual during midterms.

“I like to study in groups, because when I try to study by myself, I feel like I can’t concentrate,” said Gladys Baeza, an education major. “In a group, the other people can keep me focused.”

Arali Gonzalez, an education major, said she also prefers to study in groups.

Each student is unique; therefore, there is no specific way of studying that is best for all students.

“I have to write everything over and over again to study for a big test,” said Marie Pendergrass, a physical therapy major.

If a student is having problems with studying, or if he or she is just lost in the midst of studying for a pile of tests that are coming up soon, the Washington Street Campus has several places where students can get tutoring.

The Science Study Center is located in 110 Warren Hall. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m Mondays through Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays.

The Math Outreach Center in 104 engineering building is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Both centers offer free tutoring to AC students.

David Herrera, an engineering major and a math tutor, said the Outreach Center is a great place for students to get tutoring from their peers.

“I would recommend that anybody having trouble studying for any math test come to the Outreach Center and let one of us help them,” Herrera said.

Students also can get help 24/7 at the AC website, www.actx.edu, through the Smarthinking tutoring service.

To access Smarthinking, students can log onto AC Online, click on the “Resources” tab within a course and click on the “Smarthinking Online Tutoring Services” link in the “Institutional Resources” box.

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