Anita Richard: Midterm season

Oct. 26, 2015, 12:57 p.m.

It’s Week 5, which means midterms are upon us, and just like you, I’ve been procrastinating. Tonight, I’ll really be trying to cram it all in… I’m talking about my textbook, of course. Since I know that this time of the year is especially stressful, I want to be here for you. I’ve included three important tips to help you push through. It’ll be a tight squeeze, but don’t worry. This article won’t be too long, and as we’ve learned, it’s not always about size — it’s about how you use it.

I hope you have been making use of office hours in these past couple of weeks. It’s both satisfying and rewarding to put in the extra effort to get close and personal with your professors and TAs, so don’t shy away from this opportunity. However, if you didn’t have time to go the extra mile, come together with a few study buddies the nights leading up to the midterm. See if you can benefit from group work.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Stanford midterms are not easy; they’re long and hard. Tested subject matters are firm and well-rounded, and it’s important to learn more than just the ins-and-outs of a topic. Penetrate deep into the affairs by applying what you know.

From numerators to denominators, let’s reduce success to its simplest form:

  1. Work it out and get a good night’s sleep. (The night… and even the morning… before a midterm, I enjoy participating in strenuous exercise.) Research has shown that a bit of aerobic exercise can improve your brain’s processing speed. Get hot and sweaty as you get stronger and smarter. My favorite exercise is called “Six Inches.” You can do it in your dorm room, at the Arrillaga gyms, or even in the Gates Building. Try it out. If you want to feel a deeper burn, raise it to seven or eight inches. And don’t forget: be rested and risen before you go in.
  2. When you get that midterm in your hands, don’t hold anything back. Let it all out. And when studying, don’t just stick to just one topic. Explore each problem from a different angle. Creativity matters. For example, if you’re taking a test on the Great American West, pretend you’re a cowboy or cowgirl. Be on top of your work. It’s all about variety.
  3. Come prepared. Don’t be afraid to get comfortable. Wrap your hand around the pencil with a firm grip. Personally, I enjoy using some type of lubricant, like lotion, to reduce the friction because I like how it feels. And if one hand gets cramped up, switch it up and use the other.

That’s all for now. We’re more than halfway through the quarter. Grind on.


Anita doesn’t really want to talk to you, but stop by The Daily’s office if you want to say hi.

Editorials represent the views of The Stanford Daily, an independent newspaper serving Stanford and the surrounding community. The Daily's Editorial Board consists of President and Editor-in-Chief Victor Xu '17, Executive Editor Will Ferrer '18, Managing Editor of Opinions Michael Gioia '17, Desk Editor of Opinions Jimmy Stephens '17, Senior Staff Writer Kylie Jue '17, Senior Staff Writer Olivia Hummer '17 and Senior Staff Writer Andrew Vogeley '17. To contact the Editorial Board chair, submit an op-ed (limited to 700 words) or submit a letter to the editor (limited to 500 words) at [email protected]

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