Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

September 30, 2009 8:45 PM

Midterms are coming...Are you panic?

The next two weeks seem to be the busy weeks for Cal students as midterms are coming. I know some of you; especially freshman and newly transferred students, might be panic about your first midterm season at Berkeley. As for my own experience, I was very stressed during my first semester and didn’t do well on my tests; thus, I want to share some tips that might be helpful for you to survive through your first challenge.

In order to do well on midterms, it is very important to understand the materials thoroughly. Going to professors’ office hours during this time, however, is not my first choice since there will be many other students coming to their offices and that makes it harder for you to ask questions. On the other hand, GSIs’ office hours will be very helpful for any last minute questions since they are accessible and you can also request private hours with them. Study groups could also be a good way to help each other in solving problems, practicing old exams or clarifying concepts.

As for a place to study, Berkeley has many amazing libraries such as BioScience in VLSB, main stack in Doe or Moffit that you can try. The good thing about them is that they open pretty late; VLSB library usually opens until 11pm while Doe and Moffit libraries open until 2am. I personally like the BioScience library since it is comfortable and quiet, but most Cal students prefer Doe since it keeps you from distraction. I don’t study outside the campus; thus, I don’t know much about other places outside Berkeley. However, some of my friends usually study at Milano Café, Yali, Starbucks or other coffee shops around campus. For any of you that don’t know about Milano café, it is located on Bancroft and I heard it has wireless Internet there too. So, you can check out those places to see which one can help you focus on your studying.

One last thing I want to mention is that besides studying, taking care of your health is also important. You don’t want to study too hard and get sick right before the tests. Using your time wisely, eating healthy food, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep might help you to be more concentrated and effective. I know it is hard to balance things out due to the heavy works at Berkeley, but try to do them as much as you can and don’t be too nervous before the tests. School is important but your health is more crucial since a healthy brain can only come from a healthy body.


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