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Irene Liao
Genetics and Plant Biology major
Samantha Bell
Microbial Biology major
Jena Riggert
Forestry and Natural Resources major
Dale Dualan
Conservation Resource Studies major
Stephen Kwan
Molecular Environmental Biology major
Kay Jiaqi Yang
Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics major
Tiet Nguyen
Microbial Biology major
Selina Chou
Nutritional Science - Dietetics major
Jenn Jehnsen
Environmental Sciences major
Wendy Chen
Environmental Sciences major
Jessica LeBeau
Environmental Sciences major

February 24, 2009

Midterm Season

Midterm season has finally come! I hear the word "stressed" at least ten times walking around campus. The constant rain is not helping either. Rainy days can be good for studying, but it can also be depressing. In order to keep myself motivated and relatviely happy, I have a few rituals that I like to follow during midterm season. The first one, running. Some of you might wonder, who as time to exercise when you could be studying?, but a quick running break in between your studying can really help.

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November 1, 2008

Stay Healthy over Midterm Week!

It is midterm week again. Everyone gets so busy with school work. Besides that, the weather is getting horrible. It was still hot couple days ago, but now it is raining so hard and getting so cold!

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October 29, 2008


My first midterms were less than three weeks ago and now the second waves of midterms are here!! It's definitely stressful, especially how midterms are back to back without breaks in between to help you re-energized. My strategy is to tackle one at a time, study each one 3-4 hours a day and move on to the next. I don't think cramming is effective if you are taking classes that require you to learn and practice the material before hand. On top of all this craziness, telebears appointment is here to stress us out even more. I barely have time to work on my current classes and now how to worry for next spring!! Time management is essential to survive at CAL.
For those who are signing up for bio next spring, the process is different, so visit the integrative biology website and check all the details to make sure nothing goes wrong, eg, exam conflicts and waitlisting, etc. Also, don't wait until the last minute to get your advisor code. Come early, and speak with your advisor and ask any questions before your telebears appointment. If you sign up for a certain class, make sure to have a back-up, especially for core or popular courses that might fill up phase I. Plan your schedule to avoid exam conflicts because once you are in the course, it is very hard to make adjustments, especially in large under division science courses.

Good luck studying for midterms!

October 28, 2008

Mid-semester Recap and Recoup

Mid-semester recap and recoup

Few things I learned or have been reminded of this semester:

10. 13 units can still feel like 18. It depends on what classes you’re taking.

9. The key to getting a bike on Craigslist is to make the search list your homepage and refresh it every so often (try every minute). That and the seller will wonder why you called the minute he/she made their post. First thing they’ll say to you is…Wow.

8. There is a parking lot near the Big C. Don’t ask me how to get there! And don’t even attempt to have food be delivered there either.

7. The Earth best resembles a geoid. And you all thought it was a sphere….

6. Lucky Charms is an awesome breakfast cereal! Next to Berry Kix and Raisin Bran.

5. I’m through studying up late at night! Mmmm…sleeeeep! -_-

4. Pressure = Force per unit area….undoubtedly so during midterm season.

3. Feeling bummed about midterms and studying? Then make yourself a glass of Ovaltine!

2. If you find yourself working too hard and stressed from all the studying, remind yourself to take a break, get some rest, some fresh air. It helps a great deal. ”Work to live, not live to work.” You know what I’m talking about?

1. We have about 6.5 weeks left of school. Buckle down. Keep your head up. Take charge. =)

A reminder that the pass/not pass deadline is this Friday, October 31st.
p.s. Go out and vote on November 4th!

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

September 24, 2008

It's that time again...

Midterm season is here in case you haven't noticed all the libraries getting full, and you're wondering how you should go about preparing for these test. Being a semi super senior, I have found these tips helpful.

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Study Tips

Midterms can be hectic and stressful for students, especially the first midterms of the semester when you are still getting used to a class and a Professor’s teaching style. So to better prepare you for upcoming exams here are some study tips to help you succeed in your classes.

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September 22, 2008

1st round of midterms

It seems like we just got back to school and yet midterms approach us so fast! I guess the best method to prepare for these upcoming midterms is to keep up with the material on a daily basis. It can be extremely overwhelming if you start studying in the last couple of weeks before midterms. Lately it has been hard to keep up with my work because I have been busy with other activities. Each week comes and goes by so quickly, you just cannot keep a hold of the time. Hence, it shows that time management is key to our success. Plan everything out accordingly if you know your schedule is hectic otherwise you will fall behind easily!

Stress for Midterms?

Can’t believe that first midterms are starting next week. I just don’t feel like school has started for a month already. I believe that there’s a lot of you feeling the same way too. I hope everyone feel well prepared, or at least not procrastinated till the last minute =)

Continue reading "Stress for Midterms?" »

October 7, 2007

Midterm Monsters.......

Midterms….ugh…quite possibly worse than finals. After they’re over, there is still more class, more lab work, and no dream of winter break just around the corner. However, there has been one useful tool that I have found to help combat the midterm blues and make this time of the year not as painful as it has the potential to become. Keeping up with the material and forming/finding a study group has helped me in unimaginable ways.

Continue reading "Midterm Monsters......." »

October 1, 2007

Midterm season is here, now what?

This is the time of the year when summer’s glow is finally fading and the reality of classes, commitments, and dreaded midterms start to seem like a lot of handle. So what can you do to balance your schedule and kick start your studying? Here are a few pointers.

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September 26, 2007

Is it time for exams already?

It seems like school has just started and exams are already in progress? Wow, time sure flies when you are in school. Many of you have probably already had your first exam (yes I like to call them exams because since when are there more than 1 middle of the semester?) Or maybe you have your first exam next week like I do. But regardless, you are probably wondering how do I study now that I have just transitioned from a fun summer to actually sitting down and studying for exams?

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Buckle Up and Study!

By this time, most of you have had your first midterm (or studying for your second, or even not have taken your first like me!). Once the first midterm rolls around, a continuous cycle of midterms just keep coming and coming until finals week. So how do you study and where do you study?

Continue reading "Buckle Up and Study!" »

March 23, 2007

Upcoming Midterms

So how do you prepare for the next round of midterms? I believe all the PALs had really good things to say, and I'll can do is reiterate some of the suggestions they had.

First of all, don't stress out! It's really easy to and maybe I'm not the best person to say this because I tend to freak out and make other people nervous because…well, I have "bad energy" around me. Music, especially classical and instrumental music, is particularly relaxing, and I listen to it while I study so that I will feel calmer and more in focus. Other strategies include remembering to breathe and doing exercises – walking around, dancing, or just giving yourself a break. Sleeping is always good.

Continue reading "Upcoming Midterms" »

March 19, 2007

Midterms Midterms Midterms

So the second round of midterms is or will be coming up for most of us, either right before spring break or immediately after. To prepare for this, here are a few pieces of two sense I have up my sleeve.
Don't let a mediocre performance on a previous midterm bog you down. If you did well on your first midterm, great! Tackle the next one with the same grace. But if things did not go as well as you'd hoped, try to figure out why: did you not have enough time to study? Was the material too difficult? Was your study environment too distracting? Was the test more difficult or structured much differently than you had anticipated? It's important that you identify "what went wrong" so that you can rectify it. Plan several weeks in advance for studying, seek out some tutoring at the SLC or at office hours, study away from your noisy dorm room at libraries or cafes, and understand the kinds of questions and pointers your professors focus on. Remember that profs love to see improvement, and some may actually give you the benefit of the doubt if your subsequent midterm grades go up.
If you find yourself becoming really stressed over upcoming midterms, try to find a way to "destress." Exercise is an excellent way! You can also hang out with friends and resurrect your inner social being. Again, plan ahead so that you'll have time to balance both schoolwork and fun.
Hope this helps! If you've got anything you want to discuss about midterms or other aspects of college, drop by office hours located in Mulford Hall.


Midterms can be a pain, but there are a few things you can do to make your life easier before, during and after exams. After about the first week of school, when you have finally weeded out what classes you are going to take for the semester, it is a good idea to check out how your midterms are spaced out. If you have three during the fifth week of school, you will want to anticipate this and start studying early. Also, going to office hours and clarifying topics you don’t understand during the week they were presented is much more effective than having a laundry list of concerns during the review session. This allows some time for the information to settle and makes your studying right before the exam more like a review and less like a night of cramming.

Continue reading "Midterms" »

March 16, 2007


Well, midterms this semester were crazy!! It hit me like a train wreck!! I was so stressed out, but I got through it LUCKILY!! This was the 2nd round of midterms for most of my classes, so I kind of new what to expect. But for one of my classes, I felt totally clueless. But I think I was making a big deal out of nothing. I honestly was frustrated, but I did my best and I think that's what matters. I'm just glad I can move on to the next task and not have to worry about it anymore.

Continue reading "Midterms!!! " »

Before/After Midterms---

It's midterm season once again and now that I am a senior, I should have more expertise in this subject. But to be honest, midterm seasons at CAL are some of the most difficult times to weather through. And I still have trouble myself with achieving that perfect balance, but I do have some advice from my experience to share with you. I feel that the most important thing is to start early. No matter what, review the notes from your classes that day and rewrite a few things that you were unclear on. Jot down your questions and go to office hours!! This way, you will keep up with the material and rest assured that your understanding of the concepts are thorough and complete. The additional interaction with the professors may also open new opportunites for you. This applies to both before and after your midterms: Review the information you did not understand and go to office hours for further clarification.
You may find additional pointers from my midterm blog post last semester.

March 14, 2007

Why is it called a MID-Term Anyways?

Most of us have come to realize that midterms don’t only occur midway through the term, often we have several “mid” terms for one class so it is important to stay on top of the material. Whether we like it or not, it’s midterm season again (or always for some of us), so how about some tips on how to study?

1. If possible, it’s best to try to stay on top of the material throughout the semester so you don’t feel rushed when it’s time to study for the midterm. If not, start going over the material early enough so you don’t have to cram (unless that’s the only way you can study). Studies have shown that people remember the material much better if it’s learned over a longer period of time, thus, helping you do better on this midterm, possibly the cumulative final as well and most importantly it will stick with you longer.

Continue reading "Why is it called a MID-Term Anyways?" »

midterms midterms midterms!

So its midterms round #2! most of you might be bummed out from the 1st rounds of midterm but don't let that affect your work on the 2nd rounds of midterm! try to relax by doing a few of your favorite things. Study a little ahead of time so by the time midterms are here again, you wouldnt have to pull those all nighters and stay up waay late! procrastination is not the key because your body will just suffer from lack of sleep, stress, and abnormal eating habits! of course from a nutrition and health standard those are all bad! hehe
thus, keep up with your notes and work and make sure to ask questions whenever you spot something you are unclear of. If studying with small groups help, make sure to gather up with friends or join a study group so that you can learn and catch up on material learned in class!
Make sure to get a lot of sleep prior to the midterm and set your alarm to wake up in time to get ready and go to class so that you are not rushing the whole time. and most importantly, eat breakfast so that glucose goes to your brain for good functioning =) breakfast is good and healthy so dont skip breakfast!!
before the midterm, you can even snack on some chocolate to give you that extra boost! =) i, personally, love to eat chocolate before exams...its an excuse for me to indulge on chocolate guiltfree =P

Midterm Mayhem

Are you feeling apprehensive about your upcoming midterm exams? Well settle down, my friends. I have a suggestion. You are going to fail. So why study? Ah, freedom, relief from stress. Seeing that this might not fly with you, I have an alternative.

Continue reading "Midterm Mayhem" »

March 13, 2007

Midterms again?

Midterms - Preparing for the next Round (a revisited topic;
or can be "Tips on Studying effectively" from Julie)

I know some of you have midterms right before spring break. It’s a good thing, right? C’mon, SPRING BREAK is almost here! Excited? I am!

For the second midterm, you need to learn from mistakes in the first midterm and improve your studying habits and strategy. Don’t worry, it’s never too late. It doesn’t matter if you got a C, a B, an A, or even an A+, you should reflect through what needs to be improved in turns of studying for your particular class. Maybe now you know that your professors like calculation-based questions more; maybe you found out that there were mostly conceptual questions; maybe from the first paper you learned that your GSI prefers more detailed supporting evidences… you get the idea. So based on your previous experience, you can modify tactics for the second exam.

Don’t give up if you scored below average or a C-. You might be the person who set the curve in second midterm, the professor might just give out 40% of the class A’s, the professor might see your improvements throughout semesters and grand you an A, or just remember, there is still the final for most of the time.

Continue your great work if you got a great score. Remember how you prepared for the first midterms/paper. But don’t slack off! The second midterm might be harder.

Also, be sure to look over the syllabus and revisit the % distributions for each assignment and midterm.

And remember, always give yourself some break. You deserve it.

March 12, 2007


Studying for midterms?!?!?! Don’t they seem never-ending? My main trouble is to actually start studying, and once I (finally) get the ball rolling, it seems to go relatively smoothly. Here are a few tips that I have found to be incredibly helpful for studying:

1) Organize the material. There may be tons of information we have to pack into our heads but one thing I found to be incredibly effective is to figure out how the various topics relate to each other. Once I find the links and get the large picture, it’s easier to study the details.

2) Alternate between classes. If I have more than one midterm in a day, or within a few days of each other, like I have coming up (next Friday), I find that studying for a few hours for one class, then switching, helps me keep me focused. I tend to get bored and my mind wanders so I have to keep things fresh.

3) Don’t worry about others. Don’t worry too much how other students will do on the midterm—this will just make you more nervous. Try to focus on doing your personal best and try to stay calm.

I hope these tips help! Come by our office hours and tell us how you study! GOOD LUCK ON YOUR MIDTERMS!!!!

Second Round of Midterms

Preparing for the second round of midterms can either be a positive or negative experience. These two different experiences can result depending on whether the first round of midterms went well or not and whether one is motivated during spring break. Last year, I spent my entire spring break in Berkeley preparing for my midterms. During that time, it wasn't the most enjoyable experience but the reward I gained by scoring well on my midterms made by spring break studying justified.

Continue reading "Second Round of Midterms" »

October 23, 2006

Getting the midterms back~

How did you do on the midterms?
Are you happy with the scores? If so, congratulations! Keep up the good work and maintain the good grades! Remember how your study style matches with the testing style of your professors, so you’ll have an easier time studying for the second midterm! Also, note if the next midterm or final is cumulative. Keep the notes, keep the tests.

If you’re not happy with the midterm scores, first ask yourself if you really studied hard enough. Did you try your best but you’re just not getting the score you want? Maybe it’s your studying habit or studying style. Or maybe you didn’t focus on what was considered “important”. Sign up for professor’s or GSI’s office hours and talk to them about how you are preparing for their tests. Ask them what they value as the most important information in their courses and what they expect their students to gain from taking the class. If they say midterms are lecture based, then focus more on lecture material and use textbook as a supplement. If the parts you got wrong on midterms are problems that require you to get the big picture and integrate different concepts, ask professors or GSI’s better ways to memorize, understand, or solve the problems. Do they recommend any helpful study resources (website/books/videos) or can they give out extra problems for you to practice? Also, think about other resources such as the Student Learning Center, study groups, review sessions, residential academic centers, private tutoring, etc.
In addition, reflect on your study habits and study environments. Maybe studying with other classmates helps with doing problems. Other people might have a better or faster solution to solving a problem. Teaching other people what you’ve already know will definitely help with your understanding of material. Maybe doing extra textbook problems would help. Maybe you spent too much time doing community services or hanging out with friends that you simply need more time to study. Maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep so you couldn’t concentrate while studying or while taking the midterms. Maybe…

What if you think the class is just really really really too hard for you? Since it’s before the 10th week, take it P/NP. Did you miss out its prerequisites or do you just not get it? Talk to your advisors and professors about it. Maybe you aren’t in the right class. Maybe you aren’t in the right major.

All in all, the main thing is: NEVER GIVE UP! You still have plenty of time to turn that unhappy score to a happier one. Give yourself a chance. Prove to yourself that you can do it!

October 17, 2006

After the Midterm...

By this time, you are probably done with the first round of midterms (or even preparing for the second round, especially for those Chem 1A people – hope you did well!). Some of you may have done extremely well on your midterms (Good Job!) while others, not as well as you thought. It is during those moments that you feel like admitting defeat, wanting to quit college, forgetting about your plans for being a doctor…

Continue reading "After the Midterm..." »

Coping with Midterms

So you got your midterms back and they weren’t as great as you thought? Don’t panic—many others are going through the same disappointment as well. I certainly experienced lows throughout the two years I’ve been at Cal. How do you cope? There is no exact answer…but I suggest going over your exam to see what you did wrong. I know you don’t want to even be reminded of your potential low score, but finding out why you got the grade you did—whether it was because you didn’t study the most recent material as much as you should have, or if you misread the question—is very helpful for future midterms and finals.

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The Midterm Aftertaste

Studying for midterms is difficult, but sometimes, dealing with midterm scores is an even greater challenge. This affects Cal students at every level--even upper division students will get a case of the midterm blues. Staying positive under such situations is easier said than done, but here's a tip from a science major who's had his fair share of unsatisfying midterm scores.

Spend too much time despairing over disappointing scores. A bit of sulking will help relieve some anxiety, but don't overdo it. Many students develop an "it's all over, and I'll never make up for this score" mentality that can really affect performance on future exams. They despair over how most of their floormates did better on an exam, and adopt a resigned attitude that's sometimes the equivalent of giving up. If you feel extremely upset about your first midterms, keep in mind that you still have at least one other midterm and a final exam, both of which make up significant chunks of your grade. Which brings me to my next point...

Focus on how you can tackle your future exams. This begins by evaluating current study habits and how one can study more effectively. Are the dorms too distracting? Consider the library, as well as study rooms, cafes, any place where you'd feel comfortable curling up with that textbook. Did you study too much for one midterm and not the other? Look up your next midterm and final dates, plan ahead, and allot sufficient time for all exams. Did you leave too much material to study at the last minute? Work out a study schedule from now until the exam dates. Or is the material simply too difficult to understand? Consider the SLC services, or forming your own study groups. Working with informed classmates can really help you get through assignments and interpreting concepts.
See your future exams as a way to prove that you can really tackle your courses. Professors often like to see improvements in test scores, and may give a tip-up (e.g. B- to a B) if test scores rise up. It is very, very common for students to "totally bomb" one midterm, but excel on the others, resulting in a satisfying grade.
So go on, look through those first midterms, set them aside, then start prepping for the next ones. You still have more opportunities to shine in your classes. Go and tackle them.

Dealing with Midterms

When midterms come around I'm super stressed out, but after they pass it's such a relief! Once I take it, I try not to think about it anymore because there's nothing I can do about it. I just try to look forward and see what I can do to improve my score on the next one. I know my study habits won't change that much, but I really try to do a little more. If I did really bad on it, I would probably go see my GSI or my instructor to get some tips on how I can be more prepared. I would also try and look into finding some people to study with (if you can study well with others). I try not to stress too much off the first midterm of the semester because there is still room for improvement! Just keep looking towards the next one, and do good on that!!

Midterms got you down?

By now, many of you should have already completed at least one midterm and gotten back the results as well. Hopefully, you're happy with your scores, but if not, don't worry! It's not the end of the world. We all know what it feels like to get back a midterm that we didn't do so well on. And if you're feeling discouraged, there are a few things you can do to better prepare for future exams.

First of all, look over your test and see what you did wrong. I know it seems very basic, but sometimes we can neglect to do this out of our repulsion of the exam and the grade we received for it ( I know I tend to have an "out of sight out of mind" view of midterms..). Knowing the kind of mistakes you made can help you understand what you need to study as well as the type of questions that stump you. Then you can focus on how you can better prepare for the next exam and work on your test-taking skills.
Also, it doesn't hurt to go to office hours and talk to your GSI and professor. They can show you what you did wrong as well as give you a better idea of what their expectations are. They'll most likely also tell you what you should study more for.
And most importantly, don't be too discouraged! There are always more chances to improve your grade and to do better on upcoming midterms. Many classes are curved, and for the most part, you end up doing better than you would expect. Things always even out in the end!

Getting Your Midterms Back

"How did you do in your midterm?", "......".

Are you familiar with this situation? Are you the person not knowing how to answer the question? Or you just want to avoid the question? You are not alone. Nearly everyone have this experience in his life. The first round of the midterms is coming back to you. How do you feel towards it? If you did well, congratulations! If not, how do you cope with it?

Evaluate and never give up. Being in a top university is not easy. It does not mean you are not going to success at Cal. In stead, you need to find out what and why you did not do well in the midterm. A reason may be you are not familiar with how the professor tests you the material. May be you were too stressful with work and study at the same time, you did not have enough sleep before the test, or you did not spare enough time preparing for the exam. Do evaluate how you prepared the test and find out the possible factors that affect your performance on your midterms. Never give up and move on to the next step! There are more midterms coming up and try your best to improve your study strategies for the next test.

When you revise your study strategies, are there ways you can improve your studying style to become more effective? You need to think about what methods fit your learning style the best. Studying in groups and having discussion are good for some students, but not all of them. You may want to find a quiet place for your own study without any television or friends distracting you.

If you have work, or a busy schedule, try to arrange your time best for your studying. Best study time also varies depending on the individual. Some people prefer day time while others prefer night time. If you work and do not have enough time to study, you may want to consider reducing either your work load or study load. At CNR, you can reduce your study load (number of units) if you work for 15 hours a week or more. (Note: starting this semester, Fall 2006, 12 units is the unit requirement for classifying a student as a full time financial aid recipient)

Look for resources and help. Besides working on yourself, you may want to utilize more of your GSI, professor’s office hours, your classmates forming study groups. The more you use the material, higher the chance you would understand and remember it. Make the learning fun and interactive through discussions.
Good luck in preparing your next midterm, and wish you will feel confident answering the “How did you do?” question!