Midterm Examinations | Mitihani ya Midterm
MEANING OF EXAMINATION
What Are Midterm Exams?
Midterm exams are a type of test or assessment given to students in the middle of an academic term or semester. Compared to smaller quizzes, tests, or even some papers, midterm exams have a bigger impact on your overall grade for the class.
The format of midterm exams will vary, but they can have multiple choice, short answer, fill in the blanks, or essay-type questions. Depending on your professor, some midterm exams are held during class time, while others are take-home exams. Each class syllabus will have all the key details about the midterm exam.
Additionally, midterm exams can be helpful in preparing for your final exams. They help evaluate your current progress in class and can identify subject areas where you may need to improve.
How to Study Effectively for Your Midterms
Every student has different ways of studying, so there is no foolproof method that works for everyone. Try out the study techniques below to see which work best for you.
1. Understand Your Learning Style
It is important to know your preferred learning style because it influences the way you process information and approach problems. There are three different types of learning styles:
i. Visual learning—for this learning style, visual concepts like pictures, graphs, and mind maps are used to process information.
ii. Auditory learning—this learning style uses sound and music to study. Auditory learners can read their lecture notes out loud, listen to recorded class sessions, or participate in discussions.
iii. Kinesthetic learning—these learners prefer hands-on learning techniques, such as conducting experiments and working on projects.
2. Keep Up With Your Class Work
By regularly completing your assignments and quizzes, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in the subject. This can help you address any confusion about the subject immediately, instead of seeing issues come up when you are studying for the midterm exam. If you are finding it difficult to study certain topics on your own, speak to your professor or look for a tutor on campus — they are always there to help.
3. Prepare a Study Plan
Staying organized and knowing how to manage time for study can help achieve the results you want. But as an international student, you may have other commitments on campus, like volunteering for a nonprofit organization, participating in club activities, or even working part time. This is where a study plan comes in.
4. Study Smart
You have your study plan set, time blocked off, and even a snack or two. Now, it is time to sit down and actually study. Here are some effective techniques to organize your studying to make sure you are making the most of out your time.
i. Make a study guide: In your guide, list and outline the concepts, facts, and equations that could be covered on the test.
ii. Use flash cards: Flash cards can be especially helpful in memorizing facts or concepts. If you prefer apps, Chegg Prep, Cram, and Quizlet can help you study for your midterms, or you could use 3×5 index cards.
iii. Do practice problems: These are often found in your textbooks, course materials, and online. Practice problems can help you become more familiar with the types of problems included on your midterms.
5. Take Care of Yourself the Night Before the Exam
Some students attempt to cram information at the last minute, but this does more harm than good. According to the American Psychological Association, when pulling an all-nighter to study, memories are harder to retrieve — which means it may be difficult to remember the material when you actually take the test. Instead, remember that you have been keeping up with your classwork and your study plan throughout the semester — this slow and steady long-term approach will serve you well during your midterm exams.
Things to Remember on the Day of the Midterms
Here are a few tips to make sure you are in the best state of mind for your midterms.
i. Have a healthy meal—if you normally skip breakfast or lunch, make it a point to eat something on exam day. Choose a meal with foods rich in omega-3 fats, like salmon, flax seeds, or walnuts, known for their brain-boosting properties.
ii. Stay hydrated—drink plenty of water before the exam. According to studies from the University of East London and the University of Westminster, students who bring water into the examination hall may score an average of 5% higher than those without.
iii. Bring all necessary materials—remember your pens, pencils, rulers, or any additional tools required for the exam. Pack these items the night before, so you will not spend time looking for them in the morning.
iv. Arrive early—plan to be at the exam at least 15 minutes early. If you are living off-campus, make sure to check traffic conditions so you can avoid any unexpected delays.
Exam Questions: Types and Characteristics
1. Multiple choice
Multiple choice questions are composed of one question (stem) with multiple possible answers (choices), including the correct answer and several incorrect answers (distractors). Typically, students select the correct answer by circling the associated number or letter, or filling in the associated circle on the machine-readable response sheet.
True/false questions are only composed of a statement. Students respond to the questions by indicating whether the statement is true or false. For example: True/false questions have only two possible answers (Answer: True).
Students respond to matching questions by pairing each of a set of stems (e.g., definitions) with one of the choices provided on the exam. These questions are often used to assess recognition and recall and so are most often used in courses where acquisition of detailed knowledge is an important goal. They are generally quick and easy to create and mark, but students require more time to respond to these questions than a similar number of multiple choice or true/false items.
4. Short answer
Short answer questions are typically composed of a brief prompt that demands a written answer that varies in length from one or two words to a few sentences. They are most often used to test basic knowledge of key facts and terms.
Essay questions provide a complex prompt that requires written responses, which can vary in length from a couple of paragraphs to many pages. Like short answer questions, they provide students with an opportunity to explain their understanding and demonstrate creativity, but make it hard for students to arrive at an acceptable answer by bluffing. They can be constructed reasonably quickly and easily but marking these questions can be time-consuming and grader agreement can be difficult
An examination where the marks do or do not count, which serves chiefly as practice for future exams or exists so that the teachers are able to set a grade before the end of term.