MidYear Tips to Ace Your Exams!


Emilia Lord

A group of Bronx Science students study for their MidYear Exams in the student cafeteria.

Winter is not the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. For Bronx Science students, winter means midterms are quickly approaching, along with the pressure associated with these important tests. If you are stressing, however, do not worry. Bronx Science students and teachers who have been through this stress before have some helpful tips and advice for you.

Studying can be a challenge, especially if you do not know how you are supposed to remember everything that you have learned since September. However, there are many different strategies that you can use to maximize your memorization skills. According to studies reported on in ‘The New York Times,’ one way to easily memorize a list of items is to use the ancient method of loci, or associating each idea you have to memorize along a physical route, such as a walk around your block or the route your bus takes to school. For example, if you need to memorize a list of formulas, think of the first formula and the first turn that your bus makes, the second formula and the second turn, and so on, until you have the entire list committed to memory.

“Remember that you’re a Bronx Science student, and you’ll do very well. Be confident,” said Mr. Gazzola, an English teacher at Bronx Science.

Working together to study with friends is also effective, according to scientists at Washington University in St. Louis. Talking over the material with other people is proven to help everyone in the group understand the study material more effectively. Chacko Mathai ’20 has adapted this strategy. He said, “I act like I’m teaching my notes to a pretend audience. I pace around the room and pretend that I’m answering questions. This definitely helps me to understand the material more conceptually. I also write my notes and study guides in colored ink, which helps me to memorize material better, even if it takes more effort than typing.”

For classes that do not require a lot of memorization, such as English classes, you may need to use different strategies for studying. Mr. Gazzola, a 9th grader English and Honors Speech teacher, said, “Ask your teachers as many questions as possible. Also, there aren’t going to be any surprises. The only material that will be on the test is what teachers covered in class. It’s important to rely on the notes that you took during the year. You may not have the books that you read anymore, so your notes are all that you have. Of course, you can always go online, as there’s nothing wrong with that, but what you wrote down from class discussions will give you all of the insight that you need and will help you to do your best.”

If just reading this is stressing you out, do not worry. One of the keys to studying is starting early. Melody Moulton ’20 agrees. “The most important thing is to not procrastinate. Manage your time!” she said. Taking a quick study break to focus on your physical health can help your mental health. Aline Marrero ’20 said, “When I feel drained, I go for a run to relax.” Keeping a positive attitude is also essential. Mathai emphasized his strategies for staying positive. He said, “Don’t worry, as MidYears are easier than you think. Don’t keep thinking of the percent of your grade, just treat it like any other test.” Mr. Gazzola also mentioned the importance of confidence. “Remember that you’re a Bronx Science student, and you’ll do very well. Be confident,” he said.

Good luck on your MidYear exams! Your hard work over the entire semester will pay off. Following these tips and strategies will ensure that your exam grades will be the best that they can be.