Upcoming Midterms

Tips from Sophie Karbstein on how to ace the midterms.

A person bubbles in a scantron for a test.


A person bubbles in a scantron for a test.

Annika Karbstein, Opinions Editor

Anxious nights filled with cramming. Less than five hours of sleep. Coffee jitters. No social life. Stress. Sound familiar? For Suncoast students, these are common symptoms of midterm week. 

December 17 marks the first of four exam days. Suncoast midterms make up 20 percent of a student’s semester grades, putting an extremely high emphasis on testing and doing well on each exam. 

This next round of midterms is the last for senior Sophie Karbstein. Karbstein has been a straight “A” student throughout all her years of high school, while balancing being a varsity soccer player and participating in many additional clubs. Procrastination is obviously not an option for Karbstein, so she has already started preparing for the next two weeks of midterms.

Karbstein’s trial and error with her three years of midterms (excluding the 2020-2021 Covid year) qualifies her to give tried and true advice to younger students, with Karbstein giving assurance that she has “perfected her methods of preparation.”

Karbstein said, “First, it is so helpful to make a study schedule.” To elaborate, planning out when to review the topics and units for each class makes the work much more manageable than the combined mountain of material needed for tests. “I recommend starting your schedule about one to two weeks before your tests, depending on how much there is. This especially prevents procrastination,” Karbstein said.

Another top tip Karbstein uses is to leave the house or whatever typical setting she studies in. “I like going to Starbucks or a cafe to study. It keeps me accountable to doing my work instead of going on my phone because I drove all the way to the shop.” If this is not an option, students can simply go to a different room or even outside to have a quick change of pace.

There are some clear things no student should do if they want to be successful. One, of course, is not studying at all. The next worst thing is cramming. Karbstein said, “I have procrastinated and crammed one too many times. The same thing always happens: I stay up too late, rush learning everything and retain very little information for the test.” 

With this in mind, Karbstein urges Suncoast students to prepare for their tests, and wishes “good luck to everyone next week.”