How to Use Your Midterm Grades

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So, you got your midterm grades … now what?

You’re halfway into the semester and your midterm grades are either better or worse than you expected. Take a moment and congratulate yourself for sticking it out so far.

Identify what’s working

When you look at your grades, start with the courses where you are doing well. Practice some metacognition and ask yourself what you are doing in those classes that contribute to your success. Maybe you really love the instructor. If so, consider getting to know your instructors in classes you’d like to improve. Getting to know them may just change your whole approach to class.

Change your seat

Perhaps the people you sit around in class are not contributing to your success. If so, a seat change request may be in order for your other classes. That’s not actually an official thing … just ask the teacher after class one day if you can move to sit by someone who is making an A in the class.

Adjust your study habits

Perhaps it is the way you study or the time you spend studying or that you just find your “flow” in that class. Consider removing distractions while you study. An intense study session of just 25 minutes without interruption will far outweigh two hours of distracted study. According to this article, “It takes an average of about 25 minutes (23 minutes and 15 seconds, to be exact) to return to the original task after an interruption.” That’s a lot of time.

Get help, if needed

Other things to consider are the resources available to you through the Academic Resource Center—the Writing Center, Tutor Referral, Study Groups and Academic Coaching. Whatever you do, do not ignore the midterm grade reports, but take the time to evaluate and use the remainder of the semester to maintain or increase your grades.

See Also: Student Resources for Success

Co-authored by Rebecca Weier and Amy Streeter