Friday, November 6, 2015

DaQuan’s Tips for Surviving Midterms

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well! My post this week is about midterms, as the season is among us SAISers. This is my third “rodeo”, or semester as a SAIS student, so I have the benefit of knowing what to expect out of the treacherous time of the year. Actually to be clear, I have no idea what to expect from my courses and professors, however, I have somewhat of an idea of how much effort will be required in order to perform well during this fall’s exam week. Knowing the difference can make all the difference.

As a student who spent my first year at our DC campus, I am aware that the city plays a huge role in the SAIS graduate experience. This fact can be beneficial or detrimental depending on several factors including but not limited to: a given students’ style of working, ability to balance personal and work-related tasks, time management skills, professional background, and overall character and personality. Based on the amount of coursework SAISers tend to bear combined with the high volume of international affairs related conferences, forums, and events taking place on campus and throughout the greater District of Columbia region, midterm week at SAIS can quickly become overwhelming. Despite the rigor of the semester and the allure of superfluous events, below are my keys to staying above water during midterm exam week:

Create a study plan – “Chance/Opportunity favors the prepared mind”…
Never underestimate the value of repetition – Self-explanatory…
Notecards can be synonymous with “simplification” – Great for deconstructing and learning theories, equations, authors, definitions, etc.
Use your resources – Professors, classmates, course materials, and online tools are invaluable resources for preparing yourself
Rest, Relax, and Refuel! – You will need all of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, so make sure you eat, sleep, and meditate and/or pray throughout the week.