Going into college you have an idea of what exams and midterms are going to be like. In high school, it was basically a week in which each teacher gave you a multiple choice exam to ensure that you would have enough grades in for the quarter. At most, they were 50 questions and teachers usually talked with each other to make sure they were not on the same day. In college though, the reality of midterms is a much harder one then what I was expecting.
Exams are not just during one week, but can happen for several weeks in a row...Giphy
In high school, midterms are usually only one week long. You will have an exam each day but once it is over you can move on with your life and enjoy the rest of your life. In college, there might be times where you have an exam every single week for five weeks straight. You won't ever be able to live your life because you know that the next week you have another exam.
There are not just multiple choice exams, but papers and projects too...Giphy
Some people are not test takers, so do not worry you will also have papers and projects due during midterms week. You might have a paper due the night before of an exam, so you will have to go back and forth between reading material you should already know and trying to reach your word count. And for teachers who assign projects rather than papers, you will have to spend your time hunting down art supplies or learning how to use a random software.
You might be lucky enough to have only two classes on one day, only for both of those teachers to assign an exam on the same day. There are so many days in a month and yet both of these teachers seem to know that the other is assigning an exam on that same day. Even worse, you might end up with those classes covering similar material, turning your brain into mush.
You probably could plan so that you can start studying weeks before, but you won't...Giphy
Intelligent and proactive students will start studying for their exams several weeks before, so that they won't have to stress about them last minute. The reality is that very few people are like this, even if they want to be. With the constant workload given to students in college, with our free time the last thing we want to do is study for something that is days or even weeks away.
11:59 pm will become your least favorite time...Giphy
I know that even years from now, 11:59 pm will always scare me a little bit. Knowing that you have a paper or project due and that the minutes are slowly counting down to midnight instills a fear in you that I can't seem to shake. Regardless of the fact that I usually get it done hours before, the finality of 11:59 is what adds a certain level of terror.
At the end of the day, the harsh reality is that college exams are nothing like high school exams. They usually are not about just having grades in, but rather actually testing you about the material. So honestly, the biggest advice is to expect the unexpected. Oh and another thing, you will have midterms up to three times, so get ready.