As a first-year student at Gonzaga, you’ve likely never experienced the dreaded midterm. The mid-October test season seems to creep up on us each year, and if this is your first go around you might be wondering how to even begin preparing. 

Midterms during a pandemic are even more of a daunting idea. While this new wrench in the year is new for all Zags, there are still some tips and tricks that can help you conquer this test season from a seasoned midterm taker. 

Whether this is your first semester or your last, here are some tips to help you walk into that classroom (or Zoom meeting) feeling sure of yourself and ready to tackle the tests. 

Make a schedule

It’s always overwhelming at first hearing how many projects you have due and tests you have to prepare for all in the same week, but with a detailed and organized schedule it will be much easier. You can plan out when to study and work on projects, to ensure you have everything done on time.

 Plan the entire week hour by hour, penciling in studying, breaks, meetings and tests for optimal success.  


Office hours

If you are a student at GU, you have definitely been told to utilize office hours. It truly cannot be stressed enough how important and helpful this tool is. Most office hours are now over Zoom, making it much easier to find time to ask important questions about your classes. 

Along with this, you should never be afraid to send an email to your professor. They’ll be happy to know you are engaged and are putting in an effort to do well.  


Best study spots


The John J. Hemmingson Center

The Gonzaga Student Center is always a great choice for a study spot. Whether you want a quiet study room to yourself or a more active study area with music, Hemmingson offers a spot for all kinds of studious Zags. It’s important to change your scenery while studying and working for so many hours, and this is building is perfect for just that. 

Rosauer communal area

This small cozy GU building may be the perfect spot for you to begin your study session. seem Few people do their work here, so it’s always quiet. There are TV’s to connect to and comfy booths to sit in, making it the ideal location for a study group spot.  



With COVID-19 this might be the trickiest area to access because some classrooms stay locked. But, if you’re able to find an open classroom in College Hall, Jepson or even Hughes, use it to your advantage. You can connect to the projectors, spread your notes out on the tables, and use the entire whiteboard to ensure a successful study session.


Other general tips


Sleep and eat

It may seem like college is full of all-nighters and caffeine, but the key to a successful midterm week is to get a good night sleep, wake up early and have a healthy breakfast. This will help your mind and body work to the best of its abilities for any tests and presentations you might have. 



Midterms can seem overwhelmingly stressful and sometimes impossible but, trust me, you will get through it. You have peers, professors and friends who are here to help you succeed. 

“The biggest thing is to try and focus on the big picture of the class… [this] can help with studying when you’re not sure where to start,” said junior Gina Svab.

Remember to take deep breathes, take breaks, ask questions and know that you are capable.

Carsyn Kniss is a contributor. 

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