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The Importance of Midterm Reports

It used to be that the midterm report was a formality that did not bare much value in the college admissions process. Now, with the intense nature of the competition for admissions, the midyear report can mean the difference between being accepted and being denied admission to one’s dream school.

These reports can become an asset to the perspective freshman, particularly if the applicant is demonstrating strength in his or her performance for the past semester. This document can further demonstrate the continued upward trend of the student’s academics or it can reflect the student’s renewed efforts to do well. In doing so, not only does a student make himself more attractive to colleges, but he may also increase his likelihood of being offered merit scholarships. The fact remains that that these reports are often used by the Admissions officials to make difficult decisions, further supporting the argument that high school seniors absolutely must ward off senioritis and continue to do well in school.

Having said this, just as the midyear report can help a student, it can also hinder her. If one’s grades start to demonstrate a downward trend, this change of events can hamper her ability to be accepted into her school(s) of choice.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the midyear reports are sent to the colleges. She should check with her guidance counselor to make sure it was sent as soon as grades are made available following the end of the first grading period.

Tips for Second Semester Success:

Congratulations on completing midterms! Take a deep breath, be proud of your accomplishments and get ready to gear up for a strong second semester!

  • Create your study guides as you go: when you are taking notes, be sure to highlight key concepts, people, and events, making sure to explain why they are significant and how they influenced the times. (The more effort you put in as you learn the material, the less time you will have to spend organizing the information for finals.)
  • Highlight: use bold font, color-coding, or underlining to identify these key pieces of information.
  • Divvy it up: if the content is too massive divide it up between you and a few reliable friends.
  • Discuss: Hold study groups in preparation for tests. Students often do a better job of explaining material in a user-friendly manner than teachers do. After all, you speak each other’s language!
  • Tests and quizzes: Review the questions you missed. Understand why your answer was incorrect or incomplete. If you are uncertain, talk with your teacher. This is a teachable moment that may benefit you for your final exams.
  • Your teachers are your allies: make appointments with them to discuss test material and papers ahead of time. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!
  • Assignment books: This is one of the greatest tools you will ever have. Write ALL assignments in this book on a daily basis. Make note of long-term assignments and exams. Write notes to yourself to remind you about them so you are not caught off-guard. If pen and paper isn’t your cup of tea, use an on-line website like
  • Glance ahead: use a month-at-a-glance calendar to keep track of long-terms assignments. Place doctor’s appointments, tutors, athletic, and extra-curricular events on it too.
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