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How to Study for Semester Tests

Sophomore Ashley Wendt starts studying for her semester tests. Wendt was studying for the Spanish 2 test. Students in that class were not given the option to opt out.

Erin Wendt

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As semester tests are creeping up, students are starting to prepare. There are many ways to prepare but people have their preferences. There are also recommended ways of preparing for semester tests.

Students around the school share their ideas with others on how they choose to prepare for semester tests. Sophomore Sadie Welter chooses to start studying for her semester tests about a week in advance. Welter chooses to use the website for her studying techniques, “Quizlet has my back.” Welter also believes that students should always have the option to opt out of semester tests because “if you have an A it shows that you know the material.”

Other students in AHS who agree with Welter are sophomore Jalen Petersen and freshman Zach Mathisen. Petersen believes that students should be able to opt out of semester tests because students have earned their A and “if you bomb the test” your grade can only drop. Mathisen said, “If their grades are good enough I don’t think the test will show anything different” Senior Alexis Brockman prepares for her semester tests by rereading and rewriting the notes that were taken throughout the semester and year.  “I usually start (studying) two weeks in advance,” Brockman said.

Spanish teacher Trisha Niceswanger is one of the teachers at the high school who does not give students the option to opt out of her semester tests. Niceswanger recommends reviewing old vocab lists and past quizzes as some of those questions will be the same on the semester test. “Review what was difficult,” Niceswanger said. She explained that every student is different so the study techniques will be different as well. She suggests studying for at least 20 minutes a night leading up to the test. Niceswanger semester tests are accountable for 20% of a student’s overall grade, the highest a teacher can weigh the test. While Niceswanger was in college, she used the website because it was a different way of studying material in a more entertaining way.  

Government teacher Tony Wiley is another teacher whose semester test is worth 20% of a student’s grade. Wiley does not allow students to opt out of his semester exam because “students need to learn to study material so it stays with them.” Wiley believes that if a student has struggled all year, then need to study a couple of weeks in advance. To help his students prepare, Wiley tells students to start studying on their own three weeks in advance and he gives them two days in class before the test as a review day.

If students are curious about what are good tactics for preparing for semester tests, there are many online resources that can help. gives helpful advise on how to prepare before, during, and after your semster exam. Their helpful tips include, keeping up with your schoolwork throughout the year, study continuously as well through the semester and keep up on schoolwork. It is also said to help if you ask questions on subjects that you are struggling with. Other helpful websites such as and suggest reducing test anxiety and use creative ways of studying that work for you.

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The student news site of Atlantic High School
How to Study for Semester Tests