If I Knew Then What I Know Now…standardized exams

Throughout the semester we will provide words of wisdom to freshmen and underclassmen. Please check back for advice on midterms, finals, getting involved, and more!

As a Senior, I can honestly say I have seen my fair share of standardized tests. As a student teacher, I have observed my students worry about these same tests. I’ve never been the best test taker- however my scores have always been good enough to get by. I made the mistake of assuming that I would get by with the PRAXIS tests and put them off for a long time.

If I could give one word of advice to students, be aware of the tests required to get certification in majors or to get into graduate school. PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE! I waited until the last minute to take tests for certification and regret waiting as long as I had.
By waiting so long, I put myself at risk of graduating without a passing score. Know the dates and know the scores. Take tests over the summer or when you have time to dedicate to these tests. GOOD LUCK!

-Emily Gribben

"If I Knew Then What I Know Now"

If I knew now what a commitment being president of an organization is I would not have taken on so many other activities. This past year I was president of my sorority, a member of FFA, a member of Food Science Club, an Ag Ambassador, a manager at my job, and took eighteen credits each semester. I am really good at time management but I do not recommend over committing yourself. I found myself working late, losing sleep, being stressed and not having a good time. I also felt as though I was letting people down. This is when I realized I over committed myself and needed to cut back on things. School and classes was not an option so I only helped out in my clubs when I could and did not commit to being a leader or in charge of anything without knowing that one hundred percent I could commit.

I do not want to discourage you from getting involved however I know there are only 24 hours in a day and you can only stretch so far. Therefore, my advice to you is to join things you are overly passionate about. And only commit to lead if you know you can give it your all. This way you will have fun while you are learning and leading.
-Megan Coy

"If I Knew Then What I Know Now" …Final Weeks

During the final weeks of the semester it is so easy to lose focus on your schoolwork knowing that the holidays are just around the corner. The last couple of weeks of school are filled with fun end-of-semester activities and as classes begin to wind down it is also easy to fall behind in them with so many good distractions. As a freshman last year I wish I had foreseen the amount of cramming that I would have to do the few days before finals. Had I been able to do so I would have definitely started studying in short spans during the last 2-3 weeks of the semester because my finals week was exhausting! Reading Day provides a great opportunity for studying so I suggest you make use of it! It is so easy to slack off because it is basically a day off but it would have helped me out to study that Thursday rather than cram the following week.

-Bonnie McDevitt

If I Knew Then What I Know Now… MORE MIDTERM ADVICE

As a new feature in the Talk of Townsend blog, throughout the semester we will provide words of wisdom to freshmen and underclassmen. Please check back for advice on midterms, finals, getting involved, and more!

This month’s feature focuses on midterm grades. What do you do if you are not performing as well as you expected? How can you improve your study habits? Upperclassmen share some advice…

“When I first saw my midterm grades, I was satisfied to be completely honest. I had almost all B-‘s! Not bad I thought at the time! I still had half of a semester to bring those minuses up. Honestly, I wish I had set a higher standard for myself at the time. I continued studying the way I had been from the beginning of the year, and even did a few extra credit assignments to bring those grades up. I ended up with 2 B-‘s and 2 B+’s! My GPA however, ended up being a 2.974 which was below the 3.0 required to maintain my scholarship. My advice to anyone who is satisfied with their grades, do more than is required. If a professor offers an opportunity to up that grade by even one point, do the extra work. You do not want to end up .026 away from a scholarship! I have worked so hard over the past four years to bring my GPA up to a 3.5, yet i am still .05 away! Trust me, I am a senior now and I wish I had learned sooner!”
-Upperclassman

  • I would go to office hours after a test I didn’t do so well on. Many professors give points back, and if even they don’t, I find it’s a really good way to understand the things I didn’t understand when I took the test.
  • I would get at least 2 hours of homework done on a Saturday. Even if you don’t think you have a lot of work, just getting one assignment out of the way will really cut down on your stress level for the coming week.
  • Especially for the more difficult classes, always studying with at least one other person is important. It helps you stay on task, and it’s more likely you’ll figure something out that you don’t understand if you have someone else to bounce ideas off of.
  • For classes where the professor wants you to print out powerpoint slides, it can be annoying to do this before every class, especially now that you have to pay to print at the library. However, I found a big difference in my ability to absorb information in class after I started printing the slides out instead of trying to write everything that was up on the projector. When you have all the info on the slides in front of you already, it’s easier to just make little notes next to them if the professor says anything extra.

-Sarah Cordova

If I Knew Then What I Know Now… MIDTERMS

As a new feature in the Talk of Townsend blog, throughout the semester we will provide words of wisdom to freshmen and underclassmen. Please check back for advice on midterms, finals, getting involved, and more!

This month’s feature focuses on midterm grades. What do you do if you are not performing as well as you expected? How can you improve your study habits? Upperclassmen share some advice…

“A lot of times, especially in upper level courses, the midterm is the first ‘actual’ exam of the class. Sometimes I don’t do as well because I’m not used to the professor’s testing, so I tend to do much better on later exams as well as the final once I get a better feel for how to study. In more general courses, there are often more exams throughout the semester, as well as other factors like homework and lab grades. In short, midterms are important, but don’t be too discouraged if you don’t do as well; there’s always room for improvement and you can do better next time! Midterms are usually a reminder of whether you’ve been dedicating enough time to a class or not; if you did poorly, it probably means you need to do a little more outside work for the class.”
-Chris Taylor

“I remember how I felt right after my midterms first semester last year. Most classes I felt great about, but chemistry is one that I was struggling with. My “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” advice would be to GO TO CHEM PROFESSOR OFFICE HOURS. The 103 and 104 professors are extremely nice and go step by step with you over problems and are very helpful resources, plus they will regrade your tests and do their best to give you extra points that you might have missed if you correct your problems and explain to them mistakes.”

If I Knew Then What I Know Now (More Advice!!!)

As a new feature in the Talk of Townsend blog, throughout the semester we will provide words of wisdom to freshmen and underclassmen. Please check back for advice on midterms, finals, getting involved, and more!

“Before you come to college many people will try to give you advice and more often than not we think that we have everything under control; but the one tip that has actually been very useful to me is the one where everyone says, “Prioritize your time.” This doesn’t mean all work and no play, but it definitely means set time aside to get your work done so you have time to enjoy all that college offers. Pay attention to the syllabi your professors give you so you know what assignments you have coming up and plan out what you’re going to do in the upcoming week. It’ll save you time and give you the opportunity to have some fun.”



-Holly Powers

Coming into a new school, especially one as big as Delaware, can be really intimidating. With all these new faces around you, it may be hard to talk to people or introduce yourself to people in your classes but do it! Making friends in your classes is a really great opportunity because if you get sick or can’t make it to class one day you have someone who can help you catch up and it can also be really helpful to study with a classmate!”


-Danielle Johnson

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

As a new feature in the Talk of Townsend blog, throughout the semester we will provide words of wisdom to freshmen and underclassmen. Please check back for advice on midterms, finals, getting involved, and more!

“When I was a freshman I was really intimidated to try new things because I didn’t like being out of my comfort zone. I went to activities night my freshman year and saw all the cool things like ballroom dancing and outing club. As I walked by booth after booth I was too scared to sign up for anything because they weren’t things I was used to being a part of. After a boring first semester I realized that being at college is all about being out of your comfort zone. It’s a time in your life to try out new things and see what you like and what you don’t like. I wish that when I was a freshman I had known to not be afraid and just jump right in to new experiences.”

-Caitlin Merrill

First Day of Classes: “Some professors will go over the syllabus the entire first week of class, others will go straight into lecture without turning back. Regardless of what kind of professor you have it is best to always have your notebooks (and your clickers) on you. You never know what the professors might have planned for you.”

Words of Wisdom for Freshmen: “Although it is stressful being without your friends or family, freshman year is the perfect time to reach out of your comfort zone and meet new people. No matter where you are or what you are doing, always be open to meeting new acquaintances, especially meeting people outside of your dorm. Clubs are also a great way to make new friends, if they are in the same club as you that means they have a similar interest. A perfect opportunity to start a conversation.”

-Nina Pusateri