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Pre-Midterm Essentials at NYU

In this article, we will break down the best ways to prepare for midterm season, so you can feel fully confident and comfortable in all of your NYU classes. 

8 minutes long
Posted by Kelly Cao, 3/6/2022
Pre-Midterm Essentials at NYU

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The start of a new academic semester brings lots of opportunities and possibilities: what to learn, where to study, and how to ace your courses. New York University (NYU) is a college with both challenging course material and a variety of different educational offerings.

In this article, we will break down the best ways to prepare for midterm season, so you can feel fully confident and comfortable in all of your NYU classes. 

NYU Calendar & Schedules

It is essential for all NYU students to understand the schedule in a comprehensive way, to best manage your time and prepare for midterms in the best way possible. Below is a visual depicting the typical schedule of a NYU Stern student with two classes per day. What this means is that you will have to plan your study time in chunks — between your classes for some quick review and after your classes for dedicated deep work.

Alt text: NYU study schedule

Of course, there are also many events and activities happening at NYU that may take your time and attention away from just studying. Students with a balance of these activities tend to achieve a strong balance between learning and engaging on campus. This is regardless of which faculty you belong to, whether it is the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, the NYU Tisch School of Arts, or the NYU Stern School of Business. Keep in mind that the timing for assignments, projects, and exams will differ across the disciplines — this means that some clubs, organizations, and events will be active at various times throughout the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester. For more reference, check out the NYU Center for Student Life page and the websites for individual organizations. 

Alt text: NYU campus activity

Once you’ve got a good grasp on the landscape of involvement opportunities and activities at NYU, it’s time to put the study gear back on. We will cover the essentials of studying for NYU classes, the best study spots on campus, and how to best ace your midterms. 

When it comes to balancing and prioritizing your time and energy, think of what your learning goals are. The NYU academic calendar will both have a heavy emphasis on assignments and testing, but provide you room to experiment and experience the culture of the campus. We have provided a breakdown of three key touchpoints throughout your NYU experience. This will remain constant throughout your four years, whether you are a freshman or a senior: 

  • Back-to-school: In back-to-school season, the best way to succeed is to familiarize yourself with the syllabus requirements and define your plan for keeping up the material. For example, certain reading materials like economics textbooks will have to be obtained from the NYU bookstore. Additionally, you need to figure out what the highest priority will be, through how much the course is weighted. If you have a midterm worth 50% of your whole grade, you may want to switch your strategy to studying bits and pieces of the material in the beginning. This will ensure that you have ample time to brush up on the more complex topics and space to ask your professors and teaching assistants (TAs) for anything you’re confused about. 
  • Throughout the semester: Common wisdom is that you should be getting ahead of your courses and assignments as the semester progresses. However, this is isn’t always possible at NYU. The trick to keep on track, even with all the unexpected things that come up, is setting aside dedicated time to complete the required assignments. This will help you gradually learn the material — if you can teach it to others, that is one indicator that you are adequately prepared for the exams.
  • Exam season: Because midterms at NYU are going to creep up very quickly, putting aside time for re-doing key problem sets and practice exams will be critical to feeling prepared. For many students, this is the most stressful time of the semester. The important aspect here is to not neglect your physical and mental health, making sure you schedule breaks, non-study activities, and wellness habits in your calendar. 
Alt text: Meet NYU website

Top NYU Course Help

NYU has a large volume of support resources and opportunities to access help for coursework and exam preparation. It is important to figure out what resources and systems works best for your own learning style. We outline some important channels below: 

  • Office Hours: Most professors and teaching assistants have dedicated off-class hours to help students with any queries. As per the official NYU office hour policy, all faculty are expected to host at least 2 hours per week for the entire semester. This means you will have many opportunities to visit and get support. The most important thing to remember is that before big assignments are due and before midterms are usually the busiest time for attending office hours — if you don’t plan ahead, you may miss the available slots as they become booked by other students.
  • On-Campus: An alternative to office hours is any on-campus study resources that your faculty may offer, or any educational club on campus. Examples of this would be drop-in tutoring sessions hosted by other students — this is an especially popular method in Computer Science and the Sciences. 
  • Study Tools: There are a majority of digital tools and services you can look at, from passive learning in Khan Academy and YouTube to more active applications like Chegg and CourseHero. While the latter is a very popular option for students, the Kunduz app offers real-time support from expert tutors. If you have any questions about problem sets or practice exam questions, Kunduz tutors will offer a step-by-step breakdown and learning process in around 15 minutes! 

Note: If you are especially struggling with STEM-based classes at NYU, like MATH-UA 121 Calculus or CHEM-UA 120 Organic Chemistry, we suggest you visit questions.kunduz.com. Once you reach this site, you will see a question bank of the most common and difficult problems you’ll encounter, all indexed by course and school. All these questions have been solved by expert tutors at Kunduz. If you are curious about the primary questions that NYU students have asked to the Kunduz app, check out the link to the campus-specific support here

Best NYU Study Spots: 

While it is important to develop a solid game plan to study, it is arguably just as important to pick spaces that are most conducive to effective studying practices. We outline three different types: 

On-premise:

These refer to places you can directly access as you are present at NYU campus — there are three particular on-premise locations that are most frequented: 

Alt text: Bobst Libary

(1) Bobst Library

Boasting an impressive 3,000 person capacity for seating and a large array of rooms and corners for studying, the Bobst Library at the center of NYU is a student favourite. This is also a convenient location for access between classes, if you are looking for a quick drop-in. 

(2) The Kimmel Center for University Life

This multi-faceted study spot gives you access to a large selection of rooms and dedicated workspaces, especially including their music rooms. If you are feeling the need for coffee or a bite to eat, the Kimmel Center also contains a Peet’s Coffee for your needs. 

(3) Gallatin Bloomberg Building

While a bit of an underrated option, the Gallatin building provides a cozy spot for those students looking for a dedicated place for deep work. The architecture by itself is very impressive, providing a balance of calming atmosphere and studious spaces. 

Off-premise:

These are additional spaces that are just located off-campus, in places like cafes, dorms, etc. New York City has a particular richness of coffee shops to study from.

(1) Think Coffee

One of the most popular places near campus, Think Coffee is built with the study mindset in mind — with their great selection of beverages, you can easily spend a few hours there. The ambiance is also good for group meetings or projects, should you want a space for that. 

(2) Joe Coffee

While Joe Cofffee may have limited seating, we believe the atmosphere is perfect for completing a tough paper, cramming for last-minute exams, or engaging in study parties outside of campus.

Communities

  • This category refers to larger-scale study initiatives, such as clubs, organizations, city-wide institutions that are scattered across NYU and NYC in general.

Of course, you can also organize dedicated groups through online channels (GroupMe, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger) and physical channels as well. This is the one the best ways to build accountability in your study practice, where you and classmates can prepare for midterms together. 

Study Smart at NYU

We know studying for midterms at NYU can be a nerve-wracking and difficult process. However, keeping a structured plan and approach can go a long way to staying on top of the NYU academic calendar and ensuring you maximize your marks in all of your courses! In the next part of the series, we will provide tangible step-by-step breakdowns of our best midterm strategies. 

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