Are College Midterms as Important as Final Exams?


If you have a midterm exam coming up, you might be curious about whether this test will be as important as your final exam when it comes to your overall course grade. This blog post answers that question.

How Much Do Midterms Matter?

As a new college student with midterm season coming up, you're probably wondering just how important midterms are to your overall course grades. You know that finals are important; the name itself confers a sense of decided gravity. But what about midterms? How do they square up when compared to final exams?

Are college midterms as important as final exams?

Maybe Not Numerically....

The exact percentage of your grade devoted to midterms will differ from class to class, so it's important to check each course's syllabus to find out exactly how much each exam will contribute to your final grade. Generally speaking, you'll most likely find that your midterms won't constitute as high a percentage as your finals.

That said, if a course has multiple midterm exams, which is very possible, together they might comprise a larger percentage of your final grade than a single final. It all depends on the class - so check the syllabus.

A college syllabus will help you understand how important your midterms are.

But in Other Ways, Yes

Even if your midterm is worth 30% of your grade and your final 50%, there are other, non-numerical ways in which your midterm exams are equally - if not more - important. Here are just a few of those ways.

Midterms Set the Academic Tone

Your performance on your first big exam in a course has the potential to set the tone for the rest of your semester, academic year, and even college career. After all, don't you want to start on a high note?

Getting a good grade on your midterms will allow you to breathe a little bit easier during the rest of the course. In contrast, if you don't do so well on your midterm, or even fail, then you're likely to find yourself scrambling for the rest of the semester to try and pass the class.

Midterms Help to Solidify Understanding

What you learn after your midterm, or the material covered on the final, is going to build on the topics and concepts covered on the midterm exam. If you study strategically for the midterm, you'll develop a strong understanding of half of the material covered in your course, which will make it easier for you to succeed in the rest of the class and increase the chances that you'll do well on your final exam.

Midterms Help to Establish Good Study Habits

Chances are, the way that you study for your midterms can serve as an indication of how you're going to study for your finals. Solidifying good study habits now can help you set yourself up for success in the future. Finding the study strategies that work for you can not only help you earn a good grade on your midterm but also get good grades throughout the rest of your college career.

Midterms help establish good study habits

Now get out there and rock those 'terms.

For an online study resource that'll help you succeed on your midterms, check out's college-level courses.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
August 2021
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