September 2012
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Gearing Up for Midterms

The fifth and sixth weeks of the semester are always when people realize that Midterms are just around the corner. Two weeks from now, I will be on my way home for Fall Break. As much as I love being on campus and love McDaniel, it is always nice to go home and just relax for a few days. This weekend is not going to be one of those fun weekends for me. Each semester at this point in the semester, I take some time to gather up everything I am going to need for the Midterm. A few of my classes are not doing midterms this year, which on one hand it great, but on the other, I either have a test right before Midterm week or a paper due right after the break. Either way, there is always a lot of work to be done in all my classes. I’ll be spending the majority of my weekend studying for a test on Monday and the rest of it organizing everything for a midterm in one of my classes.

Organization is a huge part of preparing for midterms and finals. For me at least, I find it a lot easier to focus on actually studying the material once all the information has been organized. When I’m studying, my friends will find me in the living room with all my books and notebooks spread across the floor, which looks like a total mess, but is really just organized chaos. A lot of teachers have steered away from giving tests as midterms. Many times you’ll have a group project or presentation due sometime before Fall Break instead, or you’ll have a paper. Even if they don’t give out an actual test, they are still required to give you a mid semester grade. These grades usually go up about a week after midterms have finished. It is very nice to see how you are really doing in all your classes and to figure out which classes you need to spend more time on or pay more attention to. I always get nervous when I check my grades because I am a perfectionist and I always want to have A’s.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned since coming to college is that the grades really do reflect what work, how much time and how much attention you have given to specific classes. Each class is structured in a way that if you do all the work and retain all the information, an A is not going to be a hard goal to reach, but if you try to cut corners and do the bare minimum, your grade is going to reflect it no matter how many hours before the test you spend cramming information into your head. Managing your time, staying focused, and organizing your notes and books are all things that will contribute to better study environments and better grades on tests and in the class as a whole. Put in the effort and the teacher will reward you.

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