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Seeing friends again after a summer apart is always exciting,but it’s easy to use that as an excuse to put off studying forclasses until you’re facing midterms. Avoid that pre-exam panicwith these study tips to use now while the semester is stillnew.

* Take and get notes now: The night before a midterm isn’t thetime to e-mail the class listserv, begging for notes because of afamily emergency, whether it’s real or concocted. Establish asystem to organize notes, whether it’s setting aside a differentnotebook for each class or saving typed lecture notes in separatefolders. Be sure to back up your notes using secure wireless Internet.Clearly mark notes with the lecture date and topic that correspondwith your syllabus for easier studying later.

* Keep track of reading: Details found exclusively in classreadings show up on exams, so make sure to keep up with assignedreading. Once you fall behind in your books, it’s hard to get backon schedule. Highlight reading assignments on syllabi as youcomplete them and write them down on sticky notes to use asbookmarks for the texts.

* Schedule study time: Study and reading time is less of aninconvenience when it’s already mapped out in your schedule. Useyour high-speed Internet connection to access Google’s calendarfunction and block out hours by subject so you can better judgeyour free time. Be sure to stick to the schedule and treat yourselfto study breaks.

* Pick a study location: Some people thrive in silence whileothers need background noise. Test which environment works best foryou by studying at a library, student center and your own desk.Walking to the library takes more effort than sitting at your desk,but productivity there means more time for fun later.

* Read during down time: Spare time between classes is one ofthe best times to study because you’re already in a learningmindset. Always carry a reading assignment or bring your laptop sothose extra minutes can go toward your workload rather than thedaily crossword.

* Use online resources: Somehow teachers know which definitionsyou didn’t write down in class and always put them on study guidesand tests. When – not if – that happens, use the greatest tool atyour fingertips, the Internet. But be sure to check with multiplesources before memorizing anything found online. Also double-checkessay citations and formatting using an online guide to avoidunnecessary penalties.

* Practice time-tested methods: Flash cards that worked well formemorizing multiplication tables in elementary school are alsogreat for subjects that rely on memorization, like history andforeign languages. Study groups are also helpful because chancesare someone else in the group understands concepts or has notesthat you don’t. Just try to set a time table for group study timeand steer away from chatter.

Courtesy of ARAcontent