Keep it Together: Midterm Organization Tips

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by Lauren Chung, Lifestyle Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again, and unfortunately, I am not talking about pumpkin-spiced everything. Midterms, a word that makes any college student shake from anxiety (and possibly from one too many cups of coffee), have finally arrived. This year, however, you do not have to accept defeat when it comes to the notecards and study guides that litter your bedroom’s every surface. Stay on top of your studying this year with a few of these organizational tips:

Color is your best friend. It may seem elementary, but color coding can and will be your right hand man when it comes to staying organized during this hectic time of year. Grab your favorite set of pens, and assign each class it’s own color. Pull out your planner, to-do list or schedule, and write each assignment, study session, meeting, exam, etc. in their prospective colors. Whether or not you are a visual learner, being able to physically clump subjects and activities together will put your mind at ease and make your monstrous schedule feel much more doable. Not to mention, color coding allows you to estimate how much you will need to spend on each class’ work. Bonus Tip: Assign a color for events in your social life, club and activities and even Badger-related events to aid in the juggle between academics and a social life.

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Make a study schedule. Having specific time slots for when you need to make that vocab Quizlet, meet with your study buddies, go over your outlines and do practice problems will make it harder for your focus to drift towards distractions. After completing each item on your schedule, cross it off. Being able to finally scratch something off the list will be highly rewarding and even motivate you for the next task!

It’s okay to take breaks. Remember, you can only do so much in a day. Be sure to pencil a few short breaks into your busy schedule. Take a few minutes to catch up with a friend, grab a quick snack or walk to a different study location and switch up your scenery. It is okay to take breaks; in fact, it is pertinent that you take the time for yourself to hit your mental reset button. Contrary to popular belief, midterms do not have to destroy you.

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A clean space is a clean mind. If you like to study in the comfort of your room, make sure to keep your work area tidy. Take an extra ten minutes or so to toss out your garbage, sort through loose papers and straighten things out on your desk. A cluttered workspace will make you less productive, so be sure to tidy up before hitting the books.

Say goodbye to all 100 of those pesky notecards. If you are trying to memorize a whole stack of vocabulary words, websites like Quizlet are more effective and easier to organize that paper flashcards. You no longer have to deal with flashcards from one subject accidentally getting mixed into another or losing the card to that super important term that five of your midterm questions are on. With Quizlet, you can have thousands of flashcards all on one page, with the option to create folders for each of your subjects. Quizlet also offers multiple practice modes that use repetition to drill the terms into your mind. “Learn” mode requires that you type out the terms for each definition, or vice versa. This practice forces you to physically remember important words or phrases. When you complete a whole session with 100% accuracy, try moving on to the “Test mode. In this session, Quizlet generates a mock test with the terms you provide. The tests include multiple choice, fill in the blank and true-false questions. Pro tip: For my lazy friends or those on a time crunch, Quizlet sets are often public, so try searching your class name to see who has already made a set for you to use! Nevertheless, if your heart is truly set on physical flashcards, use a hole-puncher in the top left corner of your cards and slip them through a key-ring to keep them all together!

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