Semester 2: How to Stay on Top

Welcome to Semester 2! Now that Semester 1 finals are over and your 1st-semester grades are locked in, you’re now looking forward to a fresh start and a continued momentum into Semester 2. While Semester 2 is a continuation of Semester 1, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for Semester 2.
Semester 2: How to Stay on Top
Now that you have spent half of the school year in each of your classes, your teachers now expect that you are accustomed to the pace and course load of the class. They will now begin ramping up the speed and difficulty of the courses. While this increase may be slight, if you multiply this increase across each and every one of your classes, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed, and trying to play catch up.

One way to prevent 2nd-semester overload is to stay as organized as possible. If you do not stay organized with all your papers, handouts, worksheets and homework, you could soon find yourself buried in clutter, without knowing which way is up. Being unorganized will make your transition into the 2nd semester harder than it needs to be. You should have a place to put all of your individual files for each class and you should review them weekly to remove the papers and downloaded files that are redundant and unnecessary for upcoming tests, midterms and finals.

Additionally, you should dedicate time each week (if not daily) to review what you learn in each class and prepare for quizzes and tests. You’ll thank yourself come test time when you have everything organized and time blocked out specifically for studying already planned out. You will spend less time studying, reviewing and you will be more prepared for any and all tests and quizzes.

In addition to staying organized, it is equally as important to reach out when you need help with your courses in Semester 2. Consider Semester 1 as time spent building a foundation of a pyramid. In your classes your teachers are teaching you foundational concepts and testing you on them. When you do not do well on the test, you can go back and work on that part of the foundation. While you are catching up, your teacher teaches concepts that may not be related to what you are struggling with, giving you time to learn the new concepts, while correcting the old.

That is gone in Semester 2. Semester 1 is horizontal learning, Semester 2 is vertical. You are now building the steps of the pyramid, each new concept now builds on top of many different foundational concepts and the process continues from there, at an increasing speed until the end of the year.

If you find yourself struggling to learn a concept, you may find yourself already having to build on top of that very concept the next day. Now your problem has been compounded and you are now struggling with two concepts. If it is not corrected quickly, your learning pyramid can crumble. This is why it is so important for you to reach out to your teachers, fellow classmates and especially tutors to help you when you feel yourself falling behind.

If you are organized and proactive when you need help with your courses, you can be successful in your second semester.

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