They say that you're not supposed to cram for a test the night before. After all, unless you have a relative who's an expert in the area, you could be stuck at a diner at 4 A.M. trying to teach yourself mitosis. That would not be fun, and there's a way to get started before you even attend your first seminar or assignment.
Many, many bits of academia are rehashes or syntheses of what came before, and college professors are no different. So most professors use their syllabus to adapt to the texts that are available. New ones may even use course information from a previous professor. That means that they are much less likely to go off the reservation and teach things that aren't explained on the course materials. So, now that you can relax a bit, let's take a few steps to get you on your way:
When you begin taking the course, you already have a good overview. When the instructor is showing something, or having you do a reading, you can be sure that you'll need to keep track of it if it is one of the topics you have on your list. This allows you to focus on what matters for the test before worrying about other areas the instructor may cover. Good luck!
Data on U.S. Public High Schools & Private High Schools
Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. The data displayed is compiled from the most recent sources available. For public schools this is the 2012-2013 school year. For private schools this is the 2011-2012 school year.
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