This is week 3 of the “12 Weeks – Study With Me” program.
If you missed last week’s tip, you can view them here.
In summary, the purpose of the 12 week program is to ace your exams using 12 sets of effective and actionable tips. Each tip is brought to you weekly with the hope to keep you on track.
So this week you have 3 main priorities;
1. Take careful notes,
2. Review your notes and
3. Fill in the gaps.
Why Are Notes Important?
Listening, sifting through information and recording accurate class notes are essential skills that all students need.
After all, your notes are what will be the payoff for the many hours you invest in a class. Most importantly, however, they will also serve as a critical tool for exam preparation.
Note-taking has been proven as a method to help increase memory retention, as well as increase comprehension, by breaking down content in a way in which it can more easily be consumed.
When you take organized and detailed notes, you put yourself ahead of the game. Let’s be honest though, taking notes while also attempting to absorb information and actively participate in class simultaneously isn’t always an easy feat. If you find yourself struggling to keep up, attempt to take notes in an outline form, where you can then return to them after class to fill in gaps.
Again, these notes will be important later down the road when you begin to study for exams. Making sure that your notes are clear and organized will also help you to better understand and process the material.
How Should You Take Notes?
If necessary, re-copy your notes and in the process of doing so, structure them and make a note of points that are not completely understood and may require extra study time.
It’s always a good idea to leave some blank spaces for ideas or items you miss.
Make note of everything you can along the way of your studies. This may include the types of questions you miss, a shortcut you learned, or a creative approach to a math problem.
Add keywords that may help jog your memory, idea maps, discussion points and questions where necessary.
The act of physically writing everything down will also help to cement the ideas in your mind. Develop a schedule that allows for you to review your notes immediately after that day’s class. By doing so, you can quickly and easily fill in any material that you you may have missed in your notes, while also doing a quick refresh.
Throughout this 12 weeks program, remember to continually revisit your notes. This is important especially if you’re still covering new material as you go through this program.
Get a Notes Buddy
Another good idea is to identify someone in the class you can work with. Exchange phone numbers, especially for times when something comes up and you miss a class.
Use your buddy’s notebook to fill in the missing class notes and material you missed on days you did not attend a class.
Or it may be that you simply haven’t covered the material adequately during the actual lesson. In this case, use the library and online resources to help fill in the knowledge gaps.
The important thing is that you fill in all the missing details for each topic the examiner expects you to cover.
So by the end of this week you should have accomplished;
- Creating a way to take more effective notes
- Reviewing your lesson notes and
- Filling in the missing content pieces
In week 4, we’ll zoom in further on those difficult topics. I’ll also give you a tool to help ensure those topics don’t hinder your success in exams.
What about you? Are you a good note taker? What tips can you share to help others?