Top ten tips for writing notes ETp

Revising works best when you practice what you’ll be doing in the exam ­and that means answering questions. By concentrating on key facts and writing them down as exam answers you’ll be making it easier to remember what you learned in class. In the exam you’ll be expected to answer questions on the subjects you studied in class, which means you’ll need a full set of notes to revise from.

Assessing your progress is the most important part of studying. Mock tests or online quizzes available online will allow you to evaluate your knowledge in the subject. Ask your parents or siblings to quiz you on topics that you have recently studied. You may never need to refer back to these notes again, but making them helps you process your understanding. Guidance on making notes effectively in lectures and other content-rich teaching. It’s important to be equipped with different revision techniques. Start by dividing the number of days you have until the exam by the number of topics you need to revise.

how to make self study notes

But I know that different techniques work better for some people compared to others. The following strategies are the ones that worked effectively for me – if you’re struggling with your studying, then perhaps give these a try. In essence, the idea behind spaced repetition is that you allow your brain to forget some of the information to ensure that the active recall process is mentally taxing. The psychology literature suggests that the harder that your brain has to work to retrieve information, the more likely that that information will be encoded. It’s about taking time to concentrate on the birds-eye view of what you are learning. Include abbreviations and symbols when writing stuff down. This is one of those seemingly minor note-taking tips that seriously helps when it comes to ramping up our learning speed.

Revise in the shower

It can sometimes make revision enjoyable if you like using colours or calligraphy. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that it’s one of the more effective revision techniques; just because we’re writing things down, doesn’t mean we’re making the best use of our revision time. When it comes to taking notes for lectures, I always find it best to print the lecture slides out at the beginning of each week, as this motivates me and makes me feel well-prepared.

Know what you’ll be examined on and when

Once you’ve read a paragraph or short section a couple of times, close the book or cover it up and try to write what you’ve just read in your own words. Studying in shorter sessions with breaks, and revising different subjects in different ways, often works best for most. This will keep your brain stimulated, whereas doing the same thing for too long will likely make you switch off. You don’t want to be in a situation where you haven’t got enough time to cover everything you need to, so start early if you have to, to get the job done.

Indeed, some evidence suggests that although listening to classical music won’t increase intelligence, it could help us study better. A French study, found that students who listened to a lecture with classical music playing in the background performed better on a test compared to those who had the lecture without music. I understand that everyone is different and timetables do work for some people but if you’re finding that your standard ‘prospective’ timetable doesn’t really work then perhaps try the retrospective spreadsheet system. It encourages us to think of our studying in terms of topics, instead of time. The more effort it takes you to learn a topic and the more effort it takes you to actively recall information – the stronger that information is going to get encoded in your long-term memory. In essence, with traditional blocked practice, we don’t often need to identify the strategy because every problem can be solved in the same way with the same strategy. Interleaving changes this by forcing us to consider and choose the appropriate strategy for different questions.