Taking notes is a great way to remember and revise important key concepts that you have learnt in school. It will also help to narrow down the large amount of concepts that you’ll need to study later on, before your exams. Here are 3 tips on writing study notes that really work:
1) Write your own notes, in your own words.
Copying blindly from your school’s textbook is ineffective; you should always paraphrase and write in your own words. By doing so, it is a great way of ensuring that you have fully understood the core concepts.
2) Develop your own note-taking style.
It is important that you develop a note-taking method that suits your learning style and works best for you. Some choose to use different colored post-its, pens or highlighters to identify important key concepts or sentences. You can also use short-forms, symbols or abbreviations when writing notes. What is important is that your notes make sense to you and you understand your own style of note-taking.
3) Organise, organise, organise.
I cannot stress how important it is to write your notes neatly in an organized manner. If your notes are messy and disorganized, you will not be able to revise properly and this defeats the purpose of writing your own notes for an easier revision.
Here are some suggestions on how you can write your own notes in an organized manner:
a) Use headings and sub-headings while writing.
b) Write your notes on one exercise book per subject, as opposed to many pieces of papers per subject. This makes it easier for you to find your notes, and reduces the hassle of losing random pieces of paper.
c) Keep your note-taking exercise book in a safe and organised place at all times!
d) It is also worth the time to re-write parts of your study notes that you find more difficult, especially important concepts that are likely to be tested during the exams. By re-writing your notes in a more organized way, it will help to firmly consolidate what you’ve written.
e) Make sure that your handwriting is neat and tidy. (This is a no brainer, but such an important point that many pupils fail to follow through.)
Writing your own notes takes time and effort, but it is is a major key to academic success. It is a form of studying itself as you are reviewing all the key concepts needed to excel in the exams. By writing your own notes in an organized manner, it will help to increase your confidence towards the subject, which in turn will increase your performance during the exams!
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