As exams are on, it is tempting to abandon quality studying techniques and resort to merely reading whatever is in the tens of readings or books assigned to us. However, this technique will not get you very far, and instead you must resist taking the easy way out and focus on studying effectively.
The best way to take notes is to be precise. Read the entire paragraph, and then summarise it in a couple sentences or bullet points. Make sure to only write down what is relevant, and what triggers the content for you. Notes should encourage you to remember all the information through key words.
To make note-taking fun, you can try using different coloured pens or highlighters to make your work look pretty (and to feel more productive). In fact, colour-coding is a great strategy for when you have extensive notes and need to quickly access the crucial parts of them. People with photographic memory can benefit greatly from this, as the colourful notes will remain in your mind even during the exam. Post-its and flashcards will soon become your best friends. If you’re a stationery enthusiast, this is your chance to splurge guilt-free on supplies!
Keep in mind that notes do not necessarily have to be handwritten. While there are studies that show that writing by hand helps more in the registering process than typing on a computer, if you feel that you function better on the screen, then go ahead! Do what works for you best, and don’t shy away from using technology to enhance your prep.
There’s no use in making notes if you don’t revise them. Instead of spending all of your prep leave making notes, make sure to set aside around two whole days to go over those notes. It helps you recall the information and to collect your thoughts, which will make you feel infinitely more calm and confident when it comes to the day of the exam.
So, stop laying around in bed all day and mindlessly reading the assigned texts. Get your hands dirty and make notes that will make you feel productive and efficient, and will truly be your saving grace this exam season. Good luck!
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