How to Organize Your Notes for Easier Revision

(STL.News) Effective note-taking is a crucial skill to learn for students.  Having good notes is also one of the ways to prepare for an exam and boost the chances of succeeding.  So it’s important to start organizing your notes early to know which areas you need to revise further and avoid last-minute cramming.  But which is the right way to organize notes that make revision easier?  Read on to find out.

Keep It Simple

Simple summaries make information easier to comprehend and recall.  But what most students fail to do is to use the syllabus to know the main points.  That way, you can focus on the core issues and avoid adding irrelevant content.  So instead of trying to capture every single word a professor says in class, focus on the key areas and jot down new information that you want to remember later on when revising the notes.

Choose the Best Note-Taking Method

Research shows that students that take notes using the traditional pen and paper method have better recall and a deeper understating of the material.  However, some students prefer to use the digital way to take class notes.

Whichever method you use, ensure it captures complete and clear notes and makes it easier to review the content later.  What makes taking notes by pen and paper the preferred method is because it results in deeper cognitive processing of the material leading to a stronger conceptual comprehension.

Another advantage is that writing notes by hand leads to a more successful application of the material.  So even if a learner can use their laptop to access lecture notes, to enhance understanding, it’s essential to organize and summarize the content to improve engagement and learning.  For example, when an essay writer gives you a well-written paper, take notes on the key concepts covered, and summarize the text in your own words.

Academicians would argue that taking notes in a class prevents them from digesting the information and reflecting on the lesson.  However, taking your own notes, especially during class, eliminates boredom, focuses attention, and increases the chances of taking complete detailed notes.

Jot Important Cues

When teaching, professors or educators gives cues to signify important information.  Students should use the signals to know what content to write down and focus on when reading outside the classroom.  This saves time and effort and eliminates the need to read through the syllabus to capture key points.

Cues such as underlining a phrase, putting stars, dashes, or making it bold should point you to which areas in the course material to focus on.  Also, make notes on a subject or topic that a teacher repeats to signal the exam sections.

Rewrite the Material

Rewriting the course material in your own words is a great strategy for enhancing memory and gauging whether or not you have understood.  Rewriting also works to prevent plagiarism, especially if you’re using the source material to summarize notes and write an essay.

Keep your notes structured and use clear handwriting to make them easier to read.  Top students have been known to use the Cornell note-taking technique to structure their notes.  What’s great about the method is that it allows learners to summarize course material into simpler headings and key prompts.  There is also a specific section for summarizing what each page is talking about.

Checking the summary section helps to find a specific page or content you are looking for much quicker.  Other formats students use to take notes include outline method, charting, concept map, and sentence technique.  While there are numerous note-taking formats, there is no single correct method.  Instead, you can combine different styles or choose one that works for you as long as the selected design results in concise notes.

Make the Process Fun

Note-taking can easily become a boring activity if you focus on completing too much work at once.  The trick is to make notes interactive, use bold colors to highlight text, and list any questions you might have related to the topic on a specific section like on the sides or top part of the page.  Also, don’t forget to use visual cues like maps and diagrams to enhance knowledge absorption.

Technology offers innovative tools for good note talking that make studying effective.  With well-organized and thought-out notes, it becomes easier to revise for an exam.  Thus make use of this post and incorporate the tips mentioned above the next time you wish to revise for an upcoming exam or test.