How to write effective study notes

How to write effective study notes

Have you ever found yourself scrambling through your brain, your books and your documents the night before a test? Was this only to find that there was too much information that you couldn’t remember ever seeing it in the first place, let alone remember it for your test? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to start writing more effective study notes. 

I will be sharing some things that I find helpful when writing notes. But don’t feel restricted by this; there are many different ways of studying.

Write Key Points as You Learn

 Jotting down important information during class is so useful. Not only does this save time closer to the test, but it helps you stay engaged in the lessons. Just make sure you keep these files together in a place where you can find them!

Separate Subjects and Topics

You can separate each subject in different books, or you save them in different folders. Either way, make sure you don’t have religion notes mixed in with your history ones. To further organise your study materials, separate each topic with a title page or by placing it into a different folder online. Make sure you plan this out if you are writing by hand.

Use Colour Coordination

Whether you use lots of colours to represent different things (e.g. blue = vocabulary, red = grammar etc.) or you use only one colour to highlight key-words and phrases, colour is a crucial aspect of study notes. I like to use mildliners for my notes but even just changing between a blue and red pen will do. Colour also helps spark creativity and memory retention. 

Go by Syllabus Points and Study Guides

When you receive your assessment notification, don’t skip past the syllabus box at the top. Everything on the test will be on the outcomes. If you address each of these points, you will know that you haven’t left anything out.

Write Dot Points In Your Own Words

Reading dot points is considerably easier than reading large chunks of text. They are also much easier to write. Let’s face it: we’ve all tried memorising paragraphs from our textbooks without actually understanding it. By writing information in your own words, you are converting the content into something that you can understand and remember

Diagrams and Pictures!

Some concepts are difficult to comprehend or to put into words. Often drawing a diagram will make the information easier to understand and remember, especially for visual learners. It saves lots of space of your notes (and makes them look pretty)

Test Yourself

After you have made your notes – and read them a couple of times – it’s time to test yourself. I like to answer the questions in the textbook or write some of my own at the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can write questions on sticky-notes and use it to cover points on your page. These act like flashcards.

Notes will be your go-to study technique throughout high school (especially in the later years), so it is important to have practice writing them effectively. Do whatever works best for you. Happy studying!

Got another study notes tip to share with us?

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