Having full and detailed notes that you can understand are one of the most valuable tools that a student can have, but it can be hard to create these yourself. Writing during classes and lectures can mean that you are distracted from what the lecturer is actually saying, but it is sometimes vital. There are 3 easy steps that you can use to create study notes that will get you better marks in your exams.
Write your own notes – a lot of students find the exams upon them and that they don’t have anything to base their study on, so they borrow the notes of their friends. Although they may have a lot of good information, because you did not write it yourself, there is no way that you can absorb all the information in such a short period of time. Writing your own notes from the beginning means that you are continually learning throughout the semester.
Write in your own words – simply copying your lecturers definitions and working from the board does not mean that you will understand it again 3 or 4 months later. Next to your notes I suggest that you write everything out again in your own words. These should explain everything out again in their basic, simplest terms. Try to think of these as what you would want to read if you were learning it the first time.
Draw Pictures – having diagrams and pictures in your work can be especially helpful for expanding on your written notes, particularly in maths based courses, but they do apply to most student’s topics. Having images can change your notes from being ‘good enough’ to being ‘more than enough.’
These tips do not take a lot more work than you should already be putting into your work, but they certainly pay off in the long run. In courses where you have anywhere up to 6 months of information to memorize, having a good set of notes can be extremely benficial, so I suggest you start now.