While college is the haven of fun and partying, most people tend to forget that the original and prime purpose for these institutions of higher learning is right there in the name; learning. Acquiring knowledge and showing proof for it sounds and feels like the duller less interesting college note of music because literature is endless. It is also sometimes difficult to cram all that information in one person’s brain.
Lots of graduates just barely get through, and they can’t really answer the question “What is college like?” Tests and exams are the universal “enemy” everyone has to conquer like a boss character in a video game. The ease with which one does this depends largely on their study techniques, how they take and use their notes.
How to Go About It:
Combine Your Notes With Handouts
A human brain gathers tonnes of data daily both consciously and unconsciously. When a person walks into a room, they notice the people in that room, what they’re wearing, the lighting conditions, temperature, how it smells, how they feel about it and so on. All this is data, and most of it is “discarded” moments later as new data is taken in.
This never ends and so recording an entire lecture in mind without note taking would result in the loss of lots of valuable information. While college professors give handouts of the topics they teach, they will occasionally add information as they speak and this is what you should put down.
Combining notes with handouts results in a wealth of useful information. Take notes from discussions and as students answer questions as well.
Write Own Tests and Study Guides
Before learning how to get understand class content better, I would always have someone do my assignment online free of charge. If there were online tests, I would ask someone else to do them for me. Nonetheless, after realizing that creating personal guides and personal exams would make it easier for me to excel in tests, I left my old habits.
Tests done by previous classes give great practice and are an excellent way to understand how questions are structured and how to answer them. From these, formulating one’s own tests from a variety of topics helps cover more academic ground and improves confidence.
Studying should be a pre-determined systematic process, so it is advisable to come up with a personalized study guide and timetable that fits into your own schedule and preferences. This is the best way to achieve maximum productivity in study sessions.
Make Your Notes System Unique
Psychologists and educators prescribe different ways to take on those notes that just might save your education. Each of these produces varied results with different individuals. Simply put, no perfect system exists, and thus the only way to get the best out of note taking is to establish a system that is unique to you. It should be easy to understand and work with.
Remember, nobody grades your notes, but your notes determine your grade. Such a system would include acronyms and short forms that you can recognize easily, diagrams and simple language by one’s standards.
For some, it works better if they take notes after listening while others prefer to read and write. Whatever the case, the system should be easy to follow through and used consistently. Your notes system should be what works for you.
Add Mind Maps
The human brain responds more to graphic images than words. Pictures are easier to remember, especially when they’re direct and straightforward. A way of converting notes to “pictures” is by drawing up mind maps.
A mind map is a method of representing information by placing the main idea in the middle. Related concepts and information pertinent to it are added around it to create a diagram that shows the relationships between the represented information.
Mind maps are an effective way to write quick summaries that ultimately represent a lot of useful information in a more memorable way. A nice place to place these would be at the end of a topic so that it is summarized and recapped before moving on.
Read Your Assignment before Coming to Class
This is a simple life hack that eludes most people. Assignments are set on the most relevant content in class. Doing assignments promptly and always going through your work before the next class keeps your memory of the previous class fresh and positions you to be on top of the current class.
Note taking looks cumbersome, and it can be if not done correctly and one ends up with too much irrelevant information that they cannot seem to retain. Using some of these ways to take down those notes will prove highly efficient and productive.
Remember, note records are a personal affair, so it doesn’t help to use someone else’s notes. They might be confusing and hard to understand, so the best thing really is to do the work yourself and save you the disappointment of evaporated information during a test. Those can be painfully embarrassing. With these tips, you should be an expert at capturing the teacher’s content.