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The Importance of Reading and Taking Effective Notes
Last week we looked at how to plan your time when you are studying. This week we’re concentrating on how to take notes effectively.
Enrolling on a writing course is only the first step. Now you have to study the materials you receive and finding an effective way of doing this can be difficult, especially if you have been out of any formal education for a while.
So, how do you take effective notes? Well, it’s easy really, just follow one of the methods given below and I’m sure you’ll soon be back in the swing of things:
The Cornell Method here’s an example of the system: lsc.cornell.edu
If you want to know more about how the brain learns and the benefits of note taking, this is a great article:
Writing and remembering – why we remember what we write.
If anyone has unusual methods of note taking or any general tips, please do let me know.
Plan your Revision
More than 20 years after I last sat an exam of any kind, I still get a recurring nightmare about not having started my revision in time! Chore though it is, you can never really spend too long revising. Teachers will tell you that it's generally easier to spend a small amount of time each day revising over a long period than to try to cram in all your revision the night before your exam. But different strategies work for different people.
Some people find concentrated revision suits them best. Some prefer to revise one subject entirely before proceeding with another topic; others prefer to alternate revision between different subjects. As you become proficient at exams, you should find a pattern that works for you. One good tip is to make revision a habit: treat it like a job and make yourself revise between certain set times of the day whether you feel like it or not. No-one ever feels like revising, but if you get into a routine where you always begin and end at the same time, you'll find it a whole lot easier.
Another good tip is to intersperse your revision with relaxing activities to stop your brain overloading. Go for walks, listen to music, hang out with friends, play sports—whatever you like— as long as you understand the distinction between break and distractions. Probably give reading books a miss until your revision is done, however.