The best notes are ones you can use again.
Whatever that may look like for you, if you take notes in class or from a textbook and do not use them to study later, they are not good notes.
This section looks at ways to make your notes more useful for studying, as well as how to structure your studying so your brain will have an easier time remembering what you are learning.
Both of these methods for taking notes are very similar.
They involve breaking your note page in to sections. Key questions, concepts or Learning Outcomes are written on the left margin, and explanations, definitions or answers are written beside them on the right. When you are done, a summary of what you have learned and any further questions you still need to get answered are written at the bottom. This makes it easy to look back and find important information later when you are studying, and helps remind you what questions you had the next time you are with someone who can help.
While you will eventually want to do this on your own, a template to help you see what this can look like is below.
There are many methods for remembering and memorizing the information you are expected to learn for your classes.
With some classes like Biology or Pharmacology, you can expect you to memorize large amounts of information. In other classes like Math or English, you may only learn a few ideas but need to be able to use those skills in many different ways.
If you would like more information about different study skills for these types of classes, please contact us!
Cramming is one of the most common methods of studying. It has also been shown by many studies to be one of the least effective ways to learn and remember information. Resorting to cramming is most often due to inadequate preparation or planning, combined with not knowing better strategies.
Spaced repetition is one of many techniques that you can try that uses what we have learned about the brain, how it works and how it creates memory. The more often our brain is exposed to an idea or concept, the more likely it is to build long-term memories for that information.