The purpose of notes is to provide a concise and an organized flow of your thoughts. When done right, it’ll help you review important information a whole lot better. It’s easier to remember a flow or a pattern than a bunch of random disjointed pieces of information, so the way your notes are organized can help you remember for exams. :D
I used to take extremely neat and pretty notes. It was almost an obsessive-compulsive thing. Pretty things sort of made me want to study more (but I ended up not studying as much anyway because I just felt so accomplished after spending a good long while making pretty notes, I felt like I didn’t have to reread it as much). With no false sense of modesty, I have a pretty neat handwriting if I wrote with purpose (i.e. slowly). My mistake was spending too much time making my textbook outlines look pretty with neat penmanship and colorful formulas when I should’ve been organizing them for better recalling of information. That is a mistake that I would like to share with you, as I think you might learn something from it.
Now, I write quickly but legibly. It took a while, but I found it less stressful when I stopped being too anal about the appearance of my notes. I found highlighting much easier than swapping between different colored pens. I sketch simplified diagrams when necessary, and I do my best to group similar information together.
I’m not saying that pretty and colorful notes are bad. In fact, if it helps you remember information better, go ahead and do it—but try not to spend too much time on making it pretty, and make sure it’s sustainable. Remember that you have plenty of other courses to study for, not just this one class you’re making notes for right now (and trust me, it gets pretty unmotivating and tiring after a while). Try not to over-decorate! Do not forget the purpose of note-taking! Your time is important, and taking notes is supposed to help you cut down study time in the long run (not add to it!).
I hope this helps some of you! :)
Someone asked me to tell them how to make a study table so I’ll show you two easy ways to do it. They are both using Microsoft excel but you can probably do this by hand too. The first method is to make it yourself in excel.
1. Open up an excel document, just the regular one.
2. Label it…
Hey guys! Finals are upon us and we’re all pretty done with learning at this point. Despite how painful it is, the best thing you can do is push through. Here are some of my weird tips for surviving and studying! Everyone is different so try things out, but for me, these tips keep me sane.
- Avoid cramming. Or rather, do not put yourself in a position where you have no choice but to cram. Be brutally honest with yourself and admit that no course is designed to make you cram. If you find yourself with 24 hours left, and nothing accomplished, you did that. Start studying early and in smaller more tolerable amounts. Research indicates this is much more effective, and you’ll thank yourself.
- Health is important. This follows the last one. Don’t make it so that you no longer have time to eat properly or sleep. No matter our excuses, we all know that we do better in school when we are healthy. Again, start studying earlier so you have time to care for yourself, and even when you are cramming, force it to be a priority. You’re allowed to eat, and you’re allowed to sleep.
- Know when to push forward, and know when to protect your sanity. If you are upset, frustrated, tired, or just generally depressed about finals, take a break. It can be a long one. Having a mental breakdown won’t help. No matter how important people tell you school is, taking care of yourself is just as if not more important.
- Take showers midday. Sounds weird, but personally, I start to crash and feel gross in the late afternoon. Taking a shower is so refreshing and relaxing, and it is a really quick way to take a study break. 100% guarantee you’ll feel better. But make it quick so you don’t get sleepy.
- Schedule your day. Down to the hour. I like to plan what I am going to do and alternate tasks every hour. It keeps me productive and allows me to take guilt free scheduled study breaks. Try studying for 50 minutes, take a ten minute break, and then switch to something else, and repeat!
- Quizzing yourself is always better than reading. Obviously you have to read everything at least once, but testing yourself is overwhelmingly supported by studies as the best method. Reading can often fool you into thinking you know things because it gives you recognition. It does not give you the ability to recall the information though. Make cue cards, or do what I do and essentially make a test covering all possible material.
When it comes down to it, be prepared and don’t let finals get ahead of you. If you start studying properly, and early enough, you will be able to avoid stressful last minute study sessions. Exams don’t have to consume your life if you allot your time well!
Happy studying!! If you have any of your own tips, reblog, and add them!
Power Naps are a great way to boost your energy in the middle of the day!
If you are feeling drowsy and tired and still have a ton of homework to do, take a 20-30 minute power nap! It doesn’t take too much time and helps increase productivity.
1. They are most effective if they last 15-20 minutes;
2. They are good of alertness and motor performance
3. BETTER than caffeine. Caffeine just postpones your fatigue, while power naps actually get rid of it.
Best time of day to take a nap: 1-3 p.m. If taken after 4 p.m., you may disturb your sleep at night.
Sources + More Info: 1, 2, 3