Frequently Asked Questions
Tips and Tricks
Many students employ note taking as a primary form of study and revision, therefore it is important to master an effective approach whereby you are working smart, not just working hard.
Check your notes against your syllabus! ~ Why?
Well, you would agree, there is no point learning things which are not going to help towards your studies, therefore it is really important to check your notes against your syllabus, in order to ensure that you have covered all the material that you will be examined on. Also so that you know which material you do not need to know
Make notes using your own words! ~ Why?
If you try noting down concepts in your own words, you are more likely to remember them! Obviously, these notes will not be seen by the examiner, so you can use the type of language, in your notes, that speaks to you.
Make use of diagrams, tables and mindmaps in your notes! ~ Why
Strings of sentences alone can be boring in a textbooks, so why would it be any more interesting in your own notes? Simple tables, diagrams, etc, can often save a lot of time and space whilst helping you remember the same material.
Read trough the material at least once before taking notes! ~ Why?
This allows your brain to familiarise itself with the material and orientate itself. So then when you're taking notes, you're reading it for the second times and so it helps your brain store the information and helps you to remember it more easily.
Do not just copy out of the book! ~ Why?
This is an example of passive learning, the temptation to just switch off the processing part of the brain and just sit there copying. You will be spending what feels like hours of study time, which heavily limits how much you will actually learn and remember!
Do not just rely on the books given by school! ~ Why?
Most books used in schools are general in terms of the students they are targeting for. Even though most of the books might be specific to your syllabus, it does not mean that it is suited for every student. You may need or want more detail or less detail to help you individually understand and memorise material.
Do not make notes on anything you don't understand! ~ Why?
Well duh, what would be the point of noting things down if you have no idea what it even means?! Ask your teachers, tutors or peers, and ask again and again if necessary until you have fully understood the material you are trying to learn. Your brain is like a filing cupboard, from which you can only retrieve a file, if you know where it is filed in the first place! How can you file away information if you don't know where it belongs?
Do not think that reading a book and making notes = Revision! ~ Why?
Revision refers to the process of reviewing and improving upon things you have learnt or been taught. Effective revision involves recalling concepts, facts and techniques by attempting and carrying out recall. This means reading over notes, memorising, making sure you understand the material and then trying to write it down without looking at your notes. Also try reading out your notes aloud, this way it helps you stay focused rather than drifting off and will help you understand your work more.
Do not waste time on making your notes look pretty! ~ Why?
The examiner is not going to see your notes and that is the person that counts, trust us on that! As long as your notes are legible and you can refer back to them for revision, who cares if the underlining is perfect or if the diagrams and annotations aren't colour coded?!
Private Tutors 'R' Us is a private tuition agency set up in 1999 and is based in Hayes, Middlesex. Over the years our organisation has helped in excess of 300,000 students achieve their goals. The agency was founded in response to demand for a holistic approach to learning, which not only prepares students for exams but fosters learning techniques to succeed in all aspects of their academic and vocational goals.
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