Tips for Studying and Notetaking
The following refers to studying for a test as well as studying/re-reading or reviewing material for class discussion or work.
-Study in a variety of settings. Research shows you will be more attentive and have better retention of material if you study in more than one location.
-Study multiple (3-4) different concepts or skills or subjects in a single sitting, rather than one subject over a prolonged period.-Use most or all the resources you have been provided with: -Review questions on unit sheets and in the book-View slideshows online (at my website) as you review notes on the same topic-Consult links for videos or other web materials connected with the topic-take practice quizzes online (linked at my website)-review my comments and your own notes on your performance on past assessments. For example, if you did test corrections, note what you struggled with before.
-Pace your studying or reviewing over several days or over the whole unit so that you are not cramming at the end before the test. Cramming results in short-term memory retention; habitual review garners longer term memory.
-The more challenging a subject or concept is for you to learn or understand, the more embedded the material becomes when you finally learn it.
-If you are reading or re-reading something with the intention of remembering what you have read, take notes. The practice of writing will increase the likelihood of retention of material.
-Don’t try to write down every word a teacher says during a lecture or a narrator says in a video; nor should you copy from a text. Develop a system of abbreviations for shorthand.
-Listen to the whole sentence that is spoken before you try to write down what is said.
-Organize your notes with a clear context for each entry (time, class, etc.). Provide the subject you are studying in addition to the date at the top of each page, for example: The Progressive Era, 10/12/2010. Even if your teacher is having you do short-writes rather than lecturing you, provide a context for your writing.
-Use a highlighter and the margins to annotate your own notes so that you see what is most useful.-If you are taking notes from a reading, an outline is best for longer readings. Be sure you use subtopics and note key terms.-Use shorthand when possible.-Come up with a way to distinguish between your own ideas, those of the teacher and those of your peers.-Review your notes right after the lecture, video, homework assignment, or presentation so you can fill in gaps and make them useful for future reference.