Note making is one of the most significant factors that helps students to score good in exams, especially in theory subjects. The only problem is that students either find the process very boring, or are ignorant about the correct method of making notes. Unorganised and hastily written notes fail to help students when they are in need and students consequently tend to stay away from making notes. This blog will provide you a guide on why and how you should make and organise notes that will actually help you on your D-day.

Read our blog on ‘how to score good marks in theory subjects’ to grab those extra marks.

Why should you make notes?

Making notes is more productive and beneficial than you think. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Writing down things helps in remembering better. There are high chances of you forgetting all the theories and information if you have simply read it. Writing it once in your own words will penetrate down the understanding.
  2. Organised notes help a lot in revising. You probably won’t desire to read the whole book to revise before your exams. Notes will be a saviour in this case.
  3. Making notes will keep you writing regularly. You will get a habit of writing and therefore writing continuously for 2-3 hours during your theory exams won’t seem much difficult.
  4. It makes you more productive. There are more chances of you zoning out during study sessions if you only read the text. Writing increases your focus and thus you get your concepts embedded in your brain.
  5. Although making notes take time initially, it helps you save a lot of time during revision sessions and before exams. You get all of the stuff ready at one place.

Note making tips

  1. Avoid making notes after the first reading of text

It is advisable that you read the text at least 2 times before you make any notes. This will help in thorough understanding of the subject and will prevent you from noting down everything in your notebook. Everything seems important in the first reading.

Step 1: Read the text.

Step 2: Refer to the previous year question papers of the exam you are preparing for. This will give you a good idea of more and less important topics.

Step 3: Read the text again. Highlight what you think is important.

Step 4: If required, search for more information on the internet.

Step 5: Write down your notes in an organised manner. Refer to your class notes, highlighted text and internet for content. 

  • Write in points

Avoid writing in long paragraphs. You will probably never look back at your notes again if you do so. Writing in long paragraphs will not help you in revising things and the whole purpose of making notes will get destroyed.

Use bullet points instead. If possible, write short sentences. Remember, you don’t need to copy everything as it is written in the book. Write only the key takeaways.

  • Use your own language

While making notes, do not just copy down the things written in your book as it is in points. Try to read a topic and write it in your own language. Don’t worry about correct grammar or impactful language. Write in a manner that you can understand easily. This will do two things –

(a) You will understand and remember much better.

(b) You will be able to create a habit to form good, impactful and original answers of every question. Originality of your answers make them unique and fetch more marks.

However, famous quotes and fixed definitions of certain things should be written as it is.

  • Use flowcharts/diagrams

Pictorial presentation of information/theory in form of flowcharts, mind maps or diagrams seems attractive, are easy to make, and enable you to revise things at a glance. Use as much flowcharts and diagrams as you can. You can also use these diagrams in your theory examinations to improve your presentation.

The more attractive your notes are, the more you are probable to revise them again and again. This helps in embedding the concepts deep in your mind.

  • Use subheadings

Don’t let your notes be monotonous. Use headings, subheadings and sub-sub headings to differentiate every single aspect from another. This helps you locate and revise any minor topic in minutes instead of looking for it in the long boring texts of a textbook. Also, try to highlight or capitalise each heading and subheading to make it more visible. You can also use different colours, if you are interested. The whole purpose is that every topic – regardless of how minor or major it is, should be very clear and visible in your notes and you must not waste your time in finding it.

Make sure that you revise your notes again and again to penetrate down the topics deep in your head. Making, organising and revising notes may seem boring at first instance but once you start the process, you realise the importance of making notes and its role in increasing your performance yourself.

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