Why do you need to care about study notes?
Because writing study notes should be what your teen spends the majority of their time doing while they’re studying for exams!
Why is writing study notes so important?
Your teen has tonnes and tonnes of information to take in during the lead to up exams. And they’re not going to be able to retain this information unless they write a lot of it down.
The act of writing information down consolidates it in your memory in a way that you can’t achieve by only reading. While there are many other methods that your teen should employ while studying — study notes are a must.
The steps to writing study notes that really work
Your teen’s study notes need to be written their own words.
Simply copying text straight from a book won’t achieve anything at all. Your teen shouldn’t write anything down unless they understand it and can verbalize it easily.
Study notes work best when they’re written in an organized manner.
This means their notes should be written under headings and subheadings. Each of their subjects should already be broken down into these smaller pieces using Subject Maps.
For example, if they’re doing Grade 10 Science, one of the major topics will be Biology. Your teen’s study notes for this topic should be written under the heading ‘Biology’, and then under subheadings, such as Micro-organisms, Cells and DNA, Inheritance, and so on.
Having organized study notes is really important for later on when your teen is reading over their study notes and wants to find something. This would be impossible if they’d just written anything down anywhere.
Your teen should write their notes in an exercise book to save themselves the hassle of losing random bits of paper.
If they use one book per subject, then all their study for each subject is in one place and will be easy to find.
It doesn’t really matter whether your teen writes their study notes out in full sentences, or in some form of short-hand, or a mixture of both.
What is important is that, however they write them, the notes make sense to your teen. It might take a little bit of trial and error, but your teen’s study notes should become personalized to them — they should have your teen’s own personal style.
Writing study notes in their own way is going to ensure they retain the largest amount of information possible.
We highly recommend that your teen re-writes the parts of their study notes that they find more difficult, and particularly the really important concepts that are bound to come up in the exam.
We also recommend that your teen reads over their study notes several times during the last few days before the exam. This will help to firmly consolidate what they’ve written.
We’re positive that reading over our study notes in the lead up to an exam helped us earn a significant portion (perhaps at least 10%) of our grade.
You might like to print these instructions out so your teen can refer to them whenever they want until they get the hang of writing study notes.
If you’ve been helping your teen create Subject Maps, then your teen should use these to write their study notes. Their Subject Maps automatically show your teen what they should be studying and also in what order they should write each topic.