Confused about what to write down in your notebook during class? Get stressed when preparing for tests and looking over your notes? Here are some suggestions to take you from the beginning of the studying process in the classroom, to the end, or the test itself.
Read assignments before heading to class. This will build your background for the information that will be presented in class. It helps you be familiar with the vocabulary and concepts. This is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter. As you read, underline and highlight important information. If you don’t have time to read the entire assignment, at least look over introduction paragraphs, bolded words, and summaries. This will give you a good overview of the information.
Although it seems obvious, you need to go to class and take notes. Most professors or teachers lecture during class periods, emphasizing points of importance. Head to class ready to be attentive and write during the entire class. Don’t stop taking notes until the lecturer is finishing. Pay particular attention to the end of the lecture, as professors will cram information into this part to finish up for the day. Use abbreviations; get details and main ideas to get complete notes.
While the notes are still ‘fresh’ in your mind, look over them and make any additions or corrections as soon as possible after class. Be sure to make note of any parts you didn’t understand or missed. Ask either the professor or a friend via email or before the next class period to get the missing information.
Try to pass your first test in each class to boost self-confidence. Make up a list of study questions and definitions and practice reciting this information aloud, either to yourself or someone else. Don’t wait until the last minute study. Rather, study for short periods over several days. Of course, you will want to review the night before a test.
Finally, test day arrives. Use these strategies during your exam to make all your hard work worthwhile. Read directions carefully before you begin. Take a few minutes to look over the test, then answer all the questions you know first. This will help you get sure points and builds confidence. Don’t leave any blanks; it is better to guess if you don’t know. Watch your time, and manage it accordingly. Don’t rush, but don’t go too slow. Take a few minutes at the end of class to look over your test to be sure you have answered all questions and that your answers make sense.