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Appearing for Competitive Exams? You Should Prepare Notes

Appearing for Competitive Exams?Having a go at any competitive exam needs tremendous amounts of preparation. Students should be well equipped to tackle this challenge in the best way. There is no one, definite way of studying. However, there exist many ways to study effectively, reducing the stress and making studies more interesting. It is vital to have knowledge of making the best use of available resources in the best way possible. It would be wise if students follow a three-pronged approach to exam preparation, which comprises reading to understand, making highly-effective notes, and having the ability to answer myriad types of questions.

A majority of students are confronted with the daunting tasks of preparing comprehensive notes. A legitimate question arises regarding why to make notes in the first place. There are many reasons to make notes. Firstly, students will fail to make effective notes without a proper understanding of the study topic because you need to highlight the crucial points and create a good summary. Secondly, documenting answers to questions will help in memory retention in a better manner. Thirdly, the practice of thinking and writing notes is an extremely good one. Fourthly, it will help you during revision sessions because through well-made notes you can cover lots of study material even if you are short of time. Finally, well-prepared notes help you during final revision by highlighting the most vital points of each study topic.

prepare notesThe next question that arises is when to prepare notes. The answer lies in making notes from the beginning, after you have studied the concept and the study material is fresh in your mind. Then, preparing notes will lock the material in your memory for a longer duration. It is a good practice to prepare notes from every possible source, including what you hear and read. After preparing brief notes, you need to expand them and organize them properly. You must keeping adding info to the notes over a period of time. You need to keep in mind not to view notes as a final version of the concept.

There are several methods of preparing notes, and you should decide which is the best way that suits your pattern of studying. There are two broad categories of notes: Linear notes and Pattern notes.

Firstly, let us consider Linear notes. To prepare Linear notes, you need to compress the study material you have perused by using headings and sub-headings and noting down the most vital points. This method is ideal while preparing notes from a book where the study material is already organized in an efficient way. However, a major drawback of this method is that you will end up copying vast amounts of study material from the book itself, which could defeat the purpose of summarizing.

The optimum way to utilize this method is to use loose paper sheets from an exercise book because it is much easier to add additional info. It is a wise idea to allocate space on each paper sheet for additional info. Other ways of making notes more user-friendly is to use different color combinations, block letters, and highlighting important text wherever necessary. These factors will engage your attention to the important content in your notes and make it clear and concise.

Now, let’s analyze another form of notes, which is known as Pattern Notes. To prepare pattern notes, students should start at the center of a page. Each line that radiates from it serves as a representation for a branch of the primary idea. Each point is jotted down in a brief manner using keywords or phrases. Pattern notes are more study-friendly because they offer a great deal of flexibility in comparison with Linear notes.

additional infoStudents can add additional info to Pattern notes at any time without any hassles. Another benefit is that students can view the entire pattern at one go without having to browse through different pages. In addition, students can indicate links between diverse concepts in an easier manner in comparison with linear notes. Moreover, they are highly useful when preparing notes from memory for the purpose of revision because you keep noting down points as and when the need arises. This helps you revise optimally for exams and write meaningful essays because only brief keywords are utilized. Finally, Pattern notes are easy to remember because notes take the form of a shape.

This method, too, has its share of disadvantages. If there is an excess of facts or information, the pattern becomes overcrowded and messy. Utilizing keywords can help you to remember basic concepts; however, when it comes to memorizing details, this method alone is not sufficient. Therefore, the best way to prepare notes from available sources is to use a blend of the above two methods. Students should keep in mind that for several subjects, your notes might have to incorporate sketch maps and diagrams. Accuracy and correct labeling are of foremost importance.

For instance, when it comes to preparing notes for Science, the overall layout should conform to that given by your professor, without much variation. The four primary stages that should be included are Purpose, Method, Result, and Conclusion. If a description is included, you may need the help of a diagram, and if recorded data is included, you may need a graph or table.

methodWhichever method you opt for, you should remember to keep your prepared notes handy at all times and filed in a proper sequence. It is a wise idea to use colorful flags to demarcate diverse topics. Through such systematic preparation, students can face challenges with regard to any competitive exam with supreme confidence.

  • Complete JEE Main/Advanced Course and Test Series
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