How to condense study notes effectively

Condensing study notes is something that all students find themselves doing. But most student don’t know how to do it successfully. Condensed study notes should be brief, well-organized, and well-ordered. This article will walk you through each of these steps and show you how to condense your study notes.

How to condense study notes effectively tips

1. Keep it brief

When you sit down to condense your study notes before your test or exams, you are not expected to rewrite the course material all over again. You have the notebook you intend to condense to refer to for the complete facts, so avoid writing everything out in detail again to save time; plus, we don’t actually need all of the material, just the primary point.

2. Maintain structure

The Cornell note-taking approach is popular among students for keeping their condensed notes organized. Instead of writing notes across the entire page, divide it into two or three portions, including the bottom section, and then condense your study note by taking a summary of the major point.

Also, before compressing it further in the summary area of your condensed note, summarize everything on the page into a brief statement on a rough sheet and keep it nicely structured; this allows you to write down only the relevant points.

The bottom part should summarize the page’s content so that when you’re looking through your notes for a specific topic, you know where to go; at the bottom of each page.

3. Keep your note organized

There’s no sense condensing your notes if you can’t quickly refer to them when you need to. How you organize your notes will undoubtedly differ depending on the strategies you choose to use, which are outlined below.

  • With a pen and paper: The first step is to keep your notes for each subject together. This may necessitate creating a new arc file for each subject, with subjects split by file dividers, or condensing your notes in dedicated folders. This is an excellent approach to organizing your notes. You can save a copy every time you condense a topic in a digital format with the help of a pretty good app on your phone that helps to convert these condensed notes into digital PDF files that you can put in folders on your device like Google drive.
  • Digital notes: Using a matte screen protector to replace the mood of writing in notebooks makes a huge difference. There are amazing note-condensing apps for writing digital notes using a tablet and smart pencil. They are built with excellent systems for organizing your condensed notes into different subject folders and a feature that allows you to search for each condensed topic. The character detection feature is very accurate depending on how good your writing is most of the time. Always save a backup if something happens to the program or device you used to condense your study notes.

4. Concentrate on the important point

Condense your study notes to important works and, if possible, add colors and visuals to make the information understandable and memorable. Place your mind maps around your study area and refer to them during your revision, text, and exam periods. And keep in mind that your memory will do most of the work by repeating each term and essential point until you understand what you are memorizing, and it will adhere to your brain before you write it down on your note. While you disregard information you believe is unnecessary for the test or exam, remember that you may always refer to your primary note when the need arises.

5. For a fast-coming exam, use the usual method

To begin, get a pen and paper; condensed notes should be written out by hand for the upcoming exam. Ensure you only write down relevant words; there isn’t enough time for long notes, and you can always refer back to your notes if necessary.

Begin by identifying all subject headings, beginning with the easiest, then moving on to subheadings and concentrating on the primary point or definitions; it is often recommended to utilize preliminary questions for certain specific terms and to write down the answers to questions.

To prevent condensing your study notes in a hurry, it is best to begin early, preferably at the end of each lecture; learn to condense your study notes by writing merely a summary of the ideas and facts using keywords as cue words. Condensing your study notes early enough helps to clarify meanings and relationships of ideals, reinforce continuity, and strengthen memory retention.

You have so many options to choose from if you want it to be concise and brief, such as the use of abbreviations and symbols method, which allows you to write in bullets and phrases rather than complex sentences. Condensing your notes into bullet points helps you retain more information since you have to think hard to condense the material.

The simple solution for bulky notes

When you want to condense a study note that appears to be too long, especially in biology, how can you do it while retaining all vital information? Take the following steps:

Make use of a highlighter, then concentrate on the crucial sections that have been highlighted and make condensed notes from those, keeping only the most relevant facts and thoughts. Another approach is to use an A4 sheet for each topic and create a mind map or divide your page into sections for subtopics. After that, go over each sheet and, if necessary, trim them down again. You get to write them down on your condense note once they are condensed to your satisfaction.
It is better to start early for bulky notes, then repeat the approach for subjects you find easier to revise during your test or tests.

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