By adopting a few strategies, you will have all the relevant material to hand in a comprehensive, easy-to-read format. So…where to begin?
Use one ring binder, and have dividers inside it so that each subject has its own section, (or use a different notebook for each subject). These are just your primary notes, so make sure you have plenty of paper in each section, and then scribble away. Don’t worry about neatness at this stage (but try to make it legible) and use arrows, diagrams, speech bubbles…whatever it takes to get the information down.
At the end of each day (don’t leave it any longer), re-write the notes you have taken in a separate notebook or folder. Write them neatly so that you don’t have to try and decipher them at a later date.
The following day, take out the second set of notes you wrote and try to condense them down into shorter notes – focus on the main points and leave out any ‘useless’ information. This third set of notes will be the ones you use to revise.
As soon as one exam is over and those notes become obsolete, transfer them to another folder with the subject name and ‘Archive’ on the label. Never throw away any old revision notes. Use matching folders, i.e. if your math folder is red, use a red one for archived notes, and you will be able to see at a glance which folder belongs to which subject.
With each subject, consider making flash cards, by writing a question on one side and the answer on the other. Keep to the key points on the subject. Or write the revision notes in such a way that allows you to cover half and quiz yourself. Testing yourself is a quick way of figuring out where you know your stuff and where you don’t.
It might sound a bit outdated taking notes and writing them by hand when everything else is done digitally, but physically writing them out does help the information to sink in. But, if you really do want to use your phone or laptop to revise with, there are apps which can help. Simplemind, for example, has a free version which enables you to ‘mindmap’ your notes and ideas.
There are loads of ways you can organize your revision notes, and it’s important that you find what works for you. Try out a few different ideas and see which one suits you.
Have you found any great ways to manage your revision notes? We’d love to hear them!