Between late April and late June, many of my friends and students will be doing their exams. Some exams are easy, some require more thinking and preparation leading up to the exam. But do not fret, my dear readers, because the genus of studying (not) is coming to your rescue! Please note that while I’m writing this, I’m actually supposed to study for my own exams… so, yeah. Read more if you’re clueless on studying like I was, and want to learn to make your work easier, more colourful/creative and efficient for you.
Okay, so let’s imagine you already have your exam timetable in hand, and from then on, you have no clue how you’re going to start studying. The first thing I do is set a station where I will be placing ALL my notes. After I do that, I sort the notes according to which subject is first on the timetable. It is then that I start the study process.
Notes out, check. Now, for the tools, that is stationery we will be using for our notes. Be it coloured pens, highlighters, sticky notes, felt-tip pens and index sticky notes. The choice is quite vast, but I still manage to use most or all of these.
What does each one do?
- I used coloured pens when I’m underlining important notes, and make my notes colourful yet discreet
- Highlighters are the bolder version of the coloured pens. I usually use them when the text is big
- Sticky notes are usually an extension type thing for me. When I need to add extra notes of my own on a page, I use sticky notes of different colours and sizes to make that extra note pop out from the rest
- When it comes to writing shorter notes to skim through before an exam, I usually use felt-tip pens. Each topic would have its own colour, and that triggers a memory (or a faint one) of what I had written
- If, however, you cannot do shorter notes to save your sanity, like myself, then index sticky notes can be used to mark an important page, or simply use instead of a bookmark to mark which page you need to do next.
The Planning Process
For me, this is hands down the toughest, most crucial part of my study routine: the planning. Like I get I have, say, Math first and then English and then Maltese. I create a plan on a spreadsheet and roughly calculate how much time I will be spending on each subject per day. Seems hard for some, but it’s really about time assumption at this point.
Onto the specifics: let’s say we’re starting our studying on Math. You have some fifteen different topics. Some easy and with minimal need for studying and then you have those that need a LOT of attention. So what happens then? I usually sort my notes from most important to least important, and start studying like that.
The Bulk-to-Minority Process
Ah, the BM-process. The toughest part of studying in my opinion. This is where you shorten your notes, fitting them in a limited area, like one paper per topic. This is an example on how to make your notes look as little yet pretty as possible.
Another favourite thing to connecting a top with certain jargon and/or facts is the mind map. I start by writing the topic in the middle of the page, draw some branches out of the topic name/word and then just jot down ANYTHING that comes to mind using the branches. Easy-peasy right? It may look like a lot, but believe me, it’s really good for memorising notes and shortening them.
This is where you memorise the notes and connect the topic with certain facts associated to them. I found these following tips by aescademic very useful. If you want tips on bullet journaling and study inspo, these blog is for you!