A lecture in an accounting course or any other type of class usually contains a large amount of information. This makes it essential to take effective notes, so you can review the information and progress in the class. Effective notes contain main ideas, facts, statistics and more. After taking effective notes in class, the next step is to study them in a way that helps you retain the important information contained in them. Look at five tips that can help you retain the information included in your class notes.
Review Class Notes Throughout the Day
You probably already study your class notes during scheduled study periods. But, it can be even more helpful to study your class notes at odd times throughout the day. For instance, if you’ve a dentist appointment, take your computer or notebook along and review your notes while waiting. Or, if you’ve a few moments before another class begins, use the time to scan your class notes. Doing this can solidify facts and information in your mind.
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Read Notes Aloud
Sometimes hearing the words as you’re reading them can help you to retain the material. So, next time you review your class notes, read them aloud and really focus on them as you read. You may even want to record yourself reading them, so you can play it back for yet another opportunity to absorb more information. When you’re reading your notes aloud, be sure to mute the television or radio so they don’t interfere with your concentration.
Highlight Important Items in Class Notes
Some students fall into the trap of taking too many notes in class. These class notes aren’t particularly helpful because they contain extraneous information that won’t be seen on a test or quiz. So, to streamline your notes, go through them with a highlighter and mark the portions you should focus on. These portions will contain facts, definitions, examples and main topics. Starting this practice is likely to help you adjust your note-taking methods.
Create Mnemonics to Remember Facts
If you’re studying vocabulary or other material that needs to be memorized, try using mnemonics as a study aid. For instance, you’re tasked with learning the word amortization and its definition. You can use a mnemonic related to your friend Mort because his name is found within the word amortization. Your friend Mort is paying down on the principal of his home loan. Your mnemonic contains the word and its definition.
Review for Tests with a Friend
Studying with a friend can be helpful as you continue to absorb the information in your class notes. A friend can quiz you on words, definitions and various facts. Plus, by studying with a friend you can learn more as well as make the process fun. If you study with a classmate, then both of you benefit from the review.
Finally, instructors create some test questions based on the information they share in a class lecture. So, reviewing class notes can pay off on any test or quiz. Even if specific questions are not related to the class notes, the information contained in them can lend to a student’s understanding of challenging topics in the course.