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MOTIVATION: The Art Of Making Notes

– Vinay Nagaraju


The art of making notes!

This is a very exciting time of the year, with the exams so close and the tensions running high and the adrenaline rush about to kick in, it has got to be the most exciting time of the preparation. I would say this is perhaps the most crucial phase cos your marks here are going to make a lot of difference to the post you are going to get. Perhaps even more important than the interview since you have a lot more in your control here. Going ahead, I thought I would share a few ideas to make the preparation phase simpler and easier for you guys so that you could bring out the best in you.

I am sure that you would have all finished your first and second round of reading for most subjects and there are a few new ones which will always be there. But today, I shall focus mostly on the ones that cater to the revision phase. And I am also sure that you would have made your notes so far. Ideally people do ask us as to when is the best time to make notes. Honestly, the answer varies from person to person. I personally believe that your notes should be as small as possible, in fact it can be as small as cue cards.

There will be layered understanding for the preparation phase and the way your knowledge is going to be tested. This exam is unlike the degree where we prepare for a few questions and the pattern and we know or at least have  a fair idea as to what they are going to ask. In a degree exam, the facts are given a lot more importance than your opinions. In this case, your opinions are important and how you use these facts to prove your point is going to make a lot of difference. So coming to the points and the notes you have made, forget the long, big and huge notes you have made for now and look at those few words which remind you of the content. In other words, start segmenting your memory now. A few words or a few cue thoughts will lead you to the point and the structure. Try and draw the picture of these facts in your head, try connecting them. It is a well known fact that our photographic memory is much better than our verbal memory and the way it is shaped. So, try creating that picture for yourself. If it is a polity lesson – try segmenting the country, state and region in your head. But remember that the notes should have only these headings and not the details.

The reason why your notes has to be small is that you are going to refer to these notes a couple of days before the exams and you will never have time to read through everything. Instead just jolt down these headings, try remembering only these headings and only these. The rest of them will certainly be a part of your answer and you are going to remember them. Just keep thinking of that final day and align your notes to that day now. It is not the time to get into a detailed study, it is time to summarize, it is time to ensure that the amount of knowledge you have gotten reading so far stays with you and you just have to be smart about it :).

Happy making notes guys. More thoughts to follow soon :). Meanwhile if you need any help or suggestions on matters relating to this, please do write below and I will be more than happy to try and address them.


Vinay Nagaraju