Taking Notes and Revision- The Key to Success

When thinking about taking notes and revision it can seem like a tedious task to do, and takes valuable time from your already busy schedule. However, time taken to make notes and revise can give you those extra points to grab that next grade in that exam and even a higher grade overall.

I have always been proactive with taking notes and revision. Since Year 10 I have occupied the front room table, much to the dismay of my Mum! This is where all my revision takes place while at home and has done so for the last seven years.

For each lesson I have always noted key points or highlighted important information in different colour highlighters. Colour seems to allow me to remember information more clearly, and plenty of scientific studies have shown the same in other people! Through taking notes it means when it comes to revision you already have more information than those who do not write notes. That little bit of information written down from each lesson is often the difference between a C and a higher grade such as an A*. Nevertheless, writing notes did lead to me having to continuously buying pens to the point I could have opened a stationary shop!

At university, lecturers often put the presentation they will be working through online before the lecture so students can look through it. I printed out each presentation when it became available and annotated it during the lectures, which gave me more understanding of diagrams and information which I would be able to look back on when revising. After each lecture I also spent time doing some research to increase my knowledge, including searching and writing down examples of what I had learnt. These examples could then be revised later and used to gain a better grade.

Regardless of how easy you think a subject is or if you believe you already know enough for the exam, always take notes and revise. That extra work even on already known topics is often the difference between a good and a great grade. So if you want to do your best, taking notes and revision is the best way forward, it has definitely increased my grades.

Taking notes and revising does not need to be a chore. You could make notes handwritten or on the computer via mind maps, diagrams, and PowerPoints etc… After the lecture you could also meet up with others from your class and make group notes on the lecture or discuss what you have learnt and write notes on this. For revision why not make a group and revise together in the library, in a spare classroom or via Microsoft Teams or Zoom and make it more fun with quizzes and games.

During my first and second year exams a group from my class made Kahoot quizzes and then quizzed and scored points against each other, a nice way to see how much you know while also learning from your friends and the correct answers. Within the exams you will remember that time when a similar question came up on Kahoot and what the answer was, and this will help you with your exam answer. I would definitely recommend Kahoot!

I would say taking notes and revision is one of the most important aspects of increasing your knowledge and grades. Its important to remember however that there are many methods of revision and different people learn in different ways, so just because your friend learns via handwriting notes like myself, does not mean this is the best technique for you. Try different techniques in your mocks before your actual exams so when these come you have the right technique for yourself and can excel.

Good luck in taking notes and revision and of course best of luck in exams!

Kira Jarvis

3rd Year Animal Management Student

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