Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

Charting, mapping, outlining, Cornell notes! We are constantly bombarded by note taking styles that leave us wondering: is there a best note taking method out there? As students we have a variety of learning styles. Some students are audio learners, others might be kinesthetic or tactile in grasping concepts. Similarly to students, there is no cookie-cuter method of note taking that is universal. Finding your note taking niche, so to speak, is found through experimenting with different styles. For myself, I prefer a combination of outlining my notes and flashcards for test preparation.

To begin, there is some premeditation on my part in terms of how I want to format my outline. For instance, I may use roman numerals or alphabets in categorizing topics. In other situations, dependent on the lecture, I might print out an outline of the PowerPoint and add information to it as we go along in lecture. Going back to learning styles, I learn best initially if I handwrite my notes from lecture rather than typing them. This aides in my retention and recall during lecture. Once we have completed the necessary lectures before the exam, this is when I go back to my notes from lecture and add any additional information from the text. On the margins of the original outline, I convert my page into a mockup of Cornell styled notes, by adding questions to the margins. For instance, I may include “Platelets assist us with clotting.” within my outline. At the margins of the outline I’ll jot down the question, “What cells assist the body with clotting?” This further solidifies my level of retention, in preparation before the exam. For a practice test, I utilize Quizlet. The process is simple, because I only copy what I wrote down in my outline paired with the questions at the margins. A week before the exam I already feel prepared to take it, due to the note taking styles I combine. Hopefully, it can be of help to you too.

Savannah from New Jersey
College Sophomore
Raritan Valley County College