Prepare for learning from lectures
Research shows that 10 minutes of review for every hour of lecture, done within 24 hours of class, dramatically improves recall. Regularly reviewing class notes is one of the most powerful study strategies.
But how do you do it?
First, check your notes
Read over your notes and make sure they’re clear and complete. Add anything that you might have missed; re-write parts that are illegible or unclear.
A great idea is to compare your notes with a classmate’s. You can help each other remember the lecture and you will both end up with better notes as a result.
Learn the lecture
Study the material to deepen your understanding and promote recall. Here are some review activities:
- Recopy examples…A + B = C… and solve them without looking at your notes. A + B = ?
Record yourself verbally summarizing the lecture.
- Listen to the recordings during your commute or other low-energy times.
Convert the lecture into questions and answers.
- Put the Q & A onto flash cards and test yourself regularly.
Summarize your notes.
- Condense each lecture onto one page.
- Easiest (but not as effective): recopy your notes, re-wording any parts that are unclear.
- Review Cornell notes by summarizing each page at the bottom and writing test questions on the left.
- Change the form of your notes. Try a mindmap ->
- Tweet about what you learned in class.
- Post interesting ideas from lecture to your facebook news feed
Compare the lecture to what you’ve already learnt in class:
similarities differences old new
After the post-lecture review, plan another review session at least once a week where you go over everything you’ve learned so far this term. Many of the above techniques can be applied to a larger-scale review.
- Test yourself with note cards.
- Review correct cards less often.
- Condense your lecture summaries into one page for each week...and one for each month.
- Do all lecture examples again (without looking at your notes).
- Meet your study group to review and do practice problems.
- Use your Cornell notes to make an outline of the topics covered so far, and a practice test.