The art of note-taking, or at least of taking effective notes, is often underestimated. Yes, almost all of us make them in lessons, but it’s easy to forget how valuable they can be later on. Making awesome notes for your IGCSEs is especially important, as there is so much information across the 6 subjects, which all needs to be remembered for the exams. Good notes aren’t just about taking in information as you go along, but are a way to save time, effort and frustration in the long-term.
- Use your own Words
Don’t just copy what the teacher or textbook says. We know it’s tempting, both because it’s easier and because you might feel like you’ll never be able to phrase a point quite as perfectly. However, if you don’t understand a sentence, or a set of words, as you’re writing it, then odds are you won’t understand it when you read your note back! Think of your notes as messages to yourself in the future, so think about how you would explain it to make sure you actually understand. If you can’t think of a way to say it in your own words then you may not fully have grasped the concept yet, so make sure to remind yourself to go back to that concept after class!
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- Stick with the Essentials
The whole point of notes is to preserve the information that you will find useful later. Don’t write down everything, just write the key points that you can imagine yourself actually using later. For Mathematics and Sciences, these will include facts, formulae, methods, and examples. For Literature and Social Sciences, write down facts, ideas, quotes. In terms of Languages, think about vocabulary and grammar.
For Literature, Social Sciences and Languages, it’s also okay to order your notes according to what you consider to be the most essential information. You’ll save yourself time later if you do this as you go along. Rank the information according to how important or useful you consider it to be. Then, when you come to revision, learn it in that order.
- Keep them Brief
When it comes to notes, rewriting your entire textbook isn’t going to be worth anything. Think about condensing the notes as you’re writing them, only including information that you will need to remember! Make sure you have enough so that you actually understand it later, but don’t write so much that it just looks like a block of scrawl. Keywords, facts and formulas are the most important. Stick to short, simple sentences and phrases that you can easily remember. This isn’t an essay.
So there you have it, a surefire guide to making perfect IGCSE notes! Need more support? Click here to find out how our elite tutors can help you!