Making summary sheets or cards
Andrew Northedge, in The Good Study Guide uses a diagram to illustrate this (reproduced as Figure 4). He notes that:
To boil the course down in this way, so as to extract its concentrated essences, is extremely valuable because it converts the broad themes and the detailed discussions of the course into a form which is more manageable for the purpose of answering questions in exams.
You can achieve this by following the steps below.
- Summarise your notes on a topic from the various sources you have collected together.
- Draw the main points from these notes, using headings and key points.
- Try to reduce these notes further to one side of A4 paper or even a small file card, using only the main headings and a few associated key words.
Note that the mind-map we described above captures all these techniques in an economical way.
Assignments can be a very useful starting point for producing summaries. It can be very useful to look through them as you revise, and compare exam and assignment questions on the same topic. How do the questions differ? What would the key differences be between an assignment and an exam answer on the same topic? Think how you could use these ideas in an exam answer. Reduce the assignment in the way we have described above and use this in your revision later on.