Am i just too slow and bad at retaining and applying knowledge!Watch
When you're actually making the notes, I'd say not to write down too too mich detail to behin with, that way you won't have to spend so much time reviewing everything in so much detail, and will save yourself a lot of time from things that usually you wont need for an exam. I often struggle with this too though so igy.
Maybe try reading through your spider diagram topic then do questions on that topic from a textbook, revision or online, whatever. Then see what you got right and wrong and improve. You may notice a pattern in certain areas of these topics where you're going wrong