The Student Room Group

Is writing notes important for Alevel sciences?

I'm in year12 and i have some written notes for the topics that i have covered but others are printed out or non-existent. Just so i don't regret it when my A-level exams come in year 13 should i spend time writing notes? For me i feel as they're a waste of time and when i write the info i forget it after a couple weeks anyways. The information is already in the textbook and there are many notes online. Would you still recommend i write notes? FYI i do interact with the textbook via blurting and flashcards.
One of the main advantages of taking notes is that writing it out yourself helps you better retain the information than just reading or hearing it spoken. If you've found this doesn't work well for you, you don't need to dedicate time to doing so. I would recommend taking notes in lessons and such as it will likely help you concentrate, but outside of that if other revision methods are likely to work better for you, that's fine. Don't waste time doing something that doesn't work for you.
Reply 2
Original post by GgbroTG
One of the main advantages of taking notes is that writing it out yourself helps you better retain the information than just reading or hearing it spoken. If you've found this doesn't work well for you, you don't need to dedicate time to doing so. I would recommend taking notes in lessons and such as it will likely help you concentrate, but outside of that if other revision methods are likely to work better for you, that's fine. Don't waste time doing something that doesn't work for you.

Thank you so much for the advice :smile:
Only for bio tbh, mostly useless for physics and chem
Nope lol can’t remember the last time I wrote notes in bio or chem
Original post by hannahbbk134
Nope lol can’t remember the last time I wrote notes in bio or chem

What works better for you?
Original post by 16Stars
I'm in year12 and i have some written notes for the topics that i have covered but others are printed out or non-existent. Just so i don't regret it when my A-level exams come in year 13 should i spend time writing notes? For me i feel as they're a waste of time and when i write the info i forget it after a couple weeks anyways. The information is already in the textbook and there are many notes online. Would you still recommend i write notes? FYI i do interact with the textbook via blurting and flashcards.


I do all 3 sciences and I find writing notes to be quite important.
In bio and chem there are A LOT of definitions and processes/paragraphs that you have to just learn and be able to recite as and when needed, and even in physics there are a good handful too, so it's definitely worth having detailed notes for all the content.

Yes the textbooks have the general content, but they often aren't anywhere near specific enough to gain you a lot of the marks -- especially in biology. And online sites might not cover the exact content that you need, or be too general/waffle about things that you don't need to learn. Whereas what you cover in class is more or less EXACTLY what you need to learn.

A lot of it is down to how you learn though, if you're more of a visual learner then writing notes/flashcards are going to be the best strategy -- and other types of learning have their own methods too. Either way, it's worth writing out all of the notes properly in class and then condensing them down/adding extra details in afterwards, and then when it comes round to revision you'll have everything in one place and it'll all be detailed and condensed to exactly what you need to learn. And then you can use these to make flashcards, or for other revision strategies.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by 16Stars
I'm in year12 and i have some written notes for the topics that i have covered but others are printed out or non-existent. Just so i don't regret it when my A-level exams come in year 13 should i spend time writing notes? For me i feel as they're a waste of time and when i write the info i forget it after a couple weeks anyways. The information is already in the textbook and there are many notes online. Would you still recommend i write notes? FYI i do interact with the textbook via blurting and flashcards.


With physics, there isn't as much content as the other 2 and so the main thing is learning how to apply that content. So typically the best thing to do is spend time learning all the definitions and key points, as you'll never be able to apply the knowledge if you don't even know it in the first place, but focus primarily on exam questions and understanding how all of the content can be applied in different circumstances. In terms of notes, that could be writing down examples of different exam questions and different derivations? - making sure you understand where it all comes from.

That said, all 3 of them can get INCREDIBLY applied at times, so it's worth doing that ^ for all 3. I'd say make sure you have all the content wrote down properly and then when you're practising/revising you can use those notes to help you initially, until you understand what the questions are asking and you can do it all from memory :smile:
Original post by 16Stars
I'm in year12 and i have some written notes for the topics that i have covered but others are printed out or non-existent. Just so i don't regret it when my A-level exams come in year 13 should i spend time writing notes? For me i feel as they're a waste of time and when i write the info i forget it after a couple weeks anyways. The information is already in the textbook and there are many notes online. Would you still recommend i write notes? FYI i do interact with the textbook via blurting and flashcards.


As for forgetting the content in a few weeks, that's completely natural if you write it and just leave it.
The more you look over it (whether that be rewriting notes or practising flashcards or other methods) and practice using it (exam questions and past papers), the more you'll be able to remember it all and recite it whenever.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by CA_5713
What works better for you?


Quizlet & Exam Q sometimes blurting for psych and bio
Original post by hannahbbk134
Quizlet & Exam Q sometimes blurting for psych and bio

What about for learning the content? So you made flashcards from a textbook straight away?
Original post by CA_5713
What about for learning the content? So you made flashcards from a textbook straight away?

Yeah if it was confusing I would watch a video
Reply 12
Thank you so much for the help! I’ll definitely write the notes or any that I’ve missed out over summer as my exams are very near
Reply 13
Original post by Mr.Damo
I do all 3 sciences and I find writing notes to be quite important.
In bio and chem there are A LOT of definitions and processes/paragraphs that you have to just learn and be able to recite as and when needed, and even in physics there are a good handful too, so it's definitely worth having detailed notes for all the content.

Yes the textbooks have the general content, but they often aren't anywhere near specific enough to gain you a lot of the marks -- especially in biology. And online sites might not cover the exact content that you need, or be too general/waffle about things that you don't need to learn. Whereas what you cover in class is more or less EXACTLY what you need to learn.

A lot of it is down to how you learn though, if you're more of a visual learner then writing notes/flashcards are going to be the best strategy -- and other types of learning have their own methods too. Either way, it's worth writing out all of the notes properly in class and then condensing them down/adding extra details in afterwards, and then when it comes round to revision you'll have everything in one place and it'll all be detailed and condensed to exactly what you need to learn. And then you can use these to make flashcards, or for other revision strategies.


Thank you so much for the advice I’ll deffo be writing notes for the content :smile:
Reply 14
Thank you! :smile:

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