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is making notes useful at a-level

is making notes really that useful or should i focus more time on other revision methods?
Making notes is crucial, and useful in everything, whether you're doing your GCSEs, IGCSEs, A-levels, or any other boards or examinations you can think of. However, due to the extensive nature of the A-level syllabus, as well as their difficulty level, making overly detailed notes is a very time and energy-consuming process. My advice would be to read 2 or 3 pages, summarize them, then read another 2 or 3 pages, summarize, and continue doing this for however long it takes you to finish a chapter. When summarizing, make sure that you're only writing the very important sentences/parts, and the parts/topics that are mentioned in past papers quite a bit.
These would include, but not be limited to:

1.

Definitions.

2.

Steps or specific processes (e.g.: Contact process (chemistry), generating electrical energy from renewable and non-renewable resources (physics), photosynthesis (biology), the process of filtration of blood in the kidneys (biology), etc..)

3.

Comparisons and Contradictions (e.g.: advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction (biology), inhalation and exhalation (CCR and RRC, biology)). always have comparisons listed side by side so that it's easier for your eyes to skim over them, and or your brain to remember them in that specific way/method.

4.

Use abbreviations, and symbols when writing your notes, in order to get your brain to become used to seeing codes If you're ever faced with them in exams, and for it to be easier for your eyes to skim over your notes in a last-minute revision session before an exam.

5.

Highlighting, and colour-coding. Always have a colour code for your notes, whether it's using highlighters, gel pens, or different-colour ballpoint pens/ink pens/even pen textures. Mine, for example, is this: Yellow--> definitions, Orange--> underlying titles/subtitles, Turquoise--> examples, Pink--> making boxes around keywords, Purple--> important topics and words/phrases, Sea Blue/Light Blue--> Equations/maths/etc.., Dark blue/Gray--> putting boxes around bullet points or numbers.

6.

Don't worry about grammar when writing your notes (this part comes with time, but don't worry, it'll come around eventually). Try making your notes as short as possible while still being legible and understandable TO YOU (anyone else doesn't matter).

7.

Draw the diagrams in your textbooks YOURSELF and label them YOURSELF, trust me, it helps so much + it makes it easier for you to remember them.

8.

This point isn't wholly about notes but always look at the past paper questions to see the most frequently asked questions, AND WRITE THOSE DOWN + their mark schemes in wording that YOU will understand, even if it's a bit long.

9.

Make an index on the first page of your notebook, and write the page numbers at the bottom of each page, so it's easier for you to follow the index if you're in a rush at some point.

10.

In the last 2 or 3 pages of your notebook, write all the rules, and calculations so that it's easier to access them when needed.

If you're not the type of person who can study from notes if you think they're too long, too detailed, or for any other reason, it's nice to voice-record yourself reading out the textbook/notebook that you made and listen to yourself reading it before you go into an exam, before you sleep, or even while you're doing house chores, you might not think it's gonna have an effect, but trust me, it does; you'll see that even if you can't remember everything, your brain will pick up on a phrase or two, string them together, and who knows when you might know them. This technique is also really good for people learning languages btw.

If you're someone who's only taking one A-level, or just have enough time, you can try making your own little revision videos with YOUR voice, put them in a QR CODE, print them out, and stick them into your notebook, or just keep them on your phone for easy access whenever you need it.

The reason I emphasize A LOT on 'your voice,' or 'your handwriting' and stuff like that is because when you're studying, your brain finds it easier to read things, and to absorb information that is written/said by a familiar voice, and I don't think anything is more familiar to your brain than you, but if you're one of those people who don't like hearing their voice on audio, there are also websites and apps that can turn your voice into another person's, or into a Siri sort of voice instead, so if that's more comfortable for you then you do you.

One app that does this (turning words into videos and voices using AI) is Notevibes.

Good luck to you in you A-level exams, I hope you do well.
Original post by wayuqii
is making notes really that useful or should i focus more time on other revision methods?

personally i would recommend making notes that you can easily refer back to during revision but i would also suggest opt for other revision sources such as making flashcards i would recommend using knowt to make flashcards and at the end practice your exam writing. however this all depends on what subjects you study
Original post by Sarah2809
personally i would recommend making notes that you can easily refer back to during revision but i would also suggest opt for other revision sources such as making flashcards i would recommend using knowt to make flashcards and at the end practice your exam writing. however this all depends on what subjects you study

I personally wouldn't recommend using flashcards THROUGHOUT the year but definitely make them AT THE END, but if you don't have enough time at the end of the year, then you should just make them after you finish a chapter/unit, just to make your life throughout the midterms/monthly exams/term exams a bit easier, but the thing with flashcards is literally in their name "flash"; they're fast, and they probably don't contain as much info as ur notes would, they skip so many details, even if you wrote super summarized notes, the notes always have more info, trust.
Also, if you still want to make flashcards, I wouldn't exactly recommend having AI or a website make them for u, I feel like if you made the flashcards, you'd remember them more, and it would even help you memorize the chapter you're writing even better cause of muscle memory, but if you prefer AI and stuff, and it works for u then sure, go for it, why not? You do you yk
Original post by wayuqii
is making notes really that useful or should i focus more time on other revision methods?

personally, notes are very useful and crucial, not really as a revision method, but as a tool for revision, as then from there you can have more active ways of revising

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