You can’t read your study material like a storybook if you want to retain the information and excel academically. One of the most effective ways of ensuring you understand and remember what you study is by writing down short notes as you study or revise.
As a university student, you should cultivate the habit of noting down what you study. It comes with small benefits here and there that when put together make you a successful student in all the papers you write afterwards. Here are some of the benefits of jotting down notes while studying.
1. It’ll Motivate You to Study
What motivates you to study? It could be the drive from within because you want to know more about the topic. Alternatively, it could be the thought of scoring good grades that gives you a reason to study.
Sometimes you are promised goodies if you take a good grade home. It may have happened during elementary school, but some things don’t change even when we grow up and are in university.
As mundane as it may seem when you write the main points down as you study, it gives you the drive to keep going by making study sessions engaging. You can get easily distracted if your hands are idle as you read a textbook or a unit handout.
2. Improves Your Focus
The mind wanders a lot even with the slightest form of distraction. It requires high amounts of self-control to remain focused on the moment. It’s not obvious that it’ll happen, but it is a likely thing to happen.
When you write points down as you study, you’ll progress to finish the topic at hand, before you begin another. If you fail to focus on finishing a topic, you might start another, and repeat the pattern. In the end, you will realize that you haven’t grasped a good chunk of content.
3. It Saves Time
You may wonder how this is possible because you are technically re-writing your study material. But, as you jot down what you are reading, it saves you time when you want to make a reference.
It is easier and fast to refer to something especially when you remember where you wrote it yourself. As a result, you’ll end up saving a lot of time cumulatively.
4. Improves Your Writing Skills
Learning how to write as a skill is an essential skill even outside academia. Consistent writing is critical in developing this skill. Writing every time you study qualifies as consistency if you have regular study sessions.
Furthermore, you will know how to write a good summary, paraphrase, comprehension, and highlight. These are among the important factors for improving your communication skills too. So it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
5. Provides a Record for the Future
As already mentioned in point #3, writing everything down as you study keeps a record for future reference. It’s like storing information in folders with different names as you do when using the computer, but manually.
You can store and retrieve your short and summarized notes quickly and easily when you have a record. As a result, your revision becomes easier as that test, assignment, or exam approaches.
6. Improves Understanding
As you read a particular subject, all you want is to understand the syllabus. Writing down as you study improves your ability to understand complex topics on the first attempt.
This practice reinforces your understanding capacity since you’ll be rehashing concepts in your own words. No one understands your own words better than yourself.
7. Enhances Brain Activity
Writing while studying sharpens your memory. It brings the same result as learning or teaching new skills. Involving your brain in writing contributes to improved comprehension and speed, and so does your cognitive ability.
More productivity comes as a result of the active use of brain function. Think of it as taking your brain through a workout routine to make it stronger and better. Consistent brain activity will improve productivity and efficiency. This is the whole point of studying.
8. Helps You to Remember
Your memory improves because you write key points that will help you to remember the next time you study.
You will remember the information stored in the long-term memory as you look at the key points. It refreshes what you had earlier studied.
9. Enhances Critical Thinking
You apply critical thinking when you decide what to include in your short notes from your study material(s). In academics, it is essential to learn how to filter important information. To be able to do the filtering, critical thinking is necessary.
You must have critical thinking skills to guide you in deciding between the key points and supporting ideas to include. In the long-term, you’ll improve your critical thinking skills which may come in handy in other aspects of life.
10. Makes you Committed
When you write everything down when studying, it becomes easier to commit to finishing a topic or chapter. Commitment promotes success because you’ll stick to the intention of going all the way to the end.
As you study, your only goal is to get a good grade in that subject. Committing yourself to this goal will eventually benefit you. Applying this level of commitment will also be beneficial in other aspects of life later on after school.
Retain Info As You Study
You can transform your study experience if you cultivate the habit of putting in extra effort through writing as you study. The ultimate goal of studying is to make you efficient and productive so you can earn good grades. Besides, you’ll have worked on your problem-solving skills.
Putting the good old pen on paper might sound like hard work but it is an easy way out to keep your brain active and involved. It’ll also be easier to remember what and where you wrote down what you’ve been reading, now and in the future.