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In the midst of the holidays (and all the travel and family obligations that come with them), there's something else that looms overhead for students: That nagging exam schedule.
Even in times of stress, we humans tend to stick with what we know and don't always know how to help ourselves. For this reason, we decided to cull the collective knowledge of the Web — and also do a little cold calling of professors on behalf of our student readers — to gather the best advice for studying and preparing for exams. We also sprinkled a little OneNote wisdom on top.
If you're a kinesthetic learner, rewriting your notes is great. Also, when you rewrite something, it's making you think about what you are writing, what it's about, why you wrote it down, and most importantly, it refreshes your brain.
Here are a couple of tips from Jasmine Bryant, Chemistry professor at the University of Washington:
Some additional information on the value of rewriting can be found at: http://www.wikihow.com/Study-For-Exams.
The OneNote Way:Use note tags in your notes, have OneNote create a note tag summary page, and then try to reconstruct your notes from that summary page.
An oldie but goodie. For any subject, you can make a set of "flashcards" and then memorize the questions and answers. For best results, do not simply recite these by heart. Instead, write down the answers: Cover the right-hand side (the answers) with a blank sheet of paper, and write down the answers. When you finish a page, check your work, and then repeat writing the answers to the questions you missed until you get them all right.
Some additional information can be found at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~rapaport/howtostudy.html#flash and at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashcard.
The OneNote Way:Why waste paper? We covered a how-to with OneNote on this in the past. Read our previous blog post on the subject or watch a video.
Professor Faaland at University of Washington's Business School advises his students to "...summarize what they think is important to take away from a class. The concrete expression of that is a single page for the midterm and two pages for the final that the students construct themselves. While I allow students to refer to their sheets during a test, the main value lies in the effort the students have to make to organize their thoughts."
The OneNote Way:OneNote helps you organize your thoughts. Need we say more? Create tabs, groups of tabs, pages, subpages, wiki links, and tags. Use Styles, fonts, indentation, bulleting. Move stuff around freely where it belongs, even if you change your mind 100 times. With OneNote, you can do it all.
This is another way to increase sensory input. In addition to the extra thought involved in developing a diagram, the ability to recall that information will often be increased simply because of the newly created visual structure.
For more information about this, have a look at http://www.frontiernet.net/~jlkeefer/exams.htm.
The OneNote Way:Use the Draw tab on the OneNote 2010 ribbon to help create drawings, sketches, and illustrations that can help you visualize your ideas, thoughts, and information.
Tip: If you have a digital pen or a Tablet PC, it's also super-easy to do sketching and drawing in your own handwriting!
Commit to making a To Do list before each study session. Breaking tasks down into small, manageable tasks will make it less overwhelming in the long-term. Cross off list items as you go to show you how much progress you've made.
See also: http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/exam-time-hints-for-effective-studying.
The OneNote Way:On the ribbon, in the Tags group, you'll find the To Do tag (it looks like a check box). When you apply this tag to a line of text, it becomes interactive. Clicking the check box in your notes will place a check mark in it so you'll know that you completed that particular task.
Tip: To quickly apply the To Do note tag, use the CTRL+1 keyboard shortcut when you select your notes.
Whenever we talk about note-taking, everyone automatically assumes text-based notes. Consider using a voice recorder to record yourself as you read your study materials out loud. Play it back to yourself as many times as needed until the information sinks in.
For more information, check out http://www.ehow.com/how_5555736_study-exam.html.
The OneNote Way:OneNote has built-in audio and video recording features that work with your computer's microphone and webcam. Click the Record Audio feature to take audio notes.
Tip: If you enable the Audio Search features in File > Options, your audio notes will be included in your notebook searches. How cool is that?
Cramming everything into one notebook makes it harder to find anything again. Buy an extra notebook for each subject at the beginning of the year. As you finish a chapter in a particular class, you can immediately write your notes and summaries in the notebook associated with that class.
For more information, see http://www.wikihow.com/Create-Good-Study-Habits-for-Exams.
The OneNote Way:Forget the "buy" part and use the File > New command in OneNote. You can create as many notebooks as you need and even copy or move information between them. It's a cheaper, quicker, simpler, and greener alternative to shuffling papers around all year.
Creating and keeping your own finals schedule lets you map out your time for completing finals-related projects and studying for your final exams. If you have a plan like this, it will reduce your stress because you've mentally devoted time to each item on your schedule and the overall work will seem much more feasible to accomplish.
For more information how to take the stress out of finals, visit http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-cope-with-stress-during-college-finals-a114858.
The OneNote Way:You can quickly and easily insert tables or create tables of contents to help you with exam schedules. You can keep such schedules to the front page of your notebook for easy access.
There's also a OneNote PowerToy to help you create table of contents: http://www.onenotepowertoys.com/2007/07/12/onenote-table-of-contents/
In your notes, highlight major topics and subtopics with the goal of generating an outline. Even if you already take your notes in outline form, highlighting is a good practice. Major topics often extend through more than one day's lecture, and it's easy to lose track of the overall picture. Consider using a second highlight color to highlight all vocabulary terms.
For more information about highlighting tips, see http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/study.htm.
The OneNote Way:Use the arrow on the Text Highlight Color button to pick a color for your highlighter and then click the button to apply the color to selected text.
Tip: Want a faster way? Select the text you want to highlight and then press CTRL+ALT+H.
Professor Homa from Georgetown University's Business School says, "These days, it's quite fashionable to blast PowerPoint as a tool that stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making. I couldn't disagree more. I'm an avid PowerPointer and I encourage my students to communicate using PowerPoint. Why? Because it is the language of business. More importantly, I drive my students to 'think in PowerPoint.' That is, to construct conclusive (or prescriptive) slides that are supported with tight, fact-based logic, and to weave the slides into compelling storylines that lead audiences to inescapable conclusions. A weak PowerPoint pitch isn't the reflection of an ineffective tool — it's the reflection of shoddy thinking. 'Thinking in PowerPoint' can hone your critical thinking skills."
Read more about Professor Homa's thoughts on the matter on his personal blog.
The OneNote Way:You can use the Linked Notes feature to keep up with PowerPoint presentations that come your way. You might remember, we talked about this just a couple of weeks ago in this blog post and in this video. By the way, Linked Notes also work with Microsoft Word documents and Web pages.
Finally, some no-brainer advice that belongs on any study tips list:
Remember to have some fun during the holidays, and good luck with the rest of your semester/quarter/trimester.
Got your own study tips for the season? Leave a comment and let us know!
-- Ayça Yüksel and Kelby Johnson
Attending a private college or university, receiving campus-based grants
and scholarships, and having a better chance of graduating in four
years, can end up being the most affordable option for many students.
Nice,i love it.
OneNote 2010 is superb!!
As mentioned in tip #4, a great way to get sketches and handwriting into OneNote is with Capturx software for digital pens. You simply write notes on paper (a notebook or sheets you print from OneNote with the Capturx add-in) with a digital pen, and all your notes and sketches are automatically integrated into OneNote as native ink objects. Your notes are backed-up, searchable and shareable in Office.
You can learn more at www.adapx.com/.../capturx-onenote
Does anyone know what this means, it happens when I try to sign using my Hotmail email and password?
Invalid User Credentials The username and/or password cannot be validated, or your account is locked out or has not been approved yet.
I am new to Notes. I think I could use it. I belong to 3 committees and attend 2 meetings every month, the other is every other month. so on January I have 3 meetings to attend and on February 2, on March I have 3, and so on. I head up one of the committee and basically responsible for the goings on of it. I have problem organizing my thoughts and ideas, sometimes I mixed things up. I want to learn about Notes, it might help me. Right now I do not even know how to start. I have a PC, windows 7 and I could not do a handwriting. I do not know how to do a folder within, it is nice in the video but I do not know how to go from one folder to the other. It has a personal tab, work tab and school tab, when I open notes it is a blank piece of paper , i type on it but I do not know where it goes....help
I have a questions about recording in OneNote in a classroom environment... it seems as though the sound of my typing drowns out the voice of my prof. The mic on my laptop is at the top of the screen... are there any settings in 2007 that I can adjust to help alleviate this problem?