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If you’re lucky, you’ll get a nice professor that will tell you during a lecture, “This material will be on the exam, so pay attention!” Thank the teacher and make a note.
But these professors are rare. You may have to determine what's important based on points the professor emphasizes or questions that are being asked. But why does any of this matter? Because the better your notes, the better prepared you can be for tests. And the better you take tests, the better your grades. And the better your grades, the better your options for moving ahead in your academic career and getting the degree you need to land the job you want. Such a vicious cycle!
Whatever your philosophy on test taking, they haven’t been abolished yet. So get prepared! Don’t just madly cram for a test the night before. You can do better than that. Get organized!
Identifying test material in your notes will help you focus when you're studying. While you’re in class taking notes, use a special tag to mark the material you know (or think) you’ll be tested on. Then focus your exam prep time on those notes. OneNote gives you an easy way to do that: it’s called a tag.
I recommend creating a custom tag in OneNote called “Exam material”. Here’s how you do it:
1. Click the More button in the Tags section.
2. Click Customize tags.
3. Click New tag.
4. Under display name, type “Exam material”. Choose a symbol, font and highlighter color (optional) for that tag. I chose the Yellow 8-point star, I didn’t change the font, but I did
choose the yellow highlighter color. That will really make the note
For more information, read Use tags to categorize and prioritize notes.
Adding a tag to the list will rearrange the order of your tag list, which will impact the keyboard shortcuts. For example, by default when you press Ctrl + 1 a To-Do tag is applied where you cursor appears on the page. The new tag will take over first position, so now when you press Ctrl + 1 an Exam Material tag will appear. If you want to change that positioning, press the Move tag down button (Hint: the button looks like a down arrow.) The keyboard shortcuts will dynamically refresh.
I moved “Exam material” to the second position, so now when I press Ctrl + 2 the tag is inserted wherever my cursor is at on the page.
Now when you’re taking notes you can quickly apply your custom “Exam material” tag to a note you write.
To search your tagged noted, click the Find tag button in the ribbon.
If you want to view the search results as a notes page, click the Create Summary Page button at the bottom of the Tags Summary task pane. You can even use this feature for creating practice exams.
A new page will be added to the current notebook section with a full list of all notes tagged with "Exam material".
What are some of your test taking tricks? Post a comment and share your tips with all of us.