Have you heard of the term ‘study guide’? We bet that the hard-working ones among you had always had those special notebooks throughout your school career – for note-taking, explanations through examples, and presentations of knowledge. Much more simple to understand than extensive school material, right? What matters is that it truly helps. You’ll admit, endless memorization and dry absorption of information from books isn’t exactly something that college students look forward to. Wouldn’t we all like magic, custom-made written textbook, brought to us completely out of the blue just for you, with which it would be simpler and much more fun to place all those valuable pieces of knowledge in such smart heads?
Well, we’d be lying to you if we said something like that exists. However, what doesn’t seem to be a lie is that you’re the ones who can make it, completely adapt it to yourself and your needs, and in your own way make studying much easier to absorb. True, it may not be as compelling as writing a high school girlish diary, but it’s certainly a much more effective way to deal with a bunch of sources of information and store them properly in your memory.
Let’s start from the beginning.
What exactly is a study guide?
As we said – it’s your personal learning diary, a group of all the required information, explanations, examples and tasks in one place. It mainly arises as a synthesis of several different relevant sources and its purpose is to cover everything you need to know within a particular subject in one place. Reasons why this concept of learning is more than great are many – but the fact that you don’t have to bother looking at the piles of papers and books that rotate in front of you and try to remember everything stands out more than any other.
Of course, each student has his or her favorite technique, which in their case is the most fruitful and brings the best results, but there’s definitely a solid argument in favor of this method of work. In case this intrigued you enough to seek a piece of advice on how to easily make a unique and unrepeatable study guide with which you’ll rock your next exam from a bunch of unrelated paragraphs – keep reading.
Organize your notes.
Before you start doing anything, you need to consider all the relevant sources you have, as they need to be combined into a single one. The first thing is to list all the lessons and units you need to learn – make sure that your guide starts like this. After making such a list, go in order and put together all the available information for each of the lessons – the notes you took on classes, material from the book, examples and additional explanations. In this way, you’ll get a comprehensive lesson that’ll contain everything that all these sources contain, but in a much more concise and understandable format.
Read through your notes.
This part requires a little more attention, but it’s simply inevitable – you have to revise all the units to make sure they contain everything you need and that you haven’t left out anything significant. Reading what’s written not only helps with easier memorizing but also assists in noticing potential mistakes or shortcomings that need to be corrected.
Write things by hand.
It’s not the same feeling when we type words on the keyboard and when we write them by hand, using old good pen and paper combo. Yeah, we know – the first option generally guarantees you a much quicker completion of the task, but in that case you wouldn’t need a notebook at all, right? You’d have a pile of printed paper and you’d find yourself at the beginning again – with a bunch of typed text. Writing, on the other hand, activates brain convolutions, and while we read the text and go through it while doing it, we already start to remember certain parts for which it’ll be enough to just revise them later. That way, you start learning in the process of creating the guide itself.
Use additional knowledge and information.
At times not everything’s about grades. Those who are really keen on obtaining some extra knowledge will want to penetrate into the essence of what they’re studying and being informed about. In that case, you can always rely on some additional books, scientific studies and information that you can find on the Internet and add more details to complete the work. Today’s online platforms are full of scientific papers on a variety of topics. There’s even a platform called Docmerit, with thousands of personal notes from students around the world, as well as study guides who have already helped someone, since their owners wanted to share them with their fellow students. Plus, if one day you decide your guide is so good that you want to do the same, there’s an option to sell it, too!
Customize what you write
The best part about doing a project like this from scratch is the possibility to fully customize it as your heart desires. Prepare a bunch of different markers, color pencils, page markers, self-adhesive stickers and post-it notes that you’ll add to the pages of your guide for some special notes. People often rely on the visual effect, so it’s much simpler to remember things and draw attention to them if they’re highlighted or colored. The language and style in which you write is also fundamental and definitely doesn’t have to be based on strictly defined expressions if the subject allows freedom of expression. Write your own examples, make mind maps…. whatever works best for you.
Truth be told – making a college study guide isn’t the lightest thing in the world, and we wholeheartedly agree on this. But one thing’s for sure – it’s certainly more fun. It’s a genuine way to enhance the perspective from which we observe school duties and make them more pleasing and fun to do. Now when you know what it takes, rush to the bookshop and choose the biggest, prettiest notebook and get ready to convert it into a powerful studying weapon – your GPA will be rather thankful!