1.  Taking linear notes 无结构笔记

Linear notes are lecture notes that students take when they attempt to write down every word of a lecture. Linear notes occur when a student tries to write every word a lecturer says in sequence, like writing a rambling essay with no paragraphs.


You must revisit your linear notes and make relationships from one section to another. You should draw arrows from one related word or concept to another, and make a lot of notes and examples in the margins.


Solution: To reinforce information and to make it sink in, you must also recreate all your class notes in another form. You have to revisit the information and put it all into a chart or shrinking outline.


Right before every  new lecture, you should review your notes from days past and predict the next day’s material. You should reflect and make relationships between key concepts before you sit down for  a new lecture.


2.  Highlighting the book 标记书本

Reckless highlighting is the root cause for many bad test grades!


Highlighting does make important information stand out on a page, but that doesn’t do you  much good if you don’t follow up with some meaningful active with that information. Reading highlighted words again and again is not active enough.


Solution: Use the information you highlight to create a practice exam. Put highlighted words onto flashcards and practice until you know every term and concept.


You should also develop a color-coded highlighting strategy. Highlight new words in one color and new concepts in another, for example. You could also highlight separate topics according to a color code for more impact.


3.  Rewriting notes 重写笔记

Students rewrite notes under the assumption that repetition is good for memorization. Repetition is valuable as a first step, but it’s not that effective all alone.


You should rewrite your notes in the shrinking outline method, but follow up with self-testing methods.


Solution: Switch class notes with a classmate and create a practice exam from his/her notes. Exchange practice exams to test each other. Repeat this process a few times until you are comfortable with the material.


4.  Rereading the chapter 重新阅读章节

Students are often encouraged to re-read a chapter on the night before an exam to reinforce what they’ve learned. Rereading is a good tactic as a last step.


Solution: Make sure to use active steps like charts, shrinking outlines, and practice tests and follow up with rereading your chapter.


5.  Memorizing definitions 记忆定义

Students spend a lot of time using flashcards to memorize definitions. This is a good study method, as long as it’s a first step in the process of learning. As students progress through the grade levels, they are expected to progress in cognitive skills.


Solution: Once you have memorized the definitions of your terms, give yourself a short essay practice test. Make sure you are able to define a term and explain why it is significant. Be able to compare and contrast your term to something or someone of similar significance.