The Science Behind My Notes
Updated: Jan 27, 2021
I always get asked why I take the time to make my notes. First off, my notes actually don't take that long to make. Personally, rewriting my notes is the way I study the best. If I am going to spend the time writing out all my notes, I decided over time to add in markers and pens to make the task less boring. By constantly going back and forth from marker to pen, I find myself getting less distracted while studying.
By writing my study notes, the memory strategy of chunking is practiced. This is when you take a large amount of material and divide it into smaller subsections that make memorization easier. I do this by using titles and subtitles. Usually the night before a big test, I go through my subtitles and try to summarize my points under it without looking. When I am actually taking the test, I try to picture in my head the exact page and which subtitle the question's material is from. I know this seems like a lot of work to put in for one test. However, when I do all of this, I remember the material for a longer period of time and with more depth.
What I really like about rewriting my notes out to study is that I can summarize the material in my own way. Organizing the material, really helps me make sense of all the material. Overall, this encodes it into my memory. I have tried doing the same thing but with typing and it is not as effective as writing notes by hand. To summarize, rewriting my notes helps me further my understanding of the material in more depth and brings it into my long-term memory.
Lastly, I wanted to talk more in-depth about why I use markers. Because my ADHD, I get really distracted when studying. I talked about above why I study by rewriting my notes, but this can be a gruesome, boring, long task. That is why I added in markers. Because I knew I was going to be distracted while studying, I decided to create what my distraction was going to be. By switching back and forth between markers and pens, I feel more focused when studying than if I had just regularly rewritten notes with pencil.
Here are some amazing articles that elaborate on what I talked about above
This article is a really good read: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1056&context=lexia
This article also explains how multitasking while studying (like using markers) helps people with ADHD study: https://www.mathgiraffe.com/blog/a-better-solution-for-helping-students-with-adhd#:~:text=Because%20of%20the%20way%20that,for%20your%20students%20with%20ADHD.&text=According%20to%20ADDitude%20Mag%2C%20Sydney%20Zentall%2C%20Ph.