How to learn a lecture conspect


Self-test while studying


Transform the lecture notes into help cards


Studies confirm that students who use hint cards when preparing for exams receive higher grades than those who do not use them. It turns out that this is a simple way to improve your assessment. You will need to pack small cards, a pencil, a pen or a marker that does not show up on the other side of the paper. First, write a short question on one side of the card, and then on the other, indicate the answer. Choose the first card, read the question and answer it. Turn over the map and check the correctness of your answer.

Collect all hint cards in one pile, not dividing them into several piles. This will create a spatial effect that improves memorization.

Having worked all the cards several times at a certain interval, postpone those with which you did not have problems to concentrate on the others.


Create concept cards


They differ from hints in that they focus not on individual facts, but on the interrelationships of ideas and facts, which is very useful in preparing for the exam. As with the tips, buy a set of small cards and a pencil, pen or marker that does not show up on the other side of the paper. On the one hand, write a key idea, a term, a name, an event or a process. On the other hand, write down the definition of this word without going into details, and give 3-5 related concepts. Use cards for self-examination for each word written on the front side.

Among the concepts pertaining to the word, there may be examples, justification of importance, related questions, subcategories and other similar information.

For hint cards and concept cards it is recommended to use separate files or packages for storage. They can be of different colors and match colors chosen for specific items (if you chose this way of organizing abstracts).

You can carry both piles of cards with you to repeat the material in free moments (in line to the doctor, on the bus or on the change between classes).


Make practical assignments for self-examination


Self-examination is one of the most effective learning strategies that should be used regularly. It forces our brain to find information and strengthens the neural pathways to improve memory. Take your notes and make questions based on the material of each lecture. Write questions with a selective answer, alternative questions that require a short answer, questions on filling in fields and topic of essays. Set them aside for a couple of days, and then work regularly with them in preparation for the exam.

After the first exam on the subject, you will often know which format of work your teacher prefers. If these are questions with a selective answer, then next time you better focus your attention on such issues.

By making practical control questions, try to anticipate and anticipate questions that may occur in the exam. Look for cause-effect relationships, examples and assumptions, definitions, dates, lists and charts in your notes.

After the first exam, study questions with incorrect answers. Again, take notes and check that they have the right information. Perhaps it was in your notebooks, but you found such data insignificant. In the future, this will help you not only correctly formulate questions, but also more literate about the lecture notes.


Other ways of active study of conspects


Work with a partner in study


By teaching others, you have to rephrase and deepen the information in order to put it in your words, so you better remember the material yourself, going to a new level! So, choose a lecture and briefly review your abstracts on the topic. Give a lecture to your study partner and ask them to ask you questions that are designed to make the ideas more specific. Then change roles to prepare for all the necessary subjects.

An additional plus of the approach is that you will almost certainly identify places that were initially considered not important enough for study, but later the partner convinced you of the opposite. Also, it helps to fill in the gaps in your entries, because the tuition partner can provide information that you did not have time to write down.
It is possible to compose test questions for each other alone or alone.


Study group


This is another opportunity not only to study your notes, but also: a) fill in the gaps in the entries, b) take a fresh look at the material of your abstracts and c) see other approaches to learning. Having formed a training group, you should choose a leader who will monitor the work of the group and send reminders. Determine the time, frequency and duration of meetings. At meetings, look at abstracts and other materials with your classmates to share information and solve complex issues. You can also take turns to act as a lecturer and make control questions.

Some schools have online learning management systems that allow students to enroll in subject matter study groups. If this option is not available, then discuss with the teacher the possibility of creating a training group. Also try to find interested people among other students.
The training group should consist of 3-4 stakeholders. Too many people can create chaos and interfere with productive work.

Meet once a week. So you will not cover too much material in one lesson.


Study the conspects through complex surveys


The method of complex surveys a) stimulates learning and memorizing through the question “Why?” When reading the material, and b) is a more effective method of preparation (according to studies) than other generally accepted approaches such as the use of mnemonic techniques and the extraction of information. Looking through the notes, stop periodically, ask yourself “why?” And give an answer to the question. Questions can be general or specific.

The general question: “Why does this make sense?”, “Why is it unexpected, if you take into account my knowledge of this topic?”

The specific question: “Why does the information remain in the short-term memory only for 18 seconds, if it is not repeated?”, “Why does cramming often lead to poor grades in the exam?”

This technique is effective because it forces you to revise already existing knowledge, critically consider information, establish links and give an answer in your own words. Simply put, this method of training helps to provide information directly to the brain.




At the end of the day, work with conscpect using different approaches. Each of them forms memory, and diversity contributes to long-term memorization.

Alternatively, you can study in different places. Our brain is looking for clues in the environment and forms associations with the material. By changing the training site, we create more contextual clues or links to the material. So information is remembered more reliably.

To study it is important to be in the right mood. If you are distracted by urgent matters, then you can not concentrate on studying and simply waste your time.

Do not delay preparation at the last minute. Cramming before the exam leads to the fact that you are forced to rely only on short-term memory, the volume of which is limited. It may be that the next day you will be able to give correct answers to a number of questions (according to studies, this will be the information you remembered in general), but you will forget the answers in the long term or by the time of the final examination.

Do not forget to rest well and eat right. If your body is not fully charged, then you should not expect the maximum efficiency from the brain. This is one of the reasons why cramming before exams is ineffective – you just do not have time to sleep and rest properly.

Always keep notes if your teacher shows educational films or leads the guests to a lecture, since such information is surely useful in the exam.

If you like drawing, then make illustrations with color markup of the basic ideas. So, if you study the human body, you can draw all the constituent elements of the central nervous system in red, the skeleton in blue, and the muscular apparatus in green.

Learn from your mistakes. Receiving back your control and examination papers, you should always work out those questions, the answers to which were unsatisfactory, or reread the conspects to determine the points that should be given more attention. All this will help you to properly prepare for the next exams.


How to learn a lecture conspect