By Michael Ormsby
Many adults who are studying to get a GED® certificate had difficulty in high school and fell behind in learning skills. That means passing the GED test seems harder than it needs to. The good news is that learning skills can be easy to improve.
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One learning skill that can help you study to learn faster and better, and to get a GED certificate more quickly, is taking notes. Taking notes can help you stay focused on what you're studying, help you actively think about what you're learning, and give you study materials to review later. Have you ever thought about how you take notes, though? What will help you learn and remember easiest? Here are some tips.
Make decisions! Note taking doesn't mean writing down everything that's said, or just writing down random things because you're supposed to. The more decisions that you make about what's really important and what you'll need to know, the more you're actively learning. Just making the decision that something is important and writing it down helps you learn better and more easily. You've thought about it, so the gears have started turning.
Use pictures! Words aren't always the best way to make notes. Use arrows, boxes, pictures, or symbols to connect ideas, remember how things relate to each other, or picture what something is like. Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? It can be true in note taking. Pictures and diagrams can help you remember the information better and make more sense of it.
Use shortcuts! When you're taking notes, you can use abbreviations or shorthand that make sense to you. You can use the same kinds of abbreviations that you might use when you're texting, formal shorthand, or anything that makes sense to you. As long as you're able to read it later, use any shortcut that you can to take notes faster.
Don't let your notes go to waste! Going back over your notes later will help you remember what you've learned and teach your brain that this is information you'll want to recall again and again. But just looking at your notes isn't the best way. Re-organize your notes. Add to them. Write down questions. The more you update and change your notes, the more you're interacting with them...and the more you'll learn from them.