One cannot emphasise the importance of reviewing your notes for preparing for any exam. It is vital for any serious aspirant to learn and review their learnings as frequently as possible. One of the ways a serious aspirant can get ahead is to prepare a weekly summary.
A weekly summary is exactly like it sounds, a summary of what you learned over the course of the week. An easy way to create weekly summaries is to divide a book into as many subjects as you’re summarising for. Then divide the space into different areas. You can have an area for writing the verbal summary of the topic. Remember to include as many key words in that summary as possible. You can have another for diagrammatic representation. Diagrams are an excellent tool for quick yet effective revision.
Firstly, review every subject you’ve studied during the course of that week. Divide them according to subject and then according to topic. Then for each topic write a crisp and concise summary. A good rule of thumb is to summarize to 1/6th of the total number of words you’ve written.
Secondly, an index page with subject wise divisions and a list of topics can only help you summarise your notes faster. A index page can also help you significantly cut down on time taken to find the relevant topic. This is an invaluable tool the closer you get to the exam.
Thirdly, at the end of each subject section have some dedicated pages for a Glossary. You can note down definitions, examples, diagrams as well as mnemonics that you would want to see five minutes before the exam.
Fourthly, in your weekly summary remember to write down concepts and ideas in bullet points. These are your notes and you can also abbreviate them as you see fit. It’s important to keep it short and punchy for maximum knowledge gained in minimal time.
Weekly Summaries are a great way to remember what you studied during the course of the week. If you deal with a massive quanta of data like you do in UPSC, staying ahead of the forgetting curve is imperative. Hand written notes are a great way to make what you studied last a lot longer in your memory. This also ties into the way your brain has to work a lot harder to pull information especially when it’s close to forgetting it. The information remembered will then be encoded a lot better and this in turn will help you learn faster.
As to the ‘When’ and ‘Where’ aspects, we leave it to you to figure out. A weekly summary when utilized consistently is a powerful tool to hone your memory. It can help you stay ahead of your competition by recording the information you’ve learned in a single space and with consistent reviewing, you will need lesser and lesser time to consolidate your learning. We hope this method will help you stay ahead of your competitors and ensure a fruitful relationship with learning.
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