Focusing on Key Concepts and Formulas

When you have stacks of notes, a textbook, and handouts in front of you, it can be difficult to know where to begin. As a result, it may be helpful to keep a list of key concepts that are covered during lectures as you study throughout the term. These key concepts can usually be condensed into a short list. However, you should try to remember to keep this list on your desk or in the front of your binder so you can add to it throughout the term.

With this in mind, it is important to note that the topics covered in most of the math classes and some of the science subjects that you will encounter will require you to use formulas to solve problems. This means that you need to make sure that these formulas are clearly written in your notes. On your study sheet, write down the main topic. Underneath, write down all of the formulas that you need to know and a brief description of when they are used. This will help you work through practice problems, and the list will be an excellent tool when you’re doing a final review for any of your tests.

Making a study sheet for other subjects can be a bit more challenging, but you may want to begin with a key concept. If it’s a biology course, for example, one of the key concepts might be genetics. Then, you can list all of the subtopics that fall under the main topic. In this case, some of the subtopics could be dominant and recessive genes, Punnett squares, and sex-linked traits. Regardless of the topic, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessary to outline all of the information that falls under these subtopics because that’s what your class materials are for. The list of major topics and subtopics will simply serve as a guide that will help you to identify the material that you need to focus on while you are studying. You may, however, want to make a note of where you can find important information about each topic in both your notes and your textbook.

If you are diligent in developing a study sheet outlining the major topics covered throughout the term, reviewing for your final exams will be much easier and your study sessions will be more productive.

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