Chemistry is not an easy subject; we fully understand that! But it is not even as hard as Physics or Maths. We acknowledge that whether you find a subject easy or hard is a subjective matter and depends on your talents and academic strengths and weaknesses. So we consider the situations an average student faces for most generalizations. Note-taking is a very efficient way of reinforcing information. It would help you if you had an effective note-taking system for a subject like Chemistry. This discussion will focus on different ways you can improve your note-taking style and score better in the exams.
Chemistry Note Making Tips for NEET 2022
- Read the topic before entering the class: It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the topic your teacher will teach. It will help you take better notes. The point is not to memorise the topic but rather to read it thoroughly and highlight all the important points. Highlighting the important parts forces your brain to comprehend the information. You won’t highlight if you don’t understand. Also, make a checklist of the important keywords and note that down to ensure you cover all of those in your notes. Reading the topic beforehand gives you a headstart, and you don’t feel lost during the lecture. It helps you reinforce what you already know about the topic and, therefore, you get a better understanding of the topic.
- Be attentive in the class: This applies to not just Chemistry but any other subject. If you are not attentive in the class and lose track of the topic, you can’t make good quality notes. Your notes should have a flow. Every point should correlate with the previous and the subsequent point to make sense. You can achieve that flow only if you are attentive in the class and listen carefully to every concept that your teacher teaches.
- Use an unruled notebook: This will be beneficial because Chemistry contains several diagrams, flow charts, infographics and reactions.
- Make organised notes: Use different coloured inks for questions and answers to differentiate those at a glance. Also, write the important terms using a different coloured pen. Use highlighter pens to bring your attention to the important points, even if you are short of time. The time taken to change all these pens will prove fruitful when it takes you less time to study your notes at a later date. Use sticky notes besides topics containing information regarding the types of questions asked from the topic in the exam.
Leave some spaces here and there, especially near the points you do not fully understand or require more elaboration, to build upon those later. Use loose papers instead of using notebooks because you don’t have to worry about the spiral getting in the way. Put the notes in a binder when they are complete. Use smooth pens to avoid slow writing due to friction coming in the way. Put margins after completion of each topic.
- Make a fact sheet: It should contain the information you need to remember on top of your head
- Draw diagrams and flowcharts wherever applicable: For example, if you are studying the structure of an atom, draw the diagram of the same. It will help you correlate the theory with the visuals when you sit down to study the notes. Also, just by looking at the diagram, you can revise whatever you have studied within a fraction of the time. Another tip is to explain information in the form of flowcharts. For example, you can use a flow chart to study the extraction of metals.
- Make your notes look good: For example, start a paragraph for each new concept, use bullet points or short paragraphs to make your content more appealing. Write the examples that include calculations in a box in the middle of the page to find those easily when you visit your notes at a later point for a particular calculation. Use cloud boxes to add relevant important information that doesn’t necessarily fit in any paragraph.
- Combine lecture notes and textbook notes:
- Incorporate problems in your notes: Problems are great learning resources that help you understand the topic at a fundamental level. Those make great examples for you to refer to.
- Keep your notes short and crisp: This is especially applicable when taking notes from your textbooks or reference books. You do not need to incorporate every single thing written in your book into your notes. Doing so will defeat the purpose of note-taking. Replace big paragraphs with short equations. An equation takes minimum time to write but holds a lot of information. For example, if you write an oxidation reaction of Glycerine, you will be able to mention the reactants, products and by-products, the temperature of the reaction, and the catalyst all in one line. Another tip is to use different coloured pens for different components of the reaction. This will help you review a huge chunk of information at a single glance during revision sessions. Also, use abbreviations whenever you can to save time and maintain compact notes.
Things you need to avoid while making Chemistry notes
- Do not refer to too many reference books to add information to your notes. It is very common for students to get distracted when so many study resources are available in the market. But it would be best if you chose a book that is easy to understand, high in quality, and contains all the necessary information. You know yourself better, so find a book you think you can follow and learn from. Once you choose a book, stick to it for making your notes. If you are halfway through your book and someone suggests another book, do not change your resource. It will lead to confusion, and you will feel clueless in the end. Whatever your friends are saying or suggesting are no rules; those are their opinions. So, you are not obliged to follow them.
- Do not write without listening. When you are taking notes in your Chemistry class, be attentive. You are there to learn, not just transcribe or document whatever your teacher is saying.
- Do not make too many corrections. It would be pleasant to review notes that have too many corrections.
- Do not try to write everything. You can not write as fast as someone speaks. So it would be best if you just write only the important points or phrases that, when you revisit later, will be able to trigger your thought process and help you remember the whole topic effortlessly.
- Do not follow the same style while taking notes for different courses: You would have taken your Chemistry notes a certain way when you were in eleventh grade. You can’t follow the same pattern while taking notes when preparing for competitive examinations because the syllabus and content are too lengthy. Your note-taking style needs to be changed. New note-taking strategies need to be applied to reap maximum benefits and save time. You need to learn new mnemonics and introduce abbreviations in your notes to cut down on time.
- Do not skip the points from the lecture you don’t understand. It is human nature. We like to take the easy way, skipping the ideas that lie outside our brain’s comfort zone. If you do not understand a point, note it down and leave some spaces around it so that you can add more information to it later when you learn it from a better source or when you sit down to research or brainstorm it.
- Do not forget to ask questions if you do not understand something. You should not hesitate to raise a query if you do not understand a point. No one is going to laugh at you. In fact, your teacher will appreciate that you are paying attention in his class and taking it seriously instead of just being there for the sake of it. After you ask a question, your teacher will take the discussion forward in detail, which will help you to acquire more valuable points to add to your notes.
- Do not forget to review your notes. If you want to reap the most benefits out of your effort of note-taking, you must revise those soon after the class is over. Moreover, it prevents you from learning incorrect points that you might have noted down hastily because the memory of the whole lecture is still fresh in your brain.
Please note that you do not necessarily have to follow every one of these tips when taking your Chemistry notes. Human brains are so different. What works for one student might not necessarily work for others. Therefore, you need to follow only the points that fit your learning style. Nevertheless, these are very helpful ideas that will help a large number of students prepare for their exams more effectively.