How can you learn to write effectively?

This is how you can write the perfect study summary - a guide for the lazy

by Tim Reichel

It is the heart of every exam preparation. Your learning plan stands or falls with it. If it's really good, so will your exam; if it is not, do you have a problem:

Your summary.

End of the semester: Each student tinkers a summary of the most important lecture contents in order to prepare for the upcoming exam. There is no time for small details - the most important things from 3 months of university are collected and written down on a few pages. It must be enough.

But you don't just write the perfect summary. It's a science in itself. With lots of little pitfalls.

To make it easier for you and to avoid stupid mistakes right from the start, I have put together a 5-step guide for you. In this way, you can easily write the perfect summary and take some of the stress out of your exam preparation.


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In 5 easy steps to the perfect summary

Your summary is your foundation for learning. You build your exam preparation around it: It is the first thing you write down and the last thing you look at before your exam.

That's why it's so important.

And if you create your summary with a clever system, you not only finish faster and get a better result; In addition, you won't forget any important content and you can work in a more goal-oriented manner.

Just follow these 5 steps:


Step 1: Collect relevant learning material

Before you can get started, you must first look at the basis for your summary: the content of your past semester.

Many students simply start with their summary without collating and sifting through the entire subject matter beforehand. As a result, a lot of important information is forgotten or superfluous parts of the lecture are included.

Collect all exam-relevant content from the past semester. Don't leave anything out and in this first step simply put together all the learning materials that are available to you.


Step 2: create structure

After your input is clear, you start to sort your learning content. Structure your lecture and create an overview of all relevant topics.

Most summary errors arise because the various pieces of content are not clear and the relationships between them are not properly understood.

Take a close look at how the topics build on each other and create a clear structure. Create a mind map or create a suitable PERT chart.


Step 3: Set priorities and eliminate the unimportant

Now that the content is clear, you can start sifting through and setting priorities: Which topics are particularly important for the exam? Which ones can you neglect or leave out entirely?

If you cover the entire material, your summary will end up being way too long. By skillfully prioritizing, on the other hand, you can focus on the most important topics while you are writing and significantly simplify later learning.

Find out which topics do not play a major role in your exam and sort out these points. When summarizing, consciously focus on important topics that will be of great importance in the exam.


Step 4: Create checklists

Before you can finally start with the summary, you make lists with the most important information that must be included in any case.

These checklists are your rescue package and ensure that you do not forget any important points. In addition, your notes make it easier for you to write and help you concentrate on the essentials.

Make a list of all technical terms, key figures, formulas, definitions and contexts that must definitely appear in your summary. Create a separate list for each main category.


Step 5: write a summary

Preparation: check. The structure for your summary is in place. You know what is important and what to look out for. Now you start to summarize.

But please don't make these three mistakes:

  1. Don't clap incoherent sentences together: Your summary must be coherent and self-explanatory.
  2. Pay attention to your language: Do not write too loosely, but pay attention to the correct formulations and terms.
  3. Don't overdo it: you don't have to win a beauty award and you don't need to write a high-quality literary text. Your summary has to work.

Go step by step with your summary. Work your way from chapter to chapter and don't lose your bearings in extensive topics. Always think about the framework of the lecture and emphasize the connections between the contents.


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Your summary is important. So important that it will be worthwhile for you to come up with a strategy and make a plan before you write.

The 5-step guide above will help you and ensure that you avoid stupid mistakes and that you can optimize your summary in the creation process. And you also save time.

Time that you can spend much better on learning. (For example!)

From now on you will no longer start to summarize in a headless manner, but proceed skillfully and intelligently. You will see the results after your next exam.


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