So, day X is finally coming. In a few days, you will have a test on the important and hard subject. This means you have to repeat a lot of learning materials to pass it well. If you are one of the lucky students that are allowed by a college professor to bring a cheat-sheet on the exam – you are already in a favorable position. It’s difficult to disagree that it is way simpler to pass the test if there are your notes (even brief ones) in front of you. But how to make these notes, and what you should add there? We’ll try to figure it out in this article.
Necessary Steps to Take Before Making a Cheat-Sheet
Prior to beginning with the cheat-sheet creation, you have to put yourself in the right mood. How to do it? We have several ways for you. Here, they are:
Organize your workspace
The results of the HeadHunter study showed that in 90% of cases, the organization of the workspace affects the motivation and performance of a person. Therefore, try to create an appropriate atmosphere at your desk. Take away what distracts you: your favorite books, board games, a smartphone, etc. And put a bouquet of lilacs on the windowsill: the smell of this flower stimulates memory.
You should not be chained to the table and cram from morning until night. It is better to revise in portions and give the brain a rest. You can “dilute” the repeating by any activity that brings you pleasure: walking, meeting friends, listening to music, etc.
Do not give up the afternoon nap
According to the experiments of American somnologists, 20-30 minutes of afternoon nap help to perceive the information 16% better. Therefore, if there is a desire to sleep in the middle of the day, do not deny yourself this pleasure. Set aside textbooks, relax, and set the alarm so that you do not inadvertently oversleep until the evening.
Change the environment.
If the walls of your room are “depressing” you, try moving to another place. In the living room on a soft sofa or in the park on a bench, if weather permits. This will help relieve tension and cheer you up. Also, to take the load off you while you are preparing for the test, you can use the so-called “write my essay for me” websites.
Cross out the topics you’ve already revised.
Have you revised a question? Cross it out or draw it with a marker. When you see that there are fewer questions, it will be morally easier to prepare. A simple psychological trick, but it works.
5 Key Tips to Make a Perfect Cheat-Sheet
First of all, it has to be clear that this cheat-sheet will have any possible use for a student if they know the subject well enough. Why’s that? First, because the notes have to be brief (and it’s hard to make laconic notes if one doesn’t know anything on the topic). Second, they have to be written, usually, on the paper with the size of an index card (which means one won’t be able to write down even all the theses, no matter how finely s/he writes). Thus, it has to be understood by now that if your knowledge is poor, a cheat-sheet is not your option to pass the exam, and, probably, continuing reading gives you nothing.
Those who are sure of their strength and full of desire to create the ultimate cheat-sheet can proceed with the following steps:
Revise properly and thoughtfully all the learning materials that you are going to have a test on. You have to do it as carefully and scrupulously as if you aren’t allowed to bring a cheat-sheet with you. It is also called a study-sheet or test-day aid. When repeating the topic, the student will gain the idea of what exactly s/he knows well and what should be learned a little bit more.
While some students tend to memorize better with their eyes, the others do that better by listening or writing down the information. Do you have a good visual memory? Then, read the material several times to remember how the pages look. Do you remember things better while listening to them? Read the topics loudly or make records and listen at your convenience.
When you are revising, write down everything you might not understand perfectly on the ordinary sheet of paper. It might be useful to write down separately things you don’t comprehend completely and those you can’t remember. Since the room is very limited, one has to be 100% sure that exactly this information they need to be with them while passing the test.
After a student has carefully figured out their weak and strong points, they can start to make a “draft” of a study-sheet. It is worth to spend time and try to deal with difficult concepts being at home. One should do this because, as has been already mentioned, there is very limited space, so, it will be great if on the cheat-sheet there will be only super difficult issues. Try not to dissolve into points that you half-understand and be consistent about what you write.
The things you add to your test-day aid have to give you hints on what they really mean. Given the little room, write down collective concepts that will bring you the idea of what great information they can pull from the corners of your consciousness.
Be collected, calm, and cool-headed, and you are going to make it! Here is the important pointers list that you should keep in mind while preparing the cheat sheet.
- Revise all the topics to be covered in the exam/ test.
- Identify key things to put into cheat sheets
- Find a good, sharp pen.
- Write down what you need in neat writing.
- Divide the notes into sections.
- If you run out of room, then you will need to stop.
- Try to leave a little bit of room at the bottom of the paper.
- Revise the notes you’ve written.
If you run out of room, then instead of writing small in a sheet of paper, write the notes large over two sheets. Then scan them and digitally put them together on the computer. Print it out, and trace out the printed notes on a new piece of paper. This method is difficult and very annoying, so I advise against it. But if you are desperate, it is a possibility.
Ask your teacher, parent or friends to read your notes! They will give feedback that you would have not expected at all!
If your writing is not neat, then you will have a hard time deciphering your own writing at the test. Spend a good amount of time to “perfect” your notes
Even if you aren’t allowed to bring a cheat sheet into the test, creating one is a great way to study since it helps you figure out which topics are the most relevant. Trying to fit the entire course onto one page forces you to consider what is important and what the minor details are. It’s also great for a quick review before the exam to brush up on all the information you studied. Good luck with your exams and happy studying!