10 great tips for note taking for Medical PG Entrance exam preparation
This makes one think whether it is important for doctors to know about taking notes. There is a very good reason why it is important. Medical PG entrance exam preparation involves learning and revising more than 15 subjects. This is more to remember than most other competitive exams.
There are 3 main areas where you need a note book – lectures, reading and online study
Tips to follow for note taking for medical PG entrance exam preparation:
- Copy a neat small summary with headings. Do not copy a mass of information.
- Have a hot word column: Keywords or hot words are a very concise summary that helps improve your memory. Make it a habit to find keywords for all important points.
- Do not use skeleton prose: This is the usual way of taking notes with headings, subheadings and bullets. This method is everywhere like text books and guides. This is not good for personal notes as it becomes ‘copy and paste’. It doesn’t organise contents for your memory with meaning.
- Summary: Make sure that you have hot word column on the left, points on the right and a box for summary at the bottom. Personalise the summary with your own words.
- Download a PDF copy of note keeping document and print it as many times for your file. This will help better than books because you can keep adding sheets under a particular topic.
- Your own words: When you use your own words it encourages active thinking, better understanding and high retention.
- Try and make questions: Try and make hot words and questions from a topic. Later, create a summary. Then try to answer the questions by hiding the right column. This is the most effective revision method known.
- Use abbreviations and symbols: Using abbreviations helps to keep the notes brief. E.g. ≠ for fracture.
- Organising notes: Use separate files for each subject. E.g Anatomy, Microbiology, Anaesthesia etc. Use File dividers to separate topics. Number and label to help refiling.
- Revise: This is a key goal of note taking. Sometimes medics take notes to ‘learn later’. This is procrastination and it often doesn’t happen. Hence you have to have time for your revision. There is no compromise on this. It is easier to score high with this approach.