In Year 12, there’s a lot more content than previous years of high school. Keeping on top of everything and making sure that your material is organised can be a challenge- but here are some tips to help keep everything tidy.
Keep finalized notes and in-class notes separate.
When you’re in class, you may take rough notes and be a little messy in the rush to get everything down. Upon reviewing, this can be confusing and difficult to understand. With these notes, it’s good to transcribe it into something more useful- maybe summarizing the most important bits from the class into a page of notes. Then, you can throw out the messy page that may not make sense. This is a good way of cutting down notes and reducing it to the most important information (making study easier!).
I would also suggest going to the extent of having a separate folder or notebook for all of the finalized notes you have; it could be a document or just a collection of notes in conjunction with the textbook. This finalized set of notes can be a main reference for all of your content.
Try to pre-prepare for classes.
This can be hard depending on the style of your teacher, but trying to re-read and collecting useful material or reading the textbook BEFORE coming to class can help you feel on top of your content. Plus, when you actually sit the class, it’ll be like revision, helping cement it into your mind.
Finalize your notes as soon as possible after classes.
To avoid buildup of weeks and weeks of content, try to make a habit out of organizing notes as soon as possible after the class itself. Especially leading up to trials, this can take a lot of stress off when organizing notes during holidays or on weekends, which in turn allows more time to revise and learn the content. Over a long period of time, getting behind on content can really harm your potential study time.
Have folders for past papers and feedback.
This is useful for revision. After answering past papers, you can keep your feedback to see where you can improve in future. These are really important things to keep, as they can sometimes get lost in the mass of notes. Having a display folder or binder to keep these is great for keeping them organised as well as for practice.
Have a system.
Keeping these tips in mind, have a defined system of organising your notes; knowing exactly what you will do with them when you receive or write them. I had a written list that I stuck on my pinboard, which was like a reference for what I should be doing with my content. When I would go through a new topic in, for example, biology – I would first go through the textbook, highlight relevant sections and check which dotpoints would be covered properly from the syllabus. In class, I would make rough notes, then transcribe them into actual notes and keep them in a binder. After, I would double check with any additional notes I had (Excel books, past notes). And finally, I had a display folder with my past papers. This system allowed me to stay on top of content during the year.