GED Study Tip: Take Notes!
Getting ready for the GED? Whether you're attending local
classes, taking an online GED course or managing a self-study
program at home, you'll want to ensure that your study time is
Make a Note! Here's one surefire study tip that has proven
successful for adults working toward the General Education
Development credential, the 'diploma' awarded for passing the
For many GED students and adult learners, taking notes seems
boring or tedious, or they can't see the relevance of taking
notes. Perhaps they have an abundance of GED study materials and
don't feel a need to add more to the pile. And for some GED
students, taking notes is new -- they're reluctant to take notes
because they've never done it, or never learned the skill.
Taking notes is easy -- it's highly effective and ensures
learning when it's a three-part process. And taking notes is a
critical way to shift new information that's learned from the
brain's short-term memory bank to the brain's knowledge vault.
1. Initially, many people feel like they're copying or jotting
material just for the sake of it. It's difficult for them to see
how taking notes helps them learn. And it may seem like a
mindless activity. Still, it's important - just write down
information as you move through material on your own, or during
GED classes. The act of taking notes engages you with the study
material beyond just hearing information, reading or seeing it.
Just as note-taking improves with practice, so does learning. As
notes are taken more frequently and regularly, students begin to
recognize key information and main points more easily and more
often. Note-taking becomes more logical since the act of taking
notes engages the logical processing of the brain. When the
logical brain becomes engaged, the learning process is activated
and information is better retained.
2. The second part of taking notes is organizing them; do it
soon after taking them. How do you organize notes? Put them in
logical order -- or an order that makes the most sense to you.
Highlight, circle or underline important information. As notes
are reviewed and organized, the information from the notes is
refreshed in the mind and organized mentally. Again, the logical
brain is engaged.
3. You reinforce this part of the learning process by processing
your notes again. Fill in any missing information. Make a list
of the key words from your notes. List any problems you're
having with the material, or identify sections in your notes
where the material seems unclear. Make an outline of the
information so that you see the relationship of ideas and facts
to each other. Make another list or outline that includes all
the information you feel you've really learned. Determine how
you can use this new knowledge in real-life situations. Now,
review sections or the list that identified unclear information
and you'll probably discover that it's clearer.
Taking notes is neither an art nor a science. But the learning
process is both. Learning isn't really about remembering, and
knowledge isn't about memorization. Real learning and real
knowledge are about activating, using and engaging higher brain
processes, which is exactly what happens during the three-step
process of taking notes.
At GED test time, taking notes will prove to be an excellent
skill to have learned. Processing information logically, and
identifying key words and main ideas are major parts of the GED
test. So taking notes is an important skill and practice for
study time and test time. More Resources
For additional GED study tips, test information and free
resources on the GED test, including financial aid and student
support, visit http://www.passged.com/online_courses.php. The
website also provides links to federal agencies and nonprofits
that serve GED students, instructors and workforce development
programs. For a list of official GED testing sites and
administrative contacts, visit