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Reread & Rewrite Notes to Improve Understanding and Retention


Study Skills & Tools MS/HS/College Strategy


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Reread & Rewrite Notes to Improve Understanding and Retention

If your student needs extra reinforcement for understanding or remembering class content

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will reread and rewrite class notes the same day to reinforce concepts while they are still fresh and solidify retention.
  2. Instruction and Practice: Use the following guidelines (next slide) to help students learn and practice rewriting their notes. Have students practice in class at first so they gain comfort with summarizing and condensing. When students have some practice, assign it as an exercise for homework. Encourage students to use this review also as an opportunity to think of questions that they might not have thought of in class.

*students* Guide: Rewrite Your Notes

  1. First reread your notes once or twice to help you solidify understanding, rethink concepts you might not have fully grasped, and/or realize what you missed.
  2. Next, rewrite your notes by summarizing and restating as much as you can in your own words. This will both help you understand and remember far better than simply rereading.
  3. While you rewrite, delete any unnecessary details and repetitive points. When you finish rewriting, summarize the key takeaways in one or two sentences and highlight them to help remember the most important points.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Reviewing and solidifying understanding provides a virtuous cycle for students to continue to remember, listen, learn, understand, and improve. Taking the time to review previous class material takes discipline, but it can be very effective in improving retention and understanding. In addition, this approach will be far more efficient and better for lasting retention than trying to cram at the end of the semester.