Why should you make summaries?


Be bullet proof for your exams
Have you ever wondered how to summarise? A useful summary is more than just a condensed or shortened version of your work.  A good summary requires you to analyse your study material, identify the key concepts and to explain it in your own words.

You might want to read our article on how to get ready to pass every test and exam.


So, why make summaries?
  • Summaries increase your understanding of the content and make it easier for you to remember the most important points for the exam.
  • You should get into the habit of reviewing and summarising your notes at home on a daily basis, therefore maximising your study time.  Leaving all of your summarising to just before the test/exam is stressful and time-consuming.  Rather do a little each day and then use the time before exams for revising the work you have summarised.  
  • Summarising re-enforces what you have learnt that day, ensuring that you have fully understood the work and if not, allowing you time to ask your teacher questions the next day while the topic is still under discussion in the classroom. After all, your brain learns best when it knows something already and builds up on it.  
  • Simply highlighting or underlining and then rereading your original notes are not enough.  By writing out summaries the material enters your long-term memory making it easier to recall in the exam.

Prepare to summarize

  • Become organised as it is no good having summaries for different subjects all mixed together and scattered between other materials. 
  • Have a separate file or book for each subject.
  • Use dividers or tabs to separate the different sections.
  • Arrange your study material into a format which suits your learning style.
  • Store all of your summary files or books together.

How to make a summary

  1. Keep it brief, your summary should be headings and key points which remind you of the main material to be remembered, not a rewrite of the course material.
  2. Write your summary in your own words so that you understand it, but never add your own ideas or opinions.
  3. Reduce your notes to short manageable pieces which are easy to memorise.

Read our step-by-step guide on how to make summaries.