Expert Recommends Shorter Notes to Ease Students’ Assimilation During Exams


The Elementary School Principal at Greensprings Anthony Campus, Mrs. Oluwakemi Famuyide has stated that students’ academic performance can be improved if a slight change is made to how they take their notes.

Speaking during the recent in-service training (INSET) of the school, she argued that the current way of writing lengthy notes makes it a daunting task for students to read during exams.

She therefore proposed the incorporation of visual tools that make note-taking shorter and easy to read for students.

“It has been observed that one major challenge that students face during the exam period is that they find it difficult to read and assimilate their lengthy notes. Some students are unable to adequately cover all the topics during revision, which will likely result in poor exam grades, especially when the omitted areas are set as questions in the exam.

“To motivate students to cover all lesson areas in order to improve their exam performance, schools need to teach their students how to use visual tools when taking notes. These tools are graphical symbols such as lines, points and arrows that help to link information and knowledge together.” By using them, the principal said students are able to write shorter notes, as well as use visual representations to note the main points from a topic, thereby making it easier to recall if necessary.

Famuyide pointed out that visual tools are part of the Thinking School teaching methodology that is currently being adopted by her school, adding that the tools have been helpful in guiding students across all categories to understand how they know what they know.

Thinking Schools, she said, are schools accredited by Thinking Schools International (TSI). The schools take an explicit, evidence-informed, and whole-school approach to develop pupils’ cognitive capability and intelligent learning behaviours.

“You find students making statements like ‘I’m thinking about my thinking’ even when they are having conversations with their peers. It has also helped students excel in both internal and external examinations.”

Famuyide said even though not all schools can become a ‘Thinking School’, they can still improve their students’ academic performance by teaching them the use of graphical symbols to link information and knowledge together.