What's your style for notating a test prep book?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.

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What's your style for notating a test prep book?

Postby gmerch15 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:50 pm

As I read though Mike Kim's Trainer I highlighted, used post-its, and took notes in my notebook, but found that I really haven't been referring to my notes very much/at all. Taking notes also slowed me down a significant amount, so if I'm not even really referring to those notes I'm not entirely sure if that's an effective habit.

Now that I've moved on to the PowerScore LRB I'm looking to refine my study habits to most effectively absorb the information. Obviously working through PTs is the key to true understanding and retention, but during the act of reading a test prep book how do you notate the wealth the information contained in the 500+ pages?

What habits do you use?
Do you highlight or take notes (as we all know "or" can also mean "and" :wink: ) or neither?
Do you take notes in a notebook or digitally?
How do you use those notes?
Do you make a study guide?
Do you read books multiple times?
Any other techniques or practices?

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

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Re: What's your style for notating a test prep book?

Postby Platopus » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:55 pm

The LR Bible has nice little reviews at the end of each question type chapter that nicely summarize the main points. If you're looking for a quicker way to take notes, perhaps just copying these summaries at the end of each chapter will help.


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Re: What's your style for notating a test prep book?

Postby PDuzzy » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:54 am

I'm finishing going through the LRB for the second time.

The first time I highlighted the things I found most important. The second time through I'm writing a "cheat sheet" of the important parts highlighted for every chapter.

In my classes, it's rare for me to use my notes. However, the process of creating a small cheat sheet organizes all the information in my mind, and writing things down helps immensely with retention.

One thing absolutely crucial to transcribe (I typed it) is the common flawed methods of reasoning in the LRB.

So I would recommend writing something down, but there's not a best way to study.

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Re: What's your style for notating a test prep book?

Postby 180pedia » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:20 pm

It may just be me, but I don't see a terrible benefit to substantial note-taking for the purpose of referring back to during your studies. I believe the benefit of any note-taking system in this regard is largely limited to how it improves your retention. Don't get me wrong - I took notes, but I barely referred to them. It may vary by the user, but I did not find it necessary to refer back to my notes; writing them was sufficient to remember. After all, there is relatively little rote memorization with the LSAT.

TL;DR; I would take notes for the purpose of remembering but not necessarily with the expectation of referring back to them.

Preparing for the LSAT can cause you to spend more time than necessary or in less than productive ways IMO. I did this too, and I created a Question Displayer & Packet Creator... the catch, you'd have to fully type out every question. You know how often I used it... basically never. I, personally, think one of the more beneficial ways you can 'overkill' studying is with abstract flawed reasoning questions. Try to understand or even write an argument that would fit the criteria for the wrong argument. After all, these are reasons other arguments could be flawed.

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