exam software

How to(/I) study (from slides)

Since I started college four years ago, all the notes we get from the teachers are the slides they use to teach the lesson.

In my first year, I used to copy every lesson by hand while studying, but as the years went by, our lessons grew a lot, so coping them only made me lost too much valuable time. It was fine in first year, when it was almost everything examples and how to use data structures or how to code in Java or “simple” things like that but not anymore.  Some of my classmates would print the slides as we get them, but that results in a bulky bunch of papers that are not really that useful…

So how do I study from slides now?

Note: I only use this way of study for those courses that are mainly theory.

1. “Convert” all those slides into a Word document (copy & paste everything) →  This is better if you do it BEFORE the lesson. Also, don’t just copy and paste: READ IT. That’s kind of the point of doing it before the class…

Note: If your teacher doesn’t give you the slides before the lessons, ask them for them. 9/10 times they would either mail them to you or make them available wherever they usually post them. If they don’t give them to you, ask around and find out if they use the same slides every year (this is very common) so you can get them from former students.

2. Print them! →  And take the printed version to the lesson with you to annotate important things the teacher may say. Also, post-its are your friend.

Note: I recommend to invest in a (cheap) printer. If you can buy things online, find one that can use those non-official cartridge that are like 15$ the pack of 10. Two years ago I bought one in Amazon for 30$ that uses 1$ cartridges and it was the best thing I’ve ever bought.


3. Read the lesson and highlight/underline the important. →  Use as many colors as you’re comfortable with.

4. Summarize it. Get the main concepts.  → ONLY the important. You don’t even have to write full sentences. Only words are perfectly fine. Or diagrams. This is what you would use to revise after you have studied it.

Note:  I like to use an A4 paper folded in half, but that’s mainly because I take them with me to the exam to revise the lessons in the train (I have a 45 commute and I usually arrive like 15-20 minutes early so…).

5. Aaand you’re done. Happy Study Time!