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How Students’ Notes Taking Can Determine Their Examination Performance

By DAYO ADESULU

Mrs Oluwakemi Famuyide, the elementary school principal at Greensprings Anthony campus has suggested that students’ academic performance can be improved if a slight change is made to how they take their notes. She said this in an interview during the recent in-service training (INSET) of the school. In her opinion, the current way of writing lengthy notes make 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,” she remarked. 

“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, 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” she added. 

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

She concluded her remarks by saying even though not all schools can become a Thinking School, they can still improve their students’ academic excellence by teaching them the use of graphical symbols to link information and knowledge together.

Thinking Schools 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. Greensprings is the first Thinking School in Nigeria. 

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