Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering(GATE) is one of the toughest exams in India. This examination tests the comprehensive understanding of various subjects in engineering and science for admission to IIT/IISc or PSUs.
Making perfect notes is a crucial factor that will decide your chances of success while preparing for exams like GATE.
Short and to the point
You are preparing notes for yourself and just for yourself. It is important that you should feel like reading it again and again. There is no point in preparing comprehensive notes ranging from 3000 pages if you won’t read the whole thing again and again. You are not preparing a reference book for public use for it to be comprehensive enough that any random person who reads it has to understand the whole subject. Keep it as short as possible without losing out on the essence of the content.
In my case, I had 3 classmate notebooks each of 172 pages. Everything including normal notes and extra notes that I made while going through the test series and other online forums was included in these 3 notes. Normally, a chapter took around 10 pages and a few extra pages for extra notes that I’ll add at later stages. This approach really helped me to revise well during the last leg as my notes had all the major points covered and were short enough to complete in a quick time. There will be many parts that an outsider might find useless and very tough to comprehend, but as long as I understand what I had written, it serves the purpose.
Give preference to logic over the structure
You can prefer phrases over sentences.
Use all kinds of abbreviations and symbols you are comfortable with. This will serve 2 purposes.
1. You can keep them in mind for long as those symbols stay better connected to your mind
2. It will make your notes short and simple
That being said, do not invest your time and put extra effort into inventing new shorthands. That’s going to overburden your brain. Use it if it comes to you automatically.
Use bullet points instead of paragraphs
Bullet points are more readable and easy to understand compared to complete sentences. Once you complete the entire syllabus, you’ll be able to recall the entire background of a bullet point when you see it at a later stage.
Do write some logical explanations that you find interesting in short words as explanations to those bullet points. (This part is actually dependent on you. If you are not feeling confident that you’ll remember the background by seeing a bullet point write till the level you gain your confidence.)
Take notes only after you get the concept well
Note down only after understanding the concept. Do not note down the sentence that you see somewhere in the hope that you’ll read it again after a few days to grasp the content. Notes are made for the purpose of revision. Not for first-time learning. Learn the concept and then note it down in short words so that you can revise it at a later stage.