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Rules for optimal creation and design of study notes in preparation for exams

    Guidance on how best to create and design study notes, with a perfect summary making any cheat sheet redundant. Here are some guidelines:

    • Rule 1: The type of summary is dictated by the type of exam, i.e., for a fact-heavy exam, you need to write down more details than for an oral exam.
    • Rule 2: The more extensive the material, the greater should be the compression, for one thousand pages cannot be reproduced in detail, one hundred pages of summary being certainly too much, ten probably too little, and twenty-five pages realistic.
    • Rule 3: Natural science subjects can get by with less text because formulas condense central concepts, i.e., here the focus is on logic, here one would distract oneself from the actual work of thought with too much text.
    • Rule 4: The more comprehension-oriented the exam and the more extensive the material, the more important mind maps, structure maps and structure tables become.
    • Rule 5: If you have the feeling that you have too much material and too little time for repetition, you are probably not compressing enough, because others have also passed the exam.
    • Rule 6: It is easier to look at others objectively than at yourself, so you should compare your summary with those of your colleagues. What do they find relevant and what not?