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13 February, 2024

Best Way to Take Notes for the DAT

Preparing for the DAT can be difficult and time-consuming. In this article, we will be reviewing the best way to take notes for the DAT.
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When it comes to taking notes for the DAT, I personally like using a mix of handwritten notes alongside Quizlet flashcards. However, with a limited study timeline and numerous concepts to cover, the process of studying can feel overwhelming. In this article, we will be discussing the best way to take notes for the DAT. That said, there are various useful techniques used by students, however, for the purpose of this article we will be focusing on handwritten notes and flashcard platforms such as, Quizlet and Anki decks.

📚 Reviewing Material 

Before getting started on note-taking, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

First, it will be beneficial to create a study schedule to follow. A study schedule allows you to approach each topic in an appropriate, timely manner while also reducing the stress associated with cramming materials. Our team has created a flexible schedule, which you can modify according to your commitments. To access this schedule, click here!

Next, when starting a new chapter, take a few minutes to skim through the content. While doing so, take mental notes on the major topics that are being covered in this chapter. This exposure to topics before learning the material is called priming. This can be a helpful technique, as research suggests that priming will help with information retention after studying. Now, let’s focus on creating our notes.

✏️ Handwritten Notes 

I personally find handwritten notes to be a fantastic way to summarize concepts and incorporate visual aids such as flowcharts and diagrams to help with understanding. To optimize usage of your time, only take notes on material that you’re having trouble with. Studying for the DAT can feel hectic, so don’t waste your time focusing too much on concepts that you know well. That said, it’s still important to review these concepts from time to time. This is where I like to use Quizlets, which will be discussed under the flashcards section.

Now, before moving on to the next concept, try to explain the concept you studied to yourself. This will allow you to incorporate active recall into your study. By having handwritten notes focus solely on complex and unfamiliar concepts, you can easily refer to them as they are not filled with overwhelming amounts of information.

🤔 Flashcards 

Flashcards are a great way to increase the strategy of active recall throughout your study. They also tend to be more accessible as there are various pre-made decks found online. You can also make your own deck and add on to these pre-made ones. To help with the time-consuming task of creating flashcards, our team has created a number of Flashcards, such as Quizlets and Anki decks, for each chapter. All flashcards can be found on the Biology page of DATCrusher under the “Flashcards” tab. For your convenience, the specific Quizlets for each chapter can also be found below:

  1. Cell and Molecular Biology 🦠
  2. Diversity of Life 🌲
  3. Structure and functions of systems 🧠 
  4. Developmental Biology  👶  
  5. Genetics 🧬
  6. Evolution, Ecology, and Behaviour 🐻

After learning the material, you can now use your flashcards on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, according to your own study schedule. Additionally, Quizlets is an online resource and with the use of your phone, you will have access to them on the go.