One Simple Way to Improve Your Memory As You Prepare for Your Firefighter Promotion Test

Note taking is a must when working on your firefighter promotional exam prep. If you want to make the most out of the notes you take, ditch the laptop and write them by hand. There are many benefits to handwritten notes, keep reading to find out what they are.

The Benefits of Handwritten Notes

  1. Improves Understanding & Memory

The biggest benefit of taking notes by hand versus typing them on a computer is increased understanding of the material and overall memory of what you are studying. Taking notes by hand forces you to actually interact with the material you are studying and reading. This happens because as you write your notes down by hand your brain has to process the information more than it would just by typing. When you handwrite your notes you are more likely to be writing them in your own words. That translation of the textbook information into your own words forces your brain to process the information more than it would just by typing or reading alone. The hands-on approach of note taking gives your brain another chance to interact with the material, improving your chances of understanding because you are actively engaging with the material. Taking notes by hand will also make the material easier for you to recall come test day because you were forced to slow down and really engage with the material as you wrote your notes, you didn’t just passively type letters and words as fast as you could without even really reading them. Think about what happens when you take notes by hand, you generally say what you are writing to yourself or even out loud as you write, a sign you are actually processing what you are writing, not just copying it down. Taking the time to process the information you are studying and putting said information into your own words will increase your overall understanding of the information. Ultimately, it will make the material easier to remember when you sit down to take your firefighter promotional exam.   

  1. Shorter, Easier to Understand Study Material

When you take handwritten notes it is best to get into the habit of putting the material into your own words, not just copying the information down word for word. One reason for this is because it takes longer to write handwritten notes, paraphrasing gets the information on the page faster. It also allows you to take notes in words you actually understand. If you write all of your notes down word for word and don’t take the time to understand what you wrote down you will likely never look at the notes again nor use them to study. If you write your notes by hand you are more likely to create a short, easy to understand study guide for yourself that you will actually use. 

  1. Limits Distractions

Taking notes on a computer, tablet, or phone is a perfect way to set yourself up for distractions and procrastination. Having the internet at your fingertips while you are trying to study and take notes is a recipe for disaster. You should study in a place where you can keep distractions to a minimum by not even having any electronics in your vicinity when possible. Limiting electronics will limit possible distractions. You can’t distract yourself too much if you just have a writing utensil and paper with you, unless of course you are a doodler. 

  1. You Can Use The Notes Anywhere

Another great benefit of taking handwritten notes is you have created a study guide for yourself that you can use anywhere. You don’t need wifi or a charged battery, you just need your notebook and yourself. This will allow you to study more often because you can study anywhere so long as you keep your notes with you. 

The Takeaway

Handwritten notes may seem old fashioned and may even take longer but the results will be worth the effort put in. Taking notes by hand will not only increase your understanding of the material that will be on your firefighter promotional exam but also your memory of the material. Having a notebook of notes you wrote by hand will decrease your distractions, increase comprehension, and give you a study guide you can use anywhere.