Although most students practice the exercise of taking notes during a lecture, few realize that benefits also arise from writing down concepts during reading assignments. Absorbing information from an online CPA course engages the part of your brain that processes language. When your brain later routes those facts into memory, they get tangled up with everything else you observed during the day. Writing engages another area of the brain to distinguish important data from the trivial.
Taking notes attaches the content of CPA exam study to a context that improves future recall. In fact, writing down key points helps you remember them even if you never look at your notes again. The mere act of writing improves memorization, but not for everything. Evidence from brain studies indicates that written notations aid in remembering just important things.
The human brain has several regions for processing information. Each region serves a separate sense. Distinctive areas exist to process input that is visual, auditory, emotional, olfactory, and so forth. These brain regions communicate with each other. For example, seeing a beautiful sunset evokes both visual and emotional responses, which may also result in a verbal response. However, each area of the brain processes separately. Although this description vastly simplifies neuropsychology, the basic concept is applicable for discovering how to pass the CPA exam.
Writing creates spatial relationships between what you write down and information you read or hear. You engage a new mental function using the same facts received from an outside source. Spatial tasks trigger another part of your brain. This linking of visual or verbal input with the spatial relationship distinguishes vital details from less relevant information.
Psychological tests have demonstrated that note takers remember a greater number of major facts than individuals who don’t take notes. What seems to happen is that writing causes you to put some thought into sequencing the importance of information. The writing itself is not as crucial as the evaluation of what elements in CPA exam material are most significant to remember later.
Building a mental spatial link by writing strengthens recall because your brain is using the same process as when you are actually doing instead of merely writing. This kinesthetic learning enhances memory because writing elicits the same effect as real action of doing something.
A lot of note taking devices are available on the market, including digital notebooks and smartpens. However, rarely does the functionality of electronic notes and cloud-based storage exceed the simplicity of plain paper and pencil. Notes on paper allow drawing diagrams, graphs, and arrows. These are quite useful to illustrate or connect various factors in a CPA review course. Even if organizing paper notes is a little more challenging than a digital formal, retrieval of information is less important than the basic act of writing itself.
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