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December 07, 2019, 07:14:53 am

Author Topic: Good way to take notes and what sources would you recommend?  (Read 536 times)  Share 

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Hey guys!

I'm conflicted between using the Edrolo and Jacaranda Psychology textbook. I find that Edrolo is shallow in terms of information, whilst the Jacaranda textbook can be overbearing with examples and irrelevant information to the study design.

I would really appreciate some clarification on whether Edrolo covers all the information for the course, or if it is necessary to sift through the textbook to be able to understand and apply information to exam questions.

In addition, what recommendations would you have for taking notes for psych?


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Re: Good way to take notes and what sources would you recommend?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 07:03:59 pm »
I believe Edrolo covers most-if-not-all topics in the course, as they are approved by the VCAA, however, I do agree that they are a bit shallow. I think Edrolo is better as a preliminary or revision course, not really something to rely on when properly consolidating the minutiae of the information.

The Jacaranda textbook is far superior in terms of information, and nearly everything you need to know is there, but, as is with most textbooks, a lot of information needs to be sifted down. I personally sift through information in the textbook and paraphrased information in class to make study notes consisting of just a document with topic names and dot points. The learning activities in the textbook I feel are reasonable material for applying the information just learned and it does help with SACs and exams.

My personal extra recommendations for taking notes in Psych is to always have your laptop open or a book open when your teacher is explaining something. Get into the habit of picking out useful information from their mini-lectures and jot it down, especially if it's new information. Then, take their explanation and find the relevant area in the textbook or other resources if their explanation was brief and/or unsatisfying, also just to cross-check that they explained it adequately.
I'd assume that your school would give you some sort of checklist or something before the test or exam, which should provide a rough guide for what you need to study for. By the time they give you such a checklist, your notes should have most of the information required, and you can brush back up on your resources to further prune or add information.

I also use the study guide on Sparknotes.com and copy down notes from there, which although does stray from VCE quite a lot (since it's not made directly for VCE), it does provide extra explanations in different wording and should allow you to get a grasp on how psychology functions as a tertiary study. There's a lot of new concepts that you won't cover in school there, so if you're keen for extension, go for it.
Videos on YouTube from channels such as CrashCourse and Vsauce are also excellent resources for learning, and I would recommend them as study material too.
I also find that reading other papers relating to psychology quite fun, especially if they're in the form of an experimenter's notes. When trying to understand how they conducted the experiment and also scrutinizing their methods and results, it really does serve as extra practice for the research methods part of the subject. When you can, do a quick Google search for a psychological test, or some crazy bastard who decided to go for a mall shooting, and analyse what led them to make that decision. What was the reason behind the action or reaction? How did you come to that conclusion?

Really, in conclusion, the Jacaranda textbook is superior in terms of hardcore studying information for this subject, but Edrolo is still useful as a secondary resource for preliminary or revision material. Taking notes in psych classes need to be disciplined and thorough, and you must find what information in pertinent to what you're studying when the teacher gives lectures. To further yourself, doing extra study outside of the VCE programme is quite invigorating, since it keeps your mind interested in the topic itself, rather than the regimented school subject.

Hope this helps.
Year 11 at Beaconhills College.

2019: Psychology [], Biology []
2020: Chemistry [], Literature [], Music Performance [], Mathematical Methods []


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Re: Good way to take notes and what sources would you recommend?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 07:19:33 pm »
Use the study design key knowledge dot points and only add stuff that are relevant to them. Also, psych is moving to the more conceptual-understanding kind of thing so you can probably use this to filter out the useless stuff (e.g most of the examples from the Jacaranda textbook).
Psychology [45] | HHD [47]


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Re: Good way to take notes and what sources would you recommend?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 10:40:44 am »
Personally, I use Edrolo as a basis for all my notes. I find it has sufficient starting information with all the dot points and such. It is also not overly detailed, but detailed enough to understand and jog my memory when I read over them. I like to add a 4 cm left margin to my paper, and I use this to take quick notes in class and connect that into what I've already written, also for definitions and useful information from videos or answers to things that I don't fully understand. I then leave a 6 cm height band along the bottom of my paper and I use this for summaries, sample answers and anything else that I might add that would be useful.
I also try and make a mind map to go with each section, as I find that this helps my brain to make connections from my previous knowledge to what I've just learnt, and I do a few questions out of the textbook if I'm still having trouble or want to have some samples to look over in preparation for sacs and exams.
Hope this helps a bit! If you'd like a photo example or something of the way I do my notes I'd be more than happy to upload one :)