When I was studying for my counseling exam, there was one weird practice I created that I now swear by. Now you, too, may benefit from this strange exercise if you so desire.

I started by typing out a document of everything I wanted to remember for the exam. This document consolidated the content of study guides and test prep content I’d been consuming. It was about fourteen pages long and somewhat stream-of-consciousness.

After I created this document, I wrote a shorter version by hand. I kept definitions to a few words (enough to jog my memory) and left out the more obscure, niche parts of the first document. This one was a few pages long. 

FINALLY, I created ONE SHEET from all of the previous content. This sheet would look like total nonsense to anyone but me. It contained abbreviations, stand-out terms, little doodles, and no definitions. Just enough to remind me of my reminders. 

As I prepared for the exam, I’d rewrite this sheet as quickly as I could. I used different colors for different subject areas (career, research, development, etc). The writing process itself proved extremely helpful, as did the mental exercise of creating short, punchy reminders that could fit on the page.