Taking Notes

Taking Notes


One of the most important things that you should do when you’re listening to a lecture is to take down notes.  They not only keep you on your toes and help you keep your focus; they also provide you with good material to review afterwards for your exams or for some quizzes.  Also, some studies have shown that students who take down notes can absorb data faster and better than those who don’t. However, there are several reasons why students can’t take effective notes.  Mostly, though, it happens because people consider note-taking as a transcription of everything that the teacher says.  This is not only time-consuming and tiring, it’s also very ineffective.  Notes should be concise and comprehensive, should contain only vital information, and should be easy to review.  For your notes to be effective, you need to be discriminating about the data that you will include in your notes.  Don’t just take down anything. Only write down those data that you need, like definitions, names, dates, new information, and your own questions on the matter.  Here are some tips on effective note-taking that you can use the next time you have a lecture.

Be Prepared


It’s always good to come prepared for anything, even the most mundane lectures. The most important step in the preparation is doing your required reading. Always read about the lecture in advance so that you can follow the discussion when the time comes.  That way, you won’t be assaulted by new information and you won’t be trying in vain to take down a gazillion words per minute.  Also, have pens, pencils, and highlighters with you when you take down your notes. Of course, don’t forget to bring your notebooks or papers too.

Taking Down your Notes


When taking down your notes, be sure to pick out only the most important and relevant information.  Don’t write down everything because that would be impossible and unproductive. Also, use symbols and abbreviations so that you can take down notes faster.  If possible, learn how to use short hand.  Also, don’t worry so much about the aesthetics of your handwriting.  Just write legibly, that should be enough.

Rewriting your Notes


Finally, as a form of review, rewrite your notes.  Write more legibly and complete the words.  Complete any information you might have missed by using your textbook as a reference.  You can also compare notes with some of your classmates so that you can check if you left any pertinent information out.