Notable Tips for Taking Great Notes

Notable Tips For Taking Notes

There’s a very important difference between notes that make sense and notes that are all over the place and clearly only taken to look busy in class. If you’re careful about your note-taking, they’ll be lucid and helpful references to everything that was said in class.

1. Organize

Always start with a date, a short heading and assign page numbers if you use more than one sheet. This will save you precious time that might be lost in flipping through endless pages of handwritten text when every second counts. Get yourself a ring-binder (a hard plastic foldable file, usually available in an assortment of colors, with rings that hold sheets of paper—they’re not dorky, they’re great). It gives you the flexibility of attaching and detaching whatever you want, in any order you want. Any handouts you receive can be stuffed right in too.

2. Listen attentively and actively

Be proactive. Be prepared to listen before the teacher starts speaking and you will be able to grasp more. Learn to differentiate between rhetoric and essential points. You can also train yourself to zone in and out at will to give your brain a break. We discussed this in our F.O.C.U.S. article.

3. Content Selection

It doesn’t really help to try and take dictation from the teacher. If you’re too focussed on taking down every last work that comes out of your teacher’s mouth, you’re liable to drown in information and end up missing out on what’s actually important—trust us, not every phrase is a gem, and your teacher knows that. Active listening is a handy tool: with time, you’ll learn to isolate the salient details, precise definitions, mathematical formulae, citations, references, and important discussion points (most teachers will reinforce these themselves either). It doesn’t hurt to get some kind of familiarity with how your teachers work too. The better you understand someone’s process, the better able you’ll be to glean the good stuff.

4. Review what you have written before you leave the premises.

Just give a quick once-over to the scribbling that you have done in the name of note taking, before you wrap up for the day. You, prone to error like any other normal human, may notice some disparity between what’s in your notes and what you actually remember from class and you can quickly make the correction. Deal with the discrepancy now, to save yourself confusion at a later and more crucial (read: crunched for time) stage. Statistics reveal that new environments create new memories, and your older memories get pushed back. So finish off what you started, wherever you started it, before you lose track.

Keep these pointers in mind when you’re in class. You can thank us later. You can also try our first session free (for gratis and nothing) and discover a myriad of essential tips and strategies.

2 thoughts on “Notable Tips for Taking Great Notes

  1. Anam

    These tips are very helpful. I would like to add one thing here from my own experience of making notes. While making notes do remember to keep and order. This will be helpful when you look back at these notes for revision and will make understanding it easy.

    1. premiertutors Post author

      Thanks for sharing this tip with us Anam! However, what is your method for doing so? Do you compartmentalize notes? Or do you use highlighters and other means?

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