Effective Tips for Note-Taking

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Note-taking is an important part of your study. Having good notes can boost your confidence on the course, improve your productivity on digesting the knowledge, and most importantly, improve your exam preparation efficiency. It is truly not easy to take notes when a lot of information comes to you in the class. You can use some of the following tips to have a more effective note-taking process:

Organize your notes

It is better to keep all your notes for a class in one place and put a label on it. You can write down the date, class title or even other significant things that happen during the class. It will help you to find things fast when you review the notes. Disorganized notes are helpless when it comes to studying.

Preparation before class

If you have time before having the class, you can quickly go through the notes of the last class. It only takes a few minutes, and it will help you to recall the knowledge. Plan before you get started.

During the class

Stay attentive in the class. If you decide to attend the class, why not sit at the front of the class, and stay attentive? You are close to the instructor, and you have less chance of missing some essential information. Treat the class carefully and make the most of class time. It is certainly difficult to focus all the time during class since there are many distractions from social media. Especially, most students use laptops to take notes. To avoid that, make sure you turn off notifications from all those social media apps. It is helpful to take better notes.

Pay attention to keywords. Your instructors usually emphasize some ideas in the class which you need to pay attention to. You may find out there are some keywords that your instructors spend a great deal of time on and repeat over and over. Remember to take notes of these ideas and make a significant label on your notes.

Adjust your speed of writing. Teaching systyles of classes you attend may be different. You need to develop your own style of writing according to the class. For the lecture delivered by handwriting on board, you must follow the instructor and write down whatever he/she writes on the board. Also, you need to pay attention to the explanations and write them down in your own words. For the lecture delivered by presentation, in addition to copying information in slides, make sure you pay attention to what the instructors say and write them down. Of course, you can save time by not writing down information that you already know.

After the class

Clear questions. Make sure you ask questions if you do not understand what you have written down during or right after the class. Do not wait. You will find it is difficult to catch up if you leave too many questions after the class.

Edit your notes. Set up a time to review your notes. It is better to do it before the next class when new knowledge will come. Do not leave notes until the exam! When you review it, you can add your understanding or any ideas which are helpful to digest the knowledge. This will help you to remember the knowledge and prepare for the following class.

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