Note taking could really help you in school, probably more than doing your homework. In note taking you have to pay attention to certain things your teacher will say that are possibly not in the textbooks but might also come up in the exam. Sometimes this is what exactly teachers do, to test how attentively the students are listening.
But in note taking, you need to consider some things to effectively do it, and I will give you tips on how you could make the most of note taking.
1. Sit in front and on the center seat in class. This way you will have less distractions and you will be focused on the discussion more.
2. Use a binder instead of a notebook, this way you could arrange the pages and insert some handouts if ever there is any, and you could personalize your notes according to your own system.
3. Put headings on everything so that you will remember what they’re all about. Pick out headings that you will easily understand or will trigger a memory or a topic for discussion.
4. Leave spaces on your notes where you could put your own comments. I do this often, to help remind me why I put something down. You can place your own comments, or your own understanding, or even quote the teacher and put your own comments beside it, so that the next time you read it, you will remember how the discussion went on and how you understood it.
(SEE ALSO: How to be Fully Prepared for Class)
5. Don’t write down just anything the teacher says because you might become less attentive on the discussion if you’re focusing too much on writing. Listen to the teacher’s cues on which things are most important like which ones does she keep repeating and stressing.
6. For better comprehension, also write the examples that the teacher mentions because they’re concrete representation of abstract ideas. Sometimes if you have a hard time understanding a concept, an example is all it takes.
Lastly, and probably the most important of all, keep reviewing your notes. It’s not enough that you write things down and forget about it, hoping you’ll retain the information until your next discussion.
Reviewing helps a lot especially if it’s immediately after the discussion. With these tips I’m hoping everyone will have better study habits by mastering the art that is note taking.