Note-taking is a vital part of learning as it helps you to not only better absorb the material when you first hear it, but also to have something to refer to when studying for an exam, writing a paper, or reviewing a concept. The goal of note-taking is to record the important parts of a lecture quickly, while also making your notes thorough enough to recall the key information upon studying it later.
Different people have different ways to take notes, and while you need to find out exactly what works for you, we’ve compiled this list of note-taking techniques, tips, and tricks to help you make the most of your note-taking.
Explore different note-taking techniques and find out what works best for you.
Consider the outlining note-taking technique, where you begin with a main topic, include subtopics underneath, and then include key points under each subtopic. You could also utilize the column method, where you create one column of notes during class, focusing just on the main points, and then you add details to the second column after class based on textbooks, lecture recordings, and what you remember hearing during the lecture.
Keep your notes in a three-ring binder.
Rather than taking your notes in a spiral or composition notebook, keeping them in a three-ring binder allows you to remove or add pages as needed, making your notes more thorough and complete.
Use a highlighter while taking notes.
Teachers and professors often make comments about particular concepts being “very important,” in which case you should highlight them.
Review notes within 24 hours of taking them.
Studies have shown that 62% of what people learn is forgotten within the first day, so reviewing your notes within 24 hours of taking them will help you retain the information better and longer. Additionally, you’ll be able to pinpoint any unclear areas while the lecture is still fresh on your mind and you can clarify and expand on your notes.
Keep them brief.
While it can be tempting to write down everything your teacher says during a lecture, time is of the essence when you’re taking notes. Write down just enough to help you remember what the instructor was talking about and take the time to fill in more information later if needed.
Utilizing these note-taking tips and tricks will help you to perfect your note-taking techniques and allow you to get the most out of each of your lectures and the notes that result from them. Thorough notes will help you comprehend the information better and will ultimately lead to a more successful schooling experience and will help you be more successful in your classes and beyond.