Note Taking Success in College

Note Taking Success in College

Everyone has a different note taking style in class and some people don’t even need to take notes to remember key points.  Note taking is important in college due to the fact that professors lecture in different ways and some have a lot to cover.  Some students prefer to handwrite notes, while others type them on laptops. If you are someone who relies heavily on notes in college, here is some useful advice on note taking and what to do with your notes after you write them:

Short-hand method: Abbreviate or write out part of the word so that you can keep up with the rest of the lecture.  Some teachers speak really fast and catching every word is nearly impossible.  If you shorten words or abbreviate, it will be easier to write down an entire point.
Fragments: Writing the entire sentence is just as bad as writing one word the teacher says.  Instead, just write a fragment of a sentence with the major point included.

Visuals: If you have extra time in between notes, draw out a point so that you have a visual aid to help you remember.

Practice listening: Try to train your ears to listen to the professor as much as possible so that the words flow out of your pen.  You can always go back to read your notes, so don’t worry about reading it while you write.

Stay organized: Use bullets, numbers, or letters to organize your notes so that they are not all over the place. Title your notes, put dates and subtitles for different sections.  Being organized is easy when the professor gives organized lectures. Some professors just speak without clear organization; therefore, organizing your own notes will help.

Now that we have covered note taking skills, here are some ways to study your notes to retain information.

·    Once you are home or at your dorm, re-read your notes while the days lecture is still fresh in your mind.  Looking at your notes again in the same day will embed the key points more firmly in your mind.

·    Read your notes again the day before your next class lecture so that the information will come back and you will understand the next lecture better.  If there are unclear points or you cannot remember a certain part, you can ask questions in class or ask a peer.

·    Underline or highlight keywords and major points while you read your notes so that when you study them for a test, you know which areas are most important to focus on.

With these helpful hints on taking notes in college, you will be more successful at remembering and keeping information from your notes for a test.  Note taking is a big part of college and every accomplished and high achieved student has a history of notebooks full of notes.

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