Why Bother Taking Notes?
So much of what you learn, retain, and will be tested on in school comes from attending class and becoming a competent note-taker. Many teachers and professors offer information in their lectures that goes above and beyond what’s in your textbook or other class materials. And that additional information inevitably ends up on an exam!
The good news is, if you approach note-taking as a job, or a skill you can master, you will build a solid foundation that will help you achieve academic success. Once you have mastered the art of being an active listener in class, you will notice your note-taking skills improve greatly.
Here’s a seven-step outline of an effective strategy for taking notes in class:
Arrive on time
Write down all key terms
Develop your own shorthand
Include brief definitions and explanations of key terms (wherever possible)
Construct a rough outline
Note general themes of the lecture
The better and more committed you are to devising a strong in-class system of note-taking, the better off you will be later when you need to use your notes to review or complete assignments out of class.