Best Ways to take Notes in Class
- Mar 25, 2015
Can you recall the main causes that had triggered the First World War or the Great Depression? Human memory is like a blackboard, where older data keeps getting erased as you feed it with new information. Research on memory has concluded that a man forgets about 47% of whatever he has imbibed in the initial twenty minutes. And, you would be shocked to learn that as much as 60% data from a human brain gets automatically deleted the day after the individual learns it.If you are unwilling to believe me, let me tell you that this research had been conducted at the University of Texas in the US. How many times have you made attempts at memorizing every word from your textbook? Rather, how has it really helped you learn? When I was a high-schooler, my teachers stressed on the importance of concentrating on classroom lectures.However, listening to lectures alone wasn’t enough to help me remember what I read. In fact, I realized that taking down notes enabled me to listen more attentively. So, be it History, Biology or English, I started taking notes feverishly at school. And revised the notes before my exams that fetched me generous grades. Having said that, not everybody is comfortable taking down everything the teacher mentions in the class. So let me help you with some of the best ways to take notes in class:
- Prepare well for your class: You must be prepared well for your class. Study the last day’s notes and mark whatever sounds confusing to you. If you have understood them, try memorizing them. It would give you an idea of what your instructor is lecturing about. Don’t forget to bring those notes to class the next day. Carry your pen, ruler, pencil, notebook, and eraser to the class to write down more notes that you might receive.
- Listen attentively: Motivating students to take notes is one of the most effective ways to get learners to listen to teachers. Pay attention to your lecturer as he or she explains a chapter. Switch off your cellphone and don’t fidget with your belongings. And, check the temptation to catch up on the latest gossip with your friends, especially the back-benchers. Also, don’t take notes blindly. Note down just the crucial points or examples.
- Take notes in a way that helps you: Resort to a note-taking style that is hand in glove with yourself. If you are a visual learner, use flash cards, highlighters or multi-colored pens in your classroom. Jot down essential points in separate flash cards, to be used later. Once you write down something, use red or blue pen to underline them. Or, write down definitions or formulas using red pen, while using a green colored pen to take down examples. Color coding your notes would assist you in retaining the information in your memory better.
- Compare notes: Next, it’s time to pay attention to the content of your notes. Are you sure you have been capable of retrieving every important portion of what was discussed by your teacher in your notebook? While taking running notes, it is natural to miss a small point here or there. Therefore, students must participate actively and communicate with one another to find out if they have missed out on anything. If you’re unable to analyze anything, approach your teacher, or your friends.
- Review notes: Taken down all the notes already? Now, be ready to review and edit your notes. After all, you need to be certain that you are equipped with the appropriate information. Fix the careless errors you made while noting everything down in a jiffy. Generally, notes appear a bit messy as you jot them down as your professor is rushing through his or her lecture. So, I would suggest you re-write the notes in a neater and more organized manner. This would make things easier for you while you prepare for the exams.
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- Try shorthand: Most students find it challenging to transfer every spoken word onto paper, as quite often teachers hardly pause before uttering the next sentence in their lectures. So, what is the solution? Utilizing a ‘shorthand’ technique can simplify your task to a great extent. Tweak long words and use short forms of words in a way that is convenient for you. For instance, write ‘imp’ instead of ‘important’.
- Stick to a medium: I have met some students who prefer using laptops for taking down notes in a classroom. They feel that compiling notes using an electronic device makes them neater. On the other hand, I personally feel that writing notes with a pen on paper enables one to memorize lessons more thoroughly. But then, it all depends on the mindset of an individual. At the same time, you must stick to a single medium, whether it is your laptop or diary.
Taking notes is one of the most significant life skills of high school students. It would be fair to put it this way as your academic performance depends greatly on your ability of note-taking! But, you must concentrate on your classroom lectures while taking notes. Make sure you understand the basic concept completely as you are noting down all sorts of information related to it. And once you do that, you are ready to take on that monster called ‘examination’.
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