How to Take Notes

Although you can sit in a lecture or class and listen to the information that is being presented, taking notes can enable you to recall more of the information later on. Learning which methods work for you and allow you to recall the most information can be an effective way to make the most of your notes.

Listen, Listen and Listen
There are many people that become so absorbed in taking notes while they are in class that they forget to listen. Although this seems impossible, failing to listen means that you are automatically taking notes from the information that is being presented, but you are failing to absorb and learn the information.

Although you are listening to the information, struggling to capture and take down each word that had been stated is not an effective way to learn to listen. Learning to listen means that you

Prepare to Take Notes Before the Lecture Begins
Preparing for the lecture before class is an essential part in note taking. There is information that often becomes available through class outlines, handouts and website information. This can help you to become familiar with the material that is going to be covered in the lecture.

There are many classes in which an outline is going to be presented. Take the time to go through this outline and underline or highlight any important points within the material.

Preparing yourself before the lecture begins can enable you to reduce the time which is spent rushing through notes once the lecture has begun.

Avoid Distractions While Taking Notes
There are many forms of distractions that can affect you while you are taking notes. Mp3 players, cell phones and other electronic gadgets as well as the actions of those around you in the class room can often affect the ability to take notes and absorb information through class.

One of the best ways to avoid distractions while taking notes is to sit at the front of the class. Sitting at the front of the class allows you to be in the line of sight to learn the information that is being given, reduces the mix-ups that can come when you are in the back of the classroom. You'll also be in a great location to ask questions that you may have about the material. Although some instructors wait until after the lecture has been presented for questions, be sure to take note of your question to ensure that you are remember what to ask.

Create an Outline for the Notes and Use Headings as Reminders
While creating the notes, take advantage of keywords and important headings within the notes to determine important points within the lecture. These keywords can often be found at the beginning of an important point, such as a fact that is going to be on a test, or a formula which must be learned.

It is important to ensure that you are able to learn to recognize these keywords. These keywords are often found on the introduction of the outline of the class lecture, or even in the outline of the course and therefore reading this information can help you to easily and readily determine this information. Use these keywords as the heading for the small section of the notes to ensure that your notes remain organized. This can make it easy to create study aids as well as being easy to locate specific information that you are looking for when it comes time to write a test or to review a term or concept that you were unfamiliar with.

Don't Rush
Rushing means that you are entering information quickly and therefore it can sometimes be impossible to understand. Rather than rushing through the notes, learn to focus on the key points and pieces of information that are being presented to you and use this information to create a basis for your notes.

At the point that you find the instructor moving on to a new topic, but you are still taking notes on the previous topic, don't be afraid to leave the section blank and use the information in the textbook and other sources to complete the notes once the lecture has been finished.

Organize Your Notes
Being organized while taking the notes can save hours trying to scour through pages of information to determine which of the pieces of information are going to be on a test or an examination. Leave room within the notes to indicate which sections of the notes are going to be on the exam.

One of the most common and effective ways to organize the notes that are being taken is to use headings, then sub-headings . Use this method in combination with charts can help you to easily locate certain points at the time when you are reviewing the information.

Compare Notes with a Classmate
When taking notes, it can be helpful to compare the notes that are being taken with a friend. Comparing notes with a classmate can reduce the missing items. Choose a partner that is taking the class or sessions seriously in order to gain the best results from the process.

Don't be Afraid to Use an Audio Recorder
Using a tape recorder can be an effective way to maintain notes and ensure that you haven't missed any important points within the lecture, especially if you are an auditory learner. The tape recorder enables you to play back the lecture and the information that has been presented and allows you to easily take notes and focus on the auditory cues which are provided by the instructor. Taking notes when using a tape recorder can also be an effective way to learn to use keywords which are being presented in the lecture.

Don't Waste Time with Information that You Are Familiar With
When it comes to most concepts, there is going to be information that you are familiar with through the majority of classes. Rather than going in depth, writing the information, you can make short notes to convey that you are familiar with the topic. Once this information has been learned and present in your brain, there is no need to spend valuable time within the lecture rehashing the information through notes which are present on the board, when you are easily able to recall this information on your own.

Note Taking Overview
Learning how to take notes is an essential part of being successful in any situation where you are learning new skills. In most cases, there are large amounts of information which are being presented in a short period of time and note-taking enables you to review the information immediately after it has been presented, as well as allowing you to

Although it can be simple to use a computer while taking notes, as sometimes typing can be quicker as well as easier than writing, it is important to write the notes while you are in class. Writing the notes enables you to have a tactile, auditory and a visual response to the notes. This enables you to absorb the information easier, as well as helping you to learn the information.

If you prefer to have the notes typed, consider using the computer to retype the notes after you have used a traditional pen and paper to write the notes. This can help you to absorb the information even further and help you to have neat and organized notes. After you decide to type the notes, you can also leave room within the sections of the notes to put new information or tips and tricks for remembering the information for yourself.

How to Make Note Taking Easier
There are certain things that you can do while taking notes to ensure that the process is as easy as ever. Using these methods can be an effective way to ensure that you note all of the important information that is being discussed through the class or seminar.

Make use of abbreviations. There are many standard abbreviations that can be used while taking notes. Making use of these abbreviations can be an effective way to be able to save time to pay attention while you are taking down notes.

Use point form notes. These shortened notes enable you to get as much information as possible while taking down the notes. Point form enables you to focus on the keywords that are associated with the note and even through the important points, without wasting time writing words which are not required in order to get the concept of the point across.

Use arrows and other elements while taking notes, like under lining and highlighting or headings to organize the notes and ensure that you are able to create a focus for important points that are being displayed. This can help you to review important information come testing time and help you to determine which information is required. Creating your own system can be an effective way to ensure that you are able to sufficiently organize the notes.

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