Note-taking Strategies for Success

Students must engage in active learning and accept that learning is always an interactive process. Correspondingly, taking good notes require students to be fully engaged in their education. Once a student has mastered effective notetaking, they will find that their academic performance improves. The tips below can assist students in becoming an effective notetaker.

  • Decide what note-taking method works best for your learning style. Examples include the Cornell Method and Concept Maps.
  • If a mobile device is permitted in the classroom, consider using a mobile application. Examples include Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Apple Notes, and Google Keep .
  • Sit in the front of the class. In order to take good notes, you must see and hear clearly.
  • Transcribe or write down important concepts in your own words.
  • Date and title each set of notes.
  • Engage in active reading. Do not just highlight words. Instead, jot down keywords and their definitions.
  • During or after a lecture, ask for clarification. If you fear you did not hear a portion of the lecture or need further assistance to grasp concepts, raise your hand and ask the lecturer to expound on the information previously shared.
  • Pay attention to the instructor’s verbal cues. Watch for lists  including, but not limited to  “the following 3 steps” or “the 3 major causes” and listen closely  for summaries signaled by words such as “consequently” or “hence”.
  • Jot down the information you can’t obtain elsewhere. The slideshow presentation includes an overview of topics and basic concepts, but you will want to capture  the important points the speaker verbally shares with the audience.
  • Make it visual. Include images, symbols, or diagrams to aid your understanding.
  • Clarify diagrams by writing down their meaning or the major takeaways.
  • Take notes in complete thoughts, but use familiar abbreviations and symbols to save time.
  • Review your notes after class and immediately address any gaps in your notes by reviewing course literature.
  • Include important examples and questions you may have at the time.
  • Exchange and discuss notes with your classmates.
  • Create flash cards from your notes for use during future study sessions.

For further assistance and more student success tips, contact us at Earn to Learn FL.