While college itself is a challenge, there are a lot of smaller things within it that are difficult. From scheduling classes well to studying enough and making sure to get enough sleep, it tends to feel like a never-ending race to the finish line: the degree. One particular challenge we want to talk about today which is essential to your studies is taking notes. Having good notes to study for exams can make all the difference in your grades. If you have a hard time figuring out how to take good notes, this is for you. We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to have the best notes possible.
Don’t settle on writing notes once. Writing notes by hand is always best because it helps the mind process the words more. Aside from that, take notes during lectures, but don’t stop there. Make sure you’ve written whatever wasn’t in the slides. Once you’ve done that, rewrite those notes while focusing on three things:
1. The material itself.
2. How the material connects to other material.
3. The main ideas of the material.
This will create a broader and more comprehensive picture of the material for you.
If you’re a visual learner, this is a great way to make important points, names, places, and any other details stand out and easier to remember. Feel free to use as many colors and highlighters as you want, so long as it remains organized to you.
Another way to keep things organized while taking notes is by using headers. This will help you understand everything better later rather than looking at a long block of text you can’t decipher.
After class, or whenever you have the time, compare your notes with the slides and the books. See if you might have missed something during class and fill in any gaps you might have.
Read The Slides Before Class
If you take the time to skim the slides before classes, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in the class itself. On top of that, doing so will allow you to know what you don’t need to write down during class since you already know it’s in the slides. Plus, the more times you read the material, the better.
Don’t Worry About Looks
If you aren’t a visual learner, or you can only write so fast during a lecture, don’t worry about making your initial notes pretty. Get used to writing short hand. It can be a waste of time writing out full sentences. Just make sure you can understand what you’re writing, but when it comes to grammar, it doesn’t matter. You can always go back into the notes later on and do whatever you want with them.
And there you have it! You’ll be able to take excellent notes from now on. Now go and ace those classes!