Coming into college, it becomes clear quickly that we are in a very differrent world from high school. Gone are the days of hand outs from teachers and the tests that were easy, breezy. College is a serious game. One of the biggest transitions can be learning how to effectively take notes on your own. You can’t help but ask: How do I know what’s important? How will I remember this material?
As always, Omega Notes is here to help. Here are our top ten notetaking tips:
1. Come Prepared
Make sure you come to class with everything you need. Bring a notebook or a binder, pencils, pen, and a highlighter. And maybe even some coffee for those 8 Ams. It would be smart to bring a backup pencil too in case you run out of lead. (We’ve all been there…). Most importantly – come to class with a mindset ready to learn and eager to listen.
2. Write Notes By Hand
Studies have shown that writing your notes by hand will help you remember the material. While typing may work for others and having printed PowerPoints seems convenient, writing it down can be more beneficial. Your mind will not only associate the material with a visual memory, but a kinesthetic one as well from physically writing it.
3. Focus On Lesson Objectives
For each chapter or lesson your professor provides you, there are usually learning objectives. These are what you should focus on in the lectures. If you keep these in mind while you take notes, it will help you pick up on what is important. This is also the information you will most likely be tested on later.
4. Ask Questions
Be sure to ask the professors any questions on the material. They can go into further detail that isn’t covered in the textbooks. Most, if not all, professors are more than willing to help you. If you’re too shy to ask in class, take advantage of the office hours that professors are required to have. It’s one-on-one time to clarify any confusion.
5. Highlight Key Terms
If there are any vocab words or major concepts, be sure to highlight them. This shows their significance. When you go back to look at your notes while studying, you’ll know what are the most important topics to study.
6. Organize Your Notes By Chapters & Subsections
Organize each of your notes by chapters and appropriate subsections. Your brain likes to chunk things together. It makes things easier to remember. Keeping notes organized is key. It will make things easier to study and save you from some stress as you prepare for any upcoming exams.
Sometimes the professors can throw a lot of information at you. It’s hard to take it all in with 50 minutes. Abbreviating words can help you with that. Abbreviate certain words so that you have time to write down all the important information. Be careful, though. If you abbreviate the word in an odd way, you might not remember what exactly you were trying to say when you go back to study.
8. Listen To Cues From Professors
Often times professors will repeat certain phrases and emphasize certain points. They do that for reason. Make note of it. You’ll probably be tested on it later.
9. Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can help you remember the material in a different way. If you present material in charts or pyramids, it will create an image in your mind for you to reflect on. This makes the material easier to remember than just rereading sentences.
10. Make Sure You Always Have The Right Notes
Sometimes you can miss some stuff or get distracted. It happens to the best of us. Be sure to check out Omega Notes to ensure you find quality notes. You both only benefit from gaining more knowledge.