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Tips for taking notes in class

At the heart of any successful college career is the ability to retain information. Whether for in-classroom tests, exams or for work experience, students usually create their own system of learning in order to remember vital points.


However, regardless of how students learn, there is a need to take notes in class. While some students will claim to remember everything spoken in class or lectures without notes, this is certainly wishful thinking and can leave students feeling helpless when the pressure is on later.

As such, here are a couple of proven ways to effectively take notes in class.

What is the best way to take notes?
What is the best way to take notes?

1) Listen for keywords from the teacher

In many cases, students are eager to get every piece of information down on their laptop or book. There are a number of issues with taking this approach. Firstly, it is almost impossible to get everything down and secondly, this panic may mean students miss other key information.

According to leading US university Dartmouth, students should be on the lookout for common clues that suggest something is worth noting. This includes repetition of points, particular emphasis, word signals or topic summaries/reviews.

While all information is class is important, differentiating between what is noteworthy is a key skill to learn for Kenvale College.

2) Clauses and phrases

When a teacher is speaking quickly, trying to jot down entire sentences and paragraphs is a tricky exercise. Often students will only get through half a sentence (at the most) before there is another piece of information that they want to note. This is certainly a cycle that will only lead to missed detail. As such, another proven way to take notes is around using a shorthand or text language system.

As most people understand text and shorthand language, this skill can be adapted to making quick, simple and most importantly readable notes, as discussed in a 2015 Edudemic article by Dustin Le.

There are many techniques to mastering good text or shorthand English. Some people only include consonants, while others use images or signs to translate longer words.

Regardless of your note taking style, students should review the information as soon as possible after class.

However, regardless of your note taking style, students should review the information as soon as possible after class. According to Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching report on note-taking, this can help to clarify outstanding questions and identify areas where more research is required.

If you would like more information about being a top student at Kenvale College, feel free to get in touch with our team today.

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