TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: A comprehensive guide to effective note-taking

Posted by Sankar Dey
October 5, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Taking meaningful and effective notes in classes is undoubtedly a crucial skill to have. Good notes can not only help you recall important information at the time of review, but it can also help in quicker learning and remembrance of the same.

Therefore, it is vital that you build up this skill from a very young age to ease things up at the time of your college. The following tips can help.

  1. Prepare yourself and go to your class
  • We would advise you to use a 3-ring binder (instead of using a bound exercise book or a spiral) for note-taking purposes. Pages or handouts can be easily removed or inserted into a binder according to the requirements which counts an exceptional benefit, on the whole. So convenience you wanted; convenience you’ll get. You really can’t ask for more; can you?
  • Don’t forget to bring highlighters to your classes. Your professors may frequently make comments like “This is a very important concept.” or “Do make sure you understand this.” These comments serve to be an excellent clue in indicating the fact that the concept may come for your upcoming examination. Use the highlighter to mark the paragraph without any further ado.
  • Read a bit of the assignment before coming to the class. Note-taking becomes significantly easier if you have a little prior idea of the subject matter.
  1. Develop a note-taking method that actually works

Here are a few tips that can probably do the job for you:

  • You should start each and every lecture on a brand new page. Also, don’t forget to mark the date at the top. All these are signs of an organized note-taking approach; something capable of making all the differences in the world for good.
  • It’s advisable to write ONLY on one side of the paper for maximum efficiency. That way you can set the papers side by side for last minute revisions before the day of your examination; a practice that’s considered to be more convenient, on the whole.
  • Leave blank spaces below for additional comments and questions (in case you want to squeeze them in at any later time).
  • Your notes should be brief and right to the point. Remember, you are not writing a story here. So be as short as possible.
  • You should also develop a system of symbols and abbreviations (of your own) that you can use wherever possible to fasten things up.
  1. Pay attention as closely as possible to the content

Knowing what to write can sometimes get really difficult, especially when effective note-taking is concerned of all. Anyway, we will try to provide you with a fair share of the idea that can come in handy for this purpose of yours.

Always try to include the following things in your notes to maximize efficiency:

  • Facts, details and explanations that efficiently expand the main point of the topic. Don’t forget examples. They are as important as the concept itself.
  • Definitions (EXACTLY word for word). DO NOT improvise as far as definitions are concerned.
  • A comprehensive list of things discussed.
  • Drawings, diagrammatic representations, and charts (if any).
  • Repeated information.
  1. Always review your notes within 24 hours and edit areas (if necessary)
  • It is exceptionally important for you to review your notes within twenty-four hours if you really want to keep the content as authentic as possible.
  • Edit illegible words that make no sense to you.
  • You should also expand abbreviated words at the time of the review (in case you feel that you might face difficulty in unearthing their meanings at any later time).
  • Fill in key questions in the left-hand column of the page for doubt-clearing sessions (if any).
  • Consider editing with a different colored pen so that you can differentiate between what you wrote in the class and what you filled in later.


A final word…

You can even take the aid of technology for note-taking purposes. Several note-taking apps are available in the market that can come in handy for this purpose of yours. Use them according to your convenience. for more tips you can check MyPrivateTutor Blog


So that’s basically it for now then folks. Hope you had a good and enlightening read.

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