Offers various techniques for successfully taking notes during classroom lectures.

Taking notes during a lecture will enforce active listening by focusing on the information presented to you. There are several techniques you should keep in mind to take notes during a course successfully:

  • Write down everything you see. Any information the instructor writes on the board, immediately record it in your notebook; chances are, this information is helpful to you and will most likely appear on a future exam.
  • Write down everything you hear. Please pay attention to critical points during the lecture, and be sure to write them down. However, when taking notes, do not write in complete sentences, which can result in falling behind and missing important information during the lecture. Shorthand your messages and abbreviate as much as possible.
  • Leave space for additions. Do not cram information onto a single sheet of paper. Leave one or two areas between each point. It will leave room for additional elements, such as page numbers, questions you might have concerning a specific topic, as well as answers that clarify those questions, and so forth.
  • Rewrite your notes. Immediately following the lecture, rewrite your notes while the information is still fresh in your mind. It means you should go back through your notes and write out total words in place of their abbreviations. Not only will rewriting your notes reinforce the information into your long-term memory, but it will also allow you to review any information you did not fully understand during the lecture.
  • Review your notes. Reviewing your notes following class and for ten minutes each day will keep the information fresh in mind. Remember the 24-hour rule: It is crucial to study your messages within 24 hours of the last lecture. It will prevent you from re-learn the information since it will already be processed in your long-term memory.
  • Recite the information. One of the most effective study strategies is to recite your notes. Teach the knowledge gained from the lecture to a friend, fellow student, child, or even your dog! For example, by verbally explaining the step-by-step process of a math equation or narrating the events leading up to the Civil War, you further process the information through speaking, hearing, reading, and listening.

It may seem like an overwhelming bundle of information to unpack at once, but with practice, you will be able to master these note-taking strategies until they are second nature!


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