Taking Notes College Guide
Being a freshman I often found myself trying to decode my own notebook to get ready for my exam. Words clipping, taking notes on the fields, writing in a hurry made my copybook look like Enigma with no chances for enemy to know my secrets. There is an option of calling your friends and take their notes to prepare, but such a possibility is given to you not more than 3 times) Later people start offering you to improve handwriting, use a dictaphone or use your brain during lectures. That’s why I’ve made a decision to make my notebooks convenient and readable for me using tips below.
- Write with suitable colors
Each of us surely has a special color pen in pencil case which is mostly used for special notes or just to make stress on some definitions and terms. It runs out of ink fast and is absolutely not suitable for writing the whole text. Believe me, I tried that. Be sure that you have a proper blue or black pen before your classes, not to have problems with defining valuable information from whole red or green text. Also avoid using gel ink pen, because this type of ink can be easily wiped by accidental move which can make your writing totally unreadable.
- Use highlighters
Instead of switching pens during writing you can use highlighters to mark important information, make stress on important notes (and simply make your writings more sunny and colorful). This can help you greatly during topics review, to know what is the main. Focus on the necessary information easily and cope with your studying tasks in the simplest way. Besides, making a colorful notebook takes really not much time. You can do that even at home while revising material and that will help you to remember what you read better.
- Master shorthand skill.
Shorthand skills are a great part of student’s life. Each of us sooner or later faces professor whose methods of explaining look like a rush through the topic, talking with about 120 mph speed and refreshing data on the board with the speed of light. That’s why we try to make long words shorter, use abbreviations, different symbols, simplify parts of sentences, trying to write down all the information provided. Later you can gain all the “secret code” into normal notes. Besides it can be helpful to remember information. Doesn’t matter what kind of “code” you use while writing. Main aim of such writing is your ability to define whole lecture from different paragraphs.
- Define main thoughts
Never write down everything your professor says…NEVER! I had such a bad practice but after reading my notes I understood that it was quite a mess. That’s why try to listen attentively, write down definitions and define important data. Trying to note everything you will surely miss something important and lose the plot of lecture. Moreover it will be hard to decode everything to prepare to exam or practice. In this case I think previous tip will be very useful. Besides, all professors make stresses on some important facts they say, that’s why to write properly you have to listen at first.
- Have different sections for different notes
Have strict division of your notes. You can divide notebook into sections, you can have separate ones for each subject. No matter how you do that, but later you’ll be thankful for such an action. You will surely face this problem while revising, preparing to classes or right before the exams. I don’t think that while reading history notes you will be happy to find out that next paragraph is about economics of Canada. Later you will be able to find information fast and define where one class ends and the next begins.
With these simple tips writing down your lectures will become easier. In most cases information will become simpler and “visible”. Use any means of writing for your convenience, make your studying more simple and cope with the most difficult tasks faster. Moreover, when exams come you will surely find and revise all the necessary data easily and successfully pass all the exams.