Become A Note-Taking Superstar
Note-taking is one of the most important skills for students to learn. Better note-taking skills lead to better studying skills. The two go hand-in-hand.
There are so many reasons why note-taking skills are important, but the biggest one is that taking notes helps students recall information that otherwise may have been lost.
Taking notes isn’t as simple as it sounds; students cannot simply write down everything they hear. Students need to summarize key concepts and put them in their own words to understand these concepts when revisiting their notes. If students organize their notes effectively, then they won’t have to retake notes when it’s time to study for a test or exam.
Here are some excellent note-taking methods that students can start using today.
11 Tips to Becoming a More Efficient Note Taker
1. Sit Front and Center
Encourage your student to sit near the front and middle of the classroom or lecture hall. Fewer distractions occur here which means students who sit closer to the front will be more likely to stay focused on what the teacher’s saying.
Fewer distractions mean it’s easier for students to actively listen while taking notes.
2. Use a Binder for Taking Notes
Make sure students keep their notes in a binder rather than a notebook.
Keeping notes in a binder will help with organization. Using a binder allows students to add, rearrange, or rewrite pages of notes. Students can also insert handouts and assessments in the proper chronological order and review materials covered in the chapter or unit much easier.
3. Use Heading and Dates
Have students write a heading and date on every page so they can organize the pages in chronological order in a binder. This will make it easier when it comes to study time, they’ll be able to know which dates the notes are from, making it easier to study in chronological order.
4. Use Loose-Leaf Paper for Note Taking
Take notes on loose-leaf paper. Make sure that students hole punch and add all of the handouts, assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. to their binder. Keep everything they’ve collected from the entire chapter or unit in chronological order.
5. Think Before You Write
Before a student writes anything down, encourage them to think about what the teacher is saying. Rather than writing everything the teacher says, choose only important phrases, terms, and concepts that they need to focus on when they’re about to sit down to study.
6. Use Examples and Stories
Have students write down the stories and examples that teachers use to illustrate points during class. These examples and stories are very important in creating connections in students’ brains. They help jog memory while studying and while writing tests and exams.
7. Look For Clues While Note-Taking
Helping students to recognize cues that teachers give to indicate that something is important. For instance, they may repeat something several times, change the volume or tone of their voice, write it on the board or overhead, or create lists for students.
If your student misses the initial cue but later realizes that they should have written the material down, just ask the teacher to repeat what they just said.
8. Leave White Space in the Notes
Students should leave spaces between sections of notes, so they can add comments as they review, study, or re-read notes. Plus, having white space in notes helps students not feel overwhelmed. White space helps to give a sense of calmness to the eyes and is not overwhelming to look at or read.
There are many ways to create white space in your notes, check out this article; it does a great job breaking it down.
9. Rewrite or Retype Your Notes
Students should be encouraged to re-write or even retype notes to make them more organized and make studying easier. Re-writing notes also give students a second chance to think about the material as they write or type it again.
The more time that passes between taking the original notes and re-writing them, the less effective this strategy is, so prompt students to do their rewriting soon after they’ve taken the original notes. If a student’s handwriting is messy or difficult to read, typing will help the legibility of their notes when they’re studying.
10. Read and Review After Note-Taking
Students should review their notes often. The more times they read them, the easier it is to commit their notes to memory and the less time they’ll spend studying them prior to a test or exam.
11. Get Professional Note-Taking Help
If you require more assistance with paying attention in class, taking notes or studying, contact your nearest GradePower Learning location.