At this point, you will be ready to take your notes.
You have to avoid making one of the biggest mistakes students usually run into: turning yourself into a stenographer.
Remember that you are not a tape recorder and your job is not to faithfully transcribe what the professor says word for word.
Contrary to what you might think, this will in fact be decidedly counterproductive because:
- You will be so immersed in the exercise of transcribing each word, that you will not be able to understand even what you are talking about ;
- By simply transcribing the teacher’s words faithfully, you will not give your brain a way to rework the lesson and, therefore, to understand it.
So try to remove the instinct of wanting to write everything the professor says.
Follow these practical tips to make perfect notes that are definitely useful and effective:
Write down only the key concepts
Do not waste too much time writing down each and every point. Don’t write data that you can retrieve later in the book.
Be concerned with marking what the professor says.
Write in your own words
Do not use the same expressions as the professor. Rather try to rework the concepts in your own words.
This advice obviously does not apply to those definitions that must be taken precisely and punctually.
Give up beautiful writing
Using perfect handwriting will not only waste twice as much time, but it will be useless because once you get home you will still have to write down your notes in good copy.
Speed is a fundamental weapon in taking notes. Use abbreviations and text language. Let me give you an example, you can write the words like “literature”, as “litt.”
Eliminate unnecessary words
Avoid all those words that are not needed to understand the speech: articles, conjunctions, prepositions and so on. The concept will be equally understandable, and you would have saved valuable time.
Grab your attention with some tricks
When you go to re-read your notes, it will be convenient to immediately identify the most important concepts.
Therefore, during the writing phase you can highlight them in different ways:
– writing them in capital letters,
– marking them with arrows or exclamation points
– underlining them
Invent your own code
As you become familiar with the art of notes, you can come up with your own code that will allow you to save precious time. For example, you can replace the word “or” with an arrow “->” and use this symbol for all your notes.
What To Do Once You Get Home?
Your assignment will not be completed once you take notes in class. They make about 50% of the study, you need to put in some extra effort.
Once back home, then you will have to review, copy and rework your notes .
It is very important, almost fundamental, that this operation is done within 24 hours following the lesson.
So, even if you feel really too tired, try to dedicate at least half an hour to this very important phase of study.
What will you have to do once you get home? Follow this lineup:
- Reread your notes
- Read the corresponding lesson in the book
- Integrate your notes with what you think is most important in the book
- Write down your notes, complete with the necessary additions, in fair copy
In the transcription phase, we recommend using colored markers and highlighters to highlight the most important concepts. This will stimulate your visual memory and help make studying more enjoyable.
Hope you got the right strategy on how to make it perfect notes? Just follow all the tips and tricks and make the best notes, that will help you in the preparation of your exams.