As a student, making sure you take precise, easy to read notes will allow you to come back to them later and be able to jog your memory on the subject with little effort. Whether you’re a student attending classes or someone who regularly makes lists, the following tips will help you become more efficient and have your notes be as useful as possible.
When you go to take notes or create a list, try to keep each bullet point short and sweet. What you’re aiming to do is allow yourself to remember as simple an idea as possible. When you go to look at the notes, if they’re kept short, you’ll be less intimidated than by notes that appear in complete sentences. Try to only include what is absolutely necessary and nix what is not important.
Test out other methods
While the method of just writing notes down on a notebook in list format works just fine for some people, others would benefit from other methods. For instance, the mind-mapping note taking style may be best for those who are more visual learners. The outline style may be best for students and those that want to rank their lists in order of most important. It may take awhile, but testing out different note taking methods will help you find the best one for your situation.
Don’t scribble notes verbatim
Students sometimes fall into the trap of writing down every single word their professor says during a lecture, which is not necessarily a good thing. It allows your brain to disengage from what is being taught and you may not retain any information. Instead, try to reword what the professor says and simplify it as much as possible.
Rewrite your notes
This step can definitely be more time-consuming; however, if you’re a student listening to a professor who tends to jump around subjects in a lecture, rewriting your notes can help you organize them better. Rewriting can also help you retain the information you learned in the lecture, especially if done shortly after the class.
You’ve probably noticed a student or two along the course of your education who is equipped with an arsenal of different colored pens. Sectioning off your notes by subject and color could help you visually see what your notes are about and will help you leaf through your notes to find what you need.