Honestly, this is way more critical than it seems. We must never underestimate the strength of our in-class notes. Taking and studying from good notes is usually the difference between receiving surprisingly high grades, and shockingly low ones.
Then, when that idea is carried forward taking and studying from good notes is usually the difference between a surprisingly positive college academic career, and a shockingly bad one.
So, with that said here are three fast hints for learning how to take better notes in college.
Fast Hint #1: Note Taking Essentials Most Student’s Forget
We all need to be incorporating most of these note taking essentials into our daily routines in class:
• Collect notes for each class in one place or section of a notebook. Don’t mix notes from different classes together.
• Write notes on one side of the page only.
• Use a loose-leaf notebook rather than a notebook with a permanent binding so
notes or pages can we ripped out or moved around.
• Write the date, course name, and topic for the day on top of a new page at the start of every class.
• Use 8½ x 11 sheets of paper for all notes. This size will allow for indentations, margins, and will keep the overall note structure consistent.
• Use abbreviations whenever possible when taking notes. This is one of the key factors in learning how to take better notes in college.
• Draw a box around assignments and suggested books or readings so they can be quickly identified.
• Identify key ideas with an arrow, circle, or other special symbol. Using a highlighter is also good.
• Pay close attention to transitional words, phrases and sentences professors use to signal the end of one idea and the beginning of another. Listen for words such as “therefore,” “finally” and “furthermore.” Those words indicate transitions to new topics and thus new sections for your notes.
These note taking essentials cannot be ignored. They are easy to implement and they make a huge positive impact on our final grades.
We must work all of these essentials into our classroom routines immediately. It’s just dumb not to.
Fast Hint #2: Be On The Lookout For Signal Phrases
Professors don’t light sparklers and wave them around the room before they state an important idea or key term.
However, professors will use signal phrases to announce when they are going to say something vital for recording in our notes.
Here are some of the most popular signal phrases college professors use. Once we hear our professors say any of these signal phrases we need to be ready to write down the very next things they say.
These are very important for learning how to take better notes in college. Here are the signal phrases:
• “There are three reasons why….”
• “And most important….”
• “A major development….”
• “On the other hand….”
• “On the contrary….”
• “For example….”
• “For instance….”
• “Now this is important….”
• “Remember that….”
• “The important idea is that….”
• “The basic concept here is….”
• “In conclusion….,” “As a result….,” “Finally….,” “In summary….,” “From this we see….”
Fast Hint # 3: Get Ready To Spot Significant Tells
Professors often say or do things which indicate very significant information is being conveyed without knowing it. This is called a ‘tell’ and spotting them when they occur is important, because it means something crucial and note-taking worthy is happening.
Here are some examples of ‘tells’ to look out for.
• The professor makes a long pause before or after a point is spoken.
• The professor uses repetition to emphasize a single point.
• The professor builds up a topic by using multiple examples before the main point is introduced.
• The professor writes a point on the board. That’s the biggest ‘tell’ ever.
* Action Step *
Practice each of the three note taking hints during your next week of classes and see how they work for you.
Then, write a quick summary of how each of these hints worked, and which ones worked best in which class.
After that, you will know which hints to use at any given time to improve your notes and catapult your grades.
Summary of hint #1)
Summary of hint #2)
Summary of hint #3)
That’s ultimately how to take better notes in college while further tapping into your inborn power. This will bring you closer to living as the most complete version of yourself immediately.
How To Take Better Notes In College Now
– Written by Motivational Joe