No matter whom you are or what your major is, you are going to have to take notes to get through college classes. You may be able to get away with not doing that in an online college because you can rewind the video lectures, but you still need to have reference materials to study. If you have never actually worked on your note taking skills, consider this a much needed slap in the face. I’ll get you prepared to take notes like a pro so you won’t have to worry about missing anything at school again. Are you ready for this?
Prepare ahead of Time
It may seem a little dorky to read about a subject before you go to class, but doing so will help you pick up on information better. If your professor tells you that he will be talking about chapter five in the next lesson, then read chapter five the day before. You don’t have to memorize the information in it, but you at least need to be familiar with it. Print off any PowerPoint slides the professor gives you ahead of time, and get ready to take notes directly on them. This will make everything easy to follow later on.
Write Shortened Information
Rather than jotting down full sentences, just make bullet points about importance facts. So far in this article, your notes may say nothing more than “Read before. Print PP. Use bullets.” See how that covers all of my information in just a couple words? It wouldn’t take me long to write those couple words by hand, and it probably wouldn’t take you long either. You can come up with your own short hand if you like, or you could even go as far as learning how to type like a court reporter. Just find a way to reduce the amount of time you spend writing so you can retain as much information as possible.
Use a Highlighter
When your professor refers to a part of your book, use your highlighter to mark it down. This will give you a chance to remember the important areas of discussion later on, and it will help you find what you need when you’re flipping through pages. Try to use the highlighter sparingly because using it too much may actually detract from its emphasis. Get some tabs for the pages with highlighter marks so you can easily flip to them when you need to. This is all just a matter of planning for the future.
No matter what classes you are taking or what your major may be, you can use the tips above or help of online tutors, like studydaddy, to take notes well. This is an art that will help you at work and throughout your time at school, so you might as well learn it thoroughly. Test out a few of these ideas and see if you can come up with any on your own. As long as you find a solution that works well for you, you’ll be able to take notes like a pro.