Effective Ways of Preparing Notes for Students

Most of us tend to forget new information as soon as we hear it. There are times when we write down stuff and still fail to recall it within 24 hours of first reading or hearing it. Now if we consider the part of taking notes in the correct way then maybe we can retain and retrieve every bit of information we receive.

Taking effective notes is a very crucial skill. This skill can become your ladder of success. It is a very effective way of learning, absorbing and recalling concepts and ideas in meetings, involving in quiz and most importantly taking notes during a class or some conference. The note-taking techniques that we are talking about here are equally relevant for those who are attending meetings, as well as those into higher education.

Given below are some effective ways to taking notes easily:

When it comes to preparing notes let us divide it into three different parts. First is notes before the meeting, second is notes during the meeting and the third is notes after the meeting.

Doing the Basics Right

Preparing notes doesn’t mean writing down everything you read or you go through. In order to make effective notes we have to start preparing ourselves before the big show begins. It is very important to go through the material beforehand.

Reading the Material in Advance

The best way of preparing yourself for a class or meeting is to read the subject in advance. So that you can get an idea about the topic and the contents. In this way you, would have a better understanding about what is going currently which needs be discussed. While reading, underline those lines which you think are important, note some important points and write down your doubts that come to your mind while reading it.

Reviewing your Notes in Advance

It is very important to go through the reading material which you have prepared in advance. In this way you revise all the major points which you have gone through and make sure that you didn’t forget or missout on any key ideas.

During the Lecture

So, we’ve successfully completed our first stage of preparing notes.

The next step is take notes during the lecture. Since you already have some idea about the content, so it becomes much easier for you to understand what is going to be discussed. In order to prepare notes during the session, you need to take care of certain important things which we will discuss here.

Sometimes you may find difficulty in taking down notes while the teacher is still teaching or while there is discussion from fellow students or colleagues. For this purpose, you need to be a good listener. Try listening during the meeting or class. In case, if you are unable to write them, try recording the session and make notes with the help of these recordings for future reference.

Note the Main Points

It is a good practice to have an understanding of the main objective and critical points of the topic. It also gives you the main area to focus while your learning goes indepth.

Noting down References and Examples

When someone explains a topic, you get to hear many more examples which is not described in the material you read. So note down those examples,it becomes a reference for your future readings.

Clarifying the Doubts

Before the session starts, you can mark your doubts and questions regarding the content which would be delivered. When the meeting or classroom session goes on, you can easily get the answers for all your questions.

Preparing Notes after the Lecture

The final step of preparing effective notes is to write down the points after the session is over. It is important to take notes after the session is over as your concept is clear at this point, and you get to know more about the content as you might have understood this in a better way. Note down these tips while you making notes after the lecture is over.

Reviewing Notes after the Class

First of all go through all the notes you have prepared before and during the session and make necessary changes. There might be points you want to add, some you want to delete and some you just want to modify, so scan your notes and update it.

Merging the Notes

The main objective of preparing notes after the meeting is to summarize everything you learnt before and after the class. Your final notes should include points you wrote before the session, that shows your approach and understanding towards the subject. Along with points you noted during the meeting which gives you complete understanding about the matter.

An important point to note while preparing notes is to write down all important dates, events and names of important personalities relevant to the topic.

However, preparing notes doesn’t mean writing down everything you read. In order to prepare effective notes you can follow any of these approaches that will further help you understand things you have written.

Dynamic Outline

It is an advanced version of the notetaking method that we were taught in the school.We mention the topic heading,write something about it and then mention all the relevant sub points.The difference here is that, we mainly use three different tools. First is notation symbols like arrows, second is color and third is mapping web.

Here we use different symbols like arrows and circles to make our notes more readable and it becomes easier to remember. We use different colors to mention different things it makes our notes more interesting and exciting.

Page Split

This approach is best suitable for people who like maintaining notes in an organized way. In this approach you split the paper into two parts. One part is assigned for the headings and the second part is used for noting down the relevant conditions. This method of maintaining notes is very easy to go through as all the main contents can be easily marked and you can go through everything easily.

For the page set up, draw a vertical line of approx 2.5 inches from the left margin. The right side, will be used for writing down the notes. Another important part to note here is after writing about the context in the right side of the vertical line, note 1-3 words briefing on the left side.

Mind Mapping

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank

landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added.

As not everyone are fond of preparing notes in a perfect way through outline method. For them, mind mapping might be a good alternative solution.

In this method, we can easily go back and forth between topics whenever teacher jumps from one topic to another during lecture. Basically, in this method we keep the main topic in the center and all the relevant subtopics are enclosed within its surrounding. The advantage of using this method is you remember things easily by making visual connections within the topics and subtopics.

Conclusion: Often people think that note making is simply writing down everything that is important. But this is not true. It is the art of learning complex things easily and documenting it so that it could be used again in future. Also there are people who find making notes a very difficult task. But this is not true. This article acts as a complete guide for preparing efficient notes. Also it has nothing to do with your writing skills. You just have to prepare the right way.

Samual Sam
Samual Sam

Learning faster. Every day.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2022


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