Hi, Scholars! I’ve had a few clients ask us for help with taking notes in class. They noticed it was a bit different from high school to college (and it’s even more different in graduate school!), so they were struggling. I wanted to share with you the tips that I shared with them. One tip that isn’t on my list, record! Ask your professor for permission first, but if possible it is always a good idea to record the lectures. Let me know if you have anything to add. Happy note-taking!
1. Try to capture the main themes, points, and keywords of the lecture. This includes the verbal part (what the professor is saying) and the written part (PowerPoint presentations, Prezi, etc.) of the lecture.
2. Pay special attention to the information that the professor says aloud but isn’t on the presentation.
3. Make an abbreviations list for yourself. Texting shorthand works well, but go a step beyond by developing abbreviations or symbols for commonly used words or terms (such as, SB for should be or cxl for cancel). Abbreviations make your note-taking more efficient.
4. It typically takes professors longer to get to a main point than it did with your high school teachers, so consider delaying the start of your notes until it’s clear that the main point is coming up.
5. Review your notes shortly after you take them. This helps you fill in blanks while your memory is still fresh and it helps you recall the material later.