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10 Best Notetaking Skills for College Students


Created At 1 month ago

Posted By Muhammad Nabeel

When you attend college, you open yourself up to novel opportunities and tests. One of these difficulties is adjusting to classes taught in a more open lecture format. It's not easy to take decent notes in college; students are expected to show more initiative and discipline. If you want to succeed in college, you need to know how to take notes.

Note Taking Skills in College

Taking notes can be made easier and more organized with a little preparation. See below for advice on improving your note-taking skills for university.

Sit at the Front of the Class

The front of the classroom is the most attentive spot in the room, but many students seem to have an aversion to sitting there. You may be nervous that your teacher can detect whether you're daydreaming or otherwise not paying attention in class. But if you want to improve your note-taking skills, we suppose that's not bad. When attending a concert, do you prefer to sit in the first or last row of the balcony? Do the same thing in every class. Sit in the front row if you want to feel like you're part of the action.

Decide on the Best Strategy (Paper or Digital)

A method is necessary for efficient note-taking in college. We'll detail the paper-and-pencil and the digital-only approaches to note-taking that prove most effective in college later. It would help if you first choose which system best suits your needs, learning style, and course load for the upcoming semester.

Typing is faster than writing for most individuals; however, some lecture styles may need a more visual approach to note-taking. Quickly sketching even simple illustrations can be a challenge on a laptop. Additionally, studies have shown that handwriting something rather than typing it helps people remember the content better. Take notes by hand again if you want to retain the information you learn.

Keep Your Notes Short

Though writing down everything a lecturer says may seem helpful, doing so can be detrimental to learning. You might be able to record almost everything if you type quickly.

Pay attention to the brand-new material. Not everything needs to be written down. Take brief notes summarizing the material and highlighting what appears to be most relevant. Don't worry about anything else until you've mastered that.


Write Neatly

If you must write your notes by hand, ensure they are legible. Use as much order and precision in your writing as possible; otherwise, you'll waste a lot of time trying to decipher your work. Of course, many people have trouble doing this, maybe because of poor handwriting or physical impairment. If you can't write neatly enough to read your notes later when writing quickly, you might want to look into a different approach to note-taking with a laptop.

Get Organized

Get organized before writing, using pen and paper or a computer. It's a misery to study from disorganized notes. Most college students already have Microsoft OneNote installed on their computers, and it's a great program. Use the app's virtual notebooks and tabs to keep your notes neat.

If you prefer taking notes by hand, you might want to try using separate notebooks for each lesson or a three-ring binder with tabs for each subject. You could additionally categorize your course notes by unit or subject area. We can't tell you which strategy is best for you, but we can stress the need to develop a plan before you begin.

Minimize Distractions

Scientific studies in psychology and neuroscience have debunked the myth of multitasking. In this age of overwhelming information, it's reassuring to believe you can juggle multiple tasks easily. However, this theory has one major flaw: we can't test it. As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, all we do when we try to multitask is flip rapidly from one activity to another. Additionally, every time this occurs, performance drops while the brain readjusts.

What does this imply for my time spent studying and taking notes in college? Simple: You're not paying attention if you keep looking at your phone or scrolling through Facebook for a fraction of a second. It's the same with every email, chat message, and careless gaze across the room.

Disable all but the most crucial app notifications before taking notes on a mobile device.

Develop a System

One of our top recommendations is to create a routine for taking notes in class. Finding a productive note-taking regimen will set you up for success because the brain thrives on routine.

To wit: write down the date, class, topic, etc. before the lecture begins so you can gain your bearings before the professor even speaks.

Of course, there's more to it than that when it comes to creating a system. Before the week starts, take some time to prepare your note-taking area so that you can start taking notes as soon as the lecturer begins.

Use Space Meaningfully

Nothing is more intimidating than a notebook filled to the brim with tiny text that looks the same right before an exam. It's crucial to make efficient use of available space, either taking notes by hand or typing them into a computer. Please make the most important ideas stand out by writing them in larger type or using the different heading levels available in your note-taking software (such as OneNote, Word, etc.).

Use Abbreviations

There is a valid reason why abbreviations are used everywhere. They are time-saving and useful in various ways, including as memory aids. You don't have to write everything down, whether you're using a keyboard or pen. The same is true with commonly used phrases, especially those that are lengthy or technical. After being familiar with the term, creating a shorthand version of it is helpful. You can stop wasting time typing and thinking about it.

Focus on Main Points

Taking thorough notes in college is impossible because there is too much information. Concentrating on the fundamentals is the best course of action. Take notes on the lecture's topic, and then organize your notes into an outline. This will help you avoid jotting down every little detail, and the added structure to your notes should improve your ability to retain information. There is a good chance that your speaker is working off an outline; even if they aren't, their primary ideas may nonetheless adhere to one.


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