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Ways to Make Effective Study Notes

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    Taking good notes in class is an important part of academic success in school. Making notes actively during the class can help you to concentrate and better understand the main points. Taking good notes will improve your active listening, critical comprehension, and retention. Notes can help you complete your projects successfully and pass tests and tasks to be performed. Here are some simple, amazing, and practical tips on how to write good notes.

    Prepare Well Before You Get to Class

    Take out your notes and your belongings and prepare them before the start of the class. Drink water and be ready with your writing materials like pen, notebook, rulers, etc.

    Be an active listener

    Be an active listener during your class or meetings. Avoid fatigue and laziness during lectures. Drink caffeine or energy drinks to increase your attention levels. Washing your face with cold water during the break can also reduce mental fatigue. An active mind is very important for making effective notes which will help you in retaining concepts and stories when you will refer to your notes again in the future.

    Avoid Distractions during class

    Avoid distractions like gossiping with other people, using a mobile phone, and social media accounts. Listening carefully can help you to write better notes, understand the concept well, and remember it in the future. Put your phone off silent during lectures or classes. Try to sit on forwarding benches in your offline classes.

    Keep your notes organized and clean

    Note the details at the top of your notebook. Keep your notes organized by writing important details such as day by day, and then write notes on the notes page. Use headings and subheadings. Create a title for each collection of key points or ideas. Articles can serve as a short summary and help to break down longer paragraphs too, and this can bring clarity when you will refer back to the notes later.

    Do not write long paragraphs or articles

    Do not write in large or very long sections. Use dots and numbered numbers. Keep your sentences short. Use bullet points or numbered lists to help you keep your notes short and easily accessible. Remembering in points is way easier and more effective than remembering in long paragraphs.

    Make your notes visually attractive

    Use diagrams and charts. Make diagrams, tables, charts for easy understanding. You can also use sticky notes or draw shapes or boxes to write examples. New keywords, vocabulary words, important questions for your exams, etc. This process can help with memory retention during your test. Using coloured glitter pens or sketch pens will make your notes more attractive.

    Highlight important points

    Highlight the key points. It is really important to underline these words in your own words in notebooks. This could be your articles and subtitles, important definitions, new words, examples, phrases, etc. It provides an effective way to update that information later. Highlight important information or facts which your teacher told you are important or interesting.

    Compare your notes with your classmate

    Comparing your notes with your classmates can help you realize your mistakes during notes making. Two heads are better than one. Once you have completed your notes, comparing your notes with your classmates will give you the opportunity to see the mistakes you have made and the points you missed. Also, try to find points that your classmate had written which are easier to remember than yours.

    Clear your doubts with your teacher

    Ask questions if you are confused, you can simply write down things you do not understand. Ask for clarification where you are confused. If you are not satisfied, you can always join the course to get more explanations. Otherwise, refer to the internet or Wikipedia, or any other book to get essential information about the topic.

    Also read: Peer Learning and its Significance

    Some scientific and easy methods for note-making:

    Cornell Method

    The strength of this approach is a simple page layout. At the top of the page write down the name of the lesson, meeting, or seminar and the date and topic. The page is then divided into three sections; the right column for short notes and the left column for any questions related to notes and near the bottom of the page there is a brief summary.

    Outlining method

    Listen and write notes in an orderly manner. Place the main points far to the left. Move each point to the right. Significance levels will be displayed at a distance from the main area. Postponing can be as easy or as difficult as labeling indents with Roman numerals or decimals. Marks are not required as local relationships will show big/small points.

    Mind mapping method

    Mind mapping requires students to use their critical thinking skills by creating a logical map that organizes facts, ideas, and information. Students write each truth on a piece of paper and use arrows to connect specific facts. For example, the main idea will appear at the top of the page and the arrows will lead to other ideas.

    The sentence method

    The sentence-writing method uses punctuation to separate thoughts, ideas, and ideas from each other. Each time a new concept is introduced it is written in a new line, which results in the notes having a greater number of sentences in the correct order. The sentence structure is one of the methods of note-taking out there.

    Charting method

    Charting is a method of taking notes using charts to summarize and organize notes. It involves dividing a document into several columns and rows and then completing them with abbreviations. This results in a format of the note that makes effective comparisons between different topics and ideas.


    1) What is effective note-making?

    Ans: Note-making is the practice of keeping records in different sources. By writing notes, one can record the information, freeing their minds from remembering everything.

    2) What are the Scientific methods for making notes?

    Ans: Cornell method, Outlining method, charting method, Mind mapping, sentence method are some of the well-known methods for note-making.

    3) How to improve class notes?

    Ans: Listening carefully and paying attention to the teacher will help you to improve your class notes.



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