Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Note Taking and Listening tips

Have you ever sat in class with everyone around you constantly scribbling/typing notes, and you're wondering what everyone is writing down? Well today's tip is to help you take good notes and write down what is important.

Today's Tips:

#1) Active Listening is KEY to Taking Good Notes!
  • Puts you in a better position to understand and recall material.
  • Greater recall when studying for midterms and exams.
  • Makes class more interesting because you are involved.
  • Listen for cues as evidence of what the instructor thinks is important.

    • "The three main issues are..." • "The key issue here is..." • "I'll begin by..." • "To sum up..." • "This is really important!"
#2) Try the Cornell Notetaking System - PQ5R

Step 1 - PREPARE

  • Read and review any assigned readings.
  • Review notes from the last lecture.
  • Preview the lecture powerpoint slides if you get them in advance.


  • Get unanswered questions from the readings answered in class.
  • Write down questions you predict may appear on future tests.

Step 3 - REDUCE

Set up your lecture notes like this:
  • The key column is where you write key questions about the notes
  • The notes column is where you write full notes during class.
  • Within 24 hours of lecture, generate key questions or phrases about the notes. Write these in the key column.

Step 4 - RECITE

  • Cover over the notes column and answer the questions in the key column.
  • Recite the material in your own words.
  • Did you cover all the points correctly? If so, move on the to the next question.

Step 5 - REFLECT

  • Ask yourself - how does this material relate to previous lectures?
  • Look for connections. Connections could point to future test questions.
  • Write short summaries of each page of your lecture notes in your own words.
  • Complete all steps within 24 hours of class to maximize memory.

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