How to take notes
Taking notes is a task that we usually do every day, although sometimes we do not even realize it. At the end of the day, when we take note of the shopping list, the work we have to do or the person we have to call, we are taking notes of what we want to remember or what we cannot do. forget under any circumstances. Sure there are many things we have to do; but not all of us write them down: We only point out those that we consider most important or those that require greater attention at a certain moment. Above all, we are aware of the time we have and we know that we cannot do everything. That is why we make a selection.
In the same way, this is what you have to do when taking notes in class: learn to select the content presented. As you well know, in class the teacher talks about an infinite number of things. Even in those remote cases where everything he says seems interesting to you, not everything can be written down, nor does it deserve to be.
Taking notes does not mean copying exactly what the teacher says. It is not a question of transcribing his entire exposition; rather, the idea is to understand the information being considered and express what you understand on paper, or what is the same, select what is really important; something that will undoubtedly be of great use to you when you are studying and have to prepare for the exam in that particular subject. But how? How can you take good notes without missing any details? We will tell you.
Listen carefully to the teacher
First of all, you must hear. Obviously, it is essential that you pay attention to the explanations that the teacher provides in class. Within the same topic, there are different sections. Some of them may be treated in greater depth than others. Other sections may also be overlooked by your teacher because they are not considered relevant.
Also, another aspect that you should take into account is the language it uses. Look at expressions like “the main thing…”, “you don’t have to forget…”, “the most important thing is…”, etc. I remember that, in my days as a student, there was a teacher who, laughing, said: “This is for an exam” or “This is for a grade”. And, indeed, those points ‘fell’ on the day of the exam. So, listens carefully to the teacher, both what he talks about and how he talks about it, as it will help you determine what you should take good note of.
Understand what is said in class
Well, based on what you hear, you should now understand. You must understand what the teacher is talking about. For example, imagine that in class the teacher is going to talk about cell biology. As the subject arouses some interest in you, that day you try even harder to pay attention, to listen to it; However, if this is the first time you hear about it, you may not understand anything and you will end up with a big headache. Hence the importance of understanding what you hear; since, finally you will learn what you understand.
Therefore, it is essential that you understand how what the teacher is talking about relates to the subject you have to study. You must understand how it relates to the main topic; You must understand how it relates to the subject you have studied in previous topics and understand why it is necessary to study it. Evidently, the better your understanding, the better your notes.
Write the main ideas
And finally, as you understand what the teacher is trying to explain to you, it is time to to write. It is clear that if you try to write or write down everything the teacher says, quite possibly the most important ideas will go unnoticed, which are those of which we must take note. Don’t focus on insignificant details.
So, once you understand what the teacher is talking about, you should be able to know what to aim for. Write in your own words a summary idea of what is convenient for you to remember. Continuing with the example I was talking about before, imagine that, in previous courses, you already studied some topics of cell biology. In that case, some of the ideas that will be taught are very likely to be familiar to you and, therefore, you will be able to easily know what you should aim for. You will be able to extract the essence, the main idea, the one that will help you study.
Advantages of taking quality notes in class
In conclusion, taking notes, or rather, the ability to take notes, is not easy and you may, at first, feel a bit clumsy. In those moments, think that any skill worth its salt requires effort, requires training, takes practice, a lot of practice. Therefore, do not give up, persevere. If you do, you will discover that taking notes (the best you can do it) has great advantages:
- It will help you retain to a greater extent the information that you will have to study to later prepare for the exam.
- What’s more, it will help you not to be distracted in class. It is well known that the mind tends to wander frequently; therefore, taking notes will allow you to be well focused on the teacher’s explanations, as well as to raise any doubts that may arise at that time.
- It will allow you to review at home what is considered during that day, which will facilitate their learning.
- Will contribute to development of your capacity for synthesis and understanding of the information presented; since, your notes are a personal elaboration of everything you have heard in class.
- They will motivate you by perceiving that you come to understand what is being talked about in class. You will also feel more control over the subject you are studying.
But you know? If you strive to develop this skill, you’ll learn and you will get more benefit while you are in class. There are so many hours (and you know it from your own experience) that a student spends studying that it is discouraging that, finally, all that time is useless. It is true that we have all studied with the noble objective of passing an exam, and even getting a good grade; But, more important than all that is: learn.
We assure you that you will learn, as long as listen, in stores and scribes; or what is the same, take some good notes in class.
And you, do you have any secrets when it comes to taking notes?