One of my big mistakes back in high school was trying to scribble down every word my professor spoke. Nothing processed during class, I’d be just writing like a human tape recording. When I’d get home to study I’d open up my notebook to a mess. I remember seeing scribbled at the top of one of the pages. “In the loop 1875.” Whatever that meant, it’ll remain a mystery for all time.
Sometimes these shotty notes would even affect my grade. I’m sure a number of times over I could have had a near perfect test score instead of an okay one. Had I researched note taking methods when I was in college it would have definitely been a different story. It isn’t all just listening and writing. There is a method to it all.
The key to writing good notes is being well organized. One of the biggest mistakes is writing down verbatim what your professor is saying. Only about fifty percent of what he’s talking about will end up on the test. Sometimes he’ll even announce that something he just said would be on the test.
That said, you should listen up for keywords and phrases that definitely needed to be taken. It’ll make your notes look less threatening when it comes time to study and you’ll be stuck with only the essential materials. You don’t want to have to search for a needle in a haystack when it comes to studying. You need to make it as easy on yourself as possible.
Digital note taking may also be more useful for some. You can use a symbol method to mark what you need to study. Plus when it comes time to hit the books, you can use methods available through your computer that will direct you directly to what you need to read. You can kiss the days of scrolling through pages goodbye.