Note-Taking hacks are a lifesaver in college, especially if your professors wish to welcome you back with tons of readings and assignments. But there are so many ways to take notes. Although college is another educational journey, not a lot of people know how to take notes properly. Well, there isn’t really a set way to take notes. As long as you understand your own system, then you will be fine. However, for those students who are the worst note-takers, hopefully, these note-taking hacks will help you improve your study habits this season.
1. Complete Your Readings Before Class
A note-taking hack to make your life simpler is to read your weekly reading before the start of that class. Why? Most professors base their lectures of the textbook. This means that everything your professor is telling you simply sums up the textbook minus the definitions, and with a few simpler examples. To make it easier to follow along in class, you should read the textbook before the class, so you already have the definitions copied down and can focus more clearly on your professor’s explanation. Otherwise, you will be too busy copying down the lecture, you won’t hear one word from your professor.
2. Coloured Ink
A cute note-taking hack is to use coloured pens and/or highlighters in your notes. For example, by using different coloured pens for definitions, examples and headlines, your eyes will easier identify each when you are reviewing your notes later. If everything is one colour, you might miss an example your professor used in class. Or, you might have mixed up a textbook definition with regular explanatory text. Plus, colour is proven to be beneficial in helping your mind work.
An essential note-taking hack is to identify which means of note-taking you prefer. Some people prefer to type their notes on a laptop, while others prefer to write it out the old fashion way. You must figure this out before class begins. Why? If you begin typing on a laptop half way through the semester only to find out it irritates you, its going to get frustrating flipping back and forth between notebook and laptop later on. I prefer notebooks because I can carry it where ever I go without worrying about wifi access. Also, it has been proven that individuals remember a fact faster and easier when they write it down.
4. Don’t Use Previous Notes
An important note-taking hack is to never look at notes of previous students. These days, professors know that students trade notes and textbooks. Due to this they will change up their curriculum or rewrite their exams. If you look at a previous student’s notes from another semester, all you are doing is wasting your time reviewing information that probably won’t be on the examinations. Studying with current classmates is okay to understand the content, but that is all. Plus, you don’t want to accidentally memorize a previous student’s notes for an exam and then get called out for plagiarism.
5. Review After Class
The last important note-taking hack to know is to review your notes after the lecture. Information is always good when it is fresh in your mind. Also, if you are too busy taking notes during class, you have a better chance at remembering the points you missed after class, rather than at the end of the day or later in the semester. Reviewing the content you learned that day after school is finished is also a great way to gradually study for midterms and exams. While you are reviewing class notes, make sure to put a star beside the content you don’t understand. This way, you know what you need to ask for clarification on when your professor asks if anyone has questions.