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Study Skills: Note-taking

Tips and tricks to help you be an even better student

Make the most of your class time by taking notes

What are the benefits?

  • Helps you to memorise information. Writing things down improves long-term memory.
  • Helps you think critically about what you’ve learned after class
  • Save time studying. If your notes are well organised they are easier to retrieve
  • Keeps you focused on the most relevant information

Getting It Down - Tips on how to take effective notes

  • It’s important to be a good listener and participant in class.
  • Be on time! Give yourself time to prepare for class. Have your note taking equipment ready to go.
  • Focus on writing down the most important information. Be brief. Abbreviate. Use headings and key words.
  • Actively listen to the teacher. Your notes will help you remember more later if you are alert in class
  • Record instructions of how to follow up the class. Include suggested websites, extra reading and homework expectations.

After Class

Summarise and Organise

  • Revise your notes. Reduce word count down to what’s really important. Find the ‘essence’ of the information you have been given. Highlight most important points.
  • Review notes. The more you use your notes the more familiar the material will become and the more information you will retain for future use.
  • Keep your notes with any handouts your teacher gives you.
  • Organise notes by subject in a ring binder or lecture note pad with subject dividers. Do this regularly to stay on top of your filing system.

Pro tip: Check out the Cornell Notes page for a system that will make you a note-taking expert

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