Simple hacks for improved note-taking
One of the best ways to understand and remember what you’re learning in class involves taking notes. Good note-taking skills have nothing to do with the neatness of your handwriting. Rather, it’s about how you structure your content. Messy, unorganized notes won’t help you when it’s time to study. Here are five ways you can improve your note-taking.
The Cornell Method
This method of note-taking organizes your information in smaller sections of summaries. This makes it easy to review later, and pull out key concepts to memorize.To use this method, divide a sheet of paper into three section. Use the first section to take notes during class. Use the second section to outline study questions and vocabulary. In the third section, summarize your notes after class to highlight the main points for memorizing.
The Mapping Method
This method of note-taking focuses on creating a visual representation of information and outlining relationships among concepts. Your notes will look somewhat like a family tree. Begin by drawing a bubble with one main topic. Then, draw branches and bubbles below that for sub-topics. Keep extending the tree branches for each bubble’s sub topics and related points.
The Outlining Method
This method of note-taking focuses on headings along with individual lists of subordinate information. This type of note-taking is best for concepts that have a lot of detail. You can create notes using this method by writing down a main topic, then starting a list below it of all relevant details and sub-topics.
The Chart Method
This note-taking method uses charts to organize notes. It’s best used when taking notes that are more factual. Begin by writing one main topic at the top of your page. Then, below it, divide your paper into equal columns. At the top of each column, write a sub-topic and fill the column below it with a list of facts. Repeat this process for each main topic, so that you’ll end up with a chart of sub-topics and facts for each one.
The Sentence Method
This note-taking method focuses mainly on conversations. It’s best used for fast-paced lectures or interviews when you cannot immediately decipher relationships or connections among the data. Your page should ultimately look like a list of simple notes. Afterwards, you can strike out irrelevant information and regroup your notes into one of the other note-taking methods above for better organization.
Being able to take notes (and keep them organized) can go a long way in helping you remember what you learn in class. Not only will this help you better understand theories and concepts, it will also do wonders when it’s time to study for exams. Try the above methods in your next class, and see which one best fits your study style.